Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018

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Alaska prosecutors make case for rebuilding amid soaring caseloads

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Alaska has seen an upward trend in crime in recent years. At the same time, the Department of Law’s Criminal Division has been hit with deep budget cuts. Now, prosecutors are making the case for rebuilding their capacity so they can hold more criminal offenders accountable.

Bristol Bay residents weigh in on EPA Pebble reversal

Avery Lill, KDLG – Dillingham

Opponents and advocates of mining in the Bristol Bay region are weighing in on the recent Environmental Protection Agency announcement regarding the proposed Pebble Mine. Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in late January the agency will suspend its withdrawal of Obama-era proposed protections for the Bristol Bay Watershed.

Chief Justice Stowers says courts will examine sex harassment policies

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Stowers quoted the Star Wars character Yoda in encouraging the Legislature to address the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

25-year-old Bethel man picked to lead replacement of state Rep. Fansler

Teresa Cotsirilos, KYUK – Bethel

House District 38 Democrats selected Ben Anderson-Agimuk, 25, from Tununak and Bethel, and Fansler’s former aide, to chair their local party. It’s the caucus’ first step toward replacing Rep. Zach Fansler, who resigned last week amidst assault allegations.

Women’s cross-country ski team eyes first Olympic medal

Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The U.S. women’s cross-country ski team has never won an Olympic medal. The team hopes to make history at the upcoming Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Temperatures drop as Quest mushers race to Dawson

Dan Bross and Zoe Rom, KUAC – Fairbanks

Temperatures again dipped to extremes this morning along the Yukon Quest trail between Circle and Dawson City. Eagle officially registered minus 40, while readings of 50 below or colder were unofficially reported at low points elsewhere along the Yukon and Forty Mile Rivers.

Juneau Assembly to intervene over AEL&P purchase

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

The City and Borough of Juneau will petition state regulators for a seat at the table as it reviews Alaska Electric Light & Power’s acquisition by Hydro One of Canada. The Juneau Assembly unanimously approved $75,000 in legal fees to make its case to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.

Invasive species haven’t made the Bering Sea their home… yet

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

The Bering Sea has kept invasives at bay for now, but warming waters look to make it a more welcoming environment in the future.

Endangered orcas are starving. Should we start feeding them?

Tom Banse, Northwest News Network – Olympia

Washington state officials have proposed a new tack to save the Pacific Northwest’s critically endangered orca population. Their idea is to boost salmon hatchery production by 10 million to 20 million more fish per year to provide more food for the iconic killer whales.