Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017

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Murkowski strikes sweet note on immigration

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

While Senator Lisa Murkowski has been appointed to the conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the tax bill. While Murkowski is helping President Trump achieve his tax overhaul, she’s sounding a different message on immigration.

Sexual assault allegations are aimed at a Juneau lawmaker

Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media-KTOO – Juneau

A former Alaska House staff member has alleged two incidents of sexual harassment by Representative Dean Westlake, a Kotzebue Democrat.

Alaska GOP votes to block three House Reps from primaries

Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer

Alaska Republican Party leaders voted Saturday to block Homer Rep. Paul Seaton, Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak from running in the 2018 Republican primaries.

State lease sale draws higher bids than BLM sale of NPRA tracts

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

This year, in a move heralded by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke as “large and unprecedented,” the Trump administration offered the most land ever to oil companies in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.

High Levels of Biotoxin Found in Dead Walrus; Experts Unsure of Regional Affect

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

In the Bering Straits region, 39 dead walrus washed ashore and were documented in various communities between mid-August and end of September.

Anchorage assembly tweaks rules on abating illegal homeless camps

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Members of the Anchorage Assembly took a small step toward addressing complaints about how the city handles homeless camps.

Overturned skiff had been heading to tug boat anchored in Gastineau Channel

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

Authorities have identified two men reported missing after a skiff overturned in Juneau’s Gastineau Channel.

Tongass in transition: Striking a chord with old growth trees

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

The last sizable timber mill in the state has struggled to find enough trees to keep the saws running. But down the road, a small mom and pop operation is thriving with a unique business model.