Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

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Senate votes to take up tax bill, bringing rigs closer to ANWR

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

Both Alaska senators voted to officially begin debate on a tax-cut bill that would also open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Sen. Murkowski says the tax changes will help many Alaska families.

Prudhoe Bay job numbers fell to lowest since 2007 this year

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

In May of this year, job numbers in the Prudhoe Bay region dropped to the lowest levels in a decade, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Army Corps requires less wetlands mitigation in Alaska 

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

When a wetland is converted to something other than a wetland, federal law requires the developer make up for the loss in some other way. For big projects, that often means creating or protecting wetlands in other places. But, over the last three years, this hasn’t been happening as often as it used to, and conservation groups are concerned.

Fairbanks sees 9th and 10th homicides of the year

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks police have identified a man found dead Tuesday morning at a residence on the city’s south side.

Alaska DOC commissioner wants to stop easy access of illegal drugs in prisons

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Dean Williams, the commissioner of the Department of Corrections, acknowledges it’s easy to access illegal drugs in prison in Alaska. He says his department is trying to stop it.

Why nobody likes Anchorage’s potential alcohol tax but its powerful sponsor

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The measure is an ambition of the long-serving chairman of the Anchorage Assembly. But it faces an uphill battle, with criticism coming from multiple sides.

Ask a Climatologist: Chukchi Sea ice at record low

Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Ice in the Chukchi Sea is at a record low for this time of year, by a wide margin.

Sitka installs LED lights for a brighter, safer skate park

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

Sitka recently installed overhead lights at the Turnaround Skate Park, a popular hang-out spot for skaters and scooter riders looking to catch some air.