Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

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Murkowski, Sullivan split as immigration reform mires in Senate

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

The future of immigration reform was in doubt Thursday, after two proposals failed to win 60 votes in the U.S. Senate. Alaska’s U.S. senators split their votes, on both measures.

Senate appointee drops out after controversial Facebook comments scrutinized

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

A new possibility to fill the seat emerged. The Republican Party advanced retired Palmer small business owner Vicki Wallner to replace Braund as one of three nominees.

Mallott lambasts Juneau’s annexation bid

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott said Juneau is not behaving like a good neighbor. During a Wednesday speech to the Southeast Conference Mid Session Summit, he lambasted officials for trying to annex parts of nearby Admiralty Island.

Air Force completes another round of cold-weather tests on F-35s at Eielson

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Air Force has completed another round of cold-weather testing on the F-35A that has been undergoing a series of tests at Eielson Air Force Base since it arrived in October. The testing is being conducted in preparation of two squadrons of F-35s that’ll be based at Eielson beginning in 2020.

Juneau Assembly approves 24-hour anchor rule

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

Vessels outside Juneau’s harbors in city waters will need a permit if they drop anchor for more than 24 hours. Port officials say the rule change is designed to prevent derelicts.

Unalaskans want to follow other Alaska communities by banning plastic bags

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

This is not Unalaska’s first attempt to ban single use bags. In 2013 a petition asking the city council to “eliminate the use of plastic bags by Unalaska stores” circulated around the community, but went nowhere.

Kenai Borough may ask tax payers to help pay for a new Kachemak Selo school

Renee Gross, KBBI – Homer

Kachemak Selo, a small Russian Old Believer village at the head of Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, has been dealing with deteriorating school buildings for years. The school, built about 30 years ago, has cracks in the walls and students have testified at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly that they feel they’re at risk every time they enter the buildings.

Meet Utqiaġvik’s Arctic Youth Ambassador, Eben Hopson

Ravenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Fairbanks

“I feel like me carrying his name is a big deal for me because he did things for our people during his time. And I feel I need to do something for our people during this time,” Hopson said about his grandfather.

Anchorage skier Scott Patterson exceeding his Olympic expectations

Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Scott Patterson, Erik Bjornsen and Tyler Kornfield will compete in the men’s 15k skate race tonight, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m.