Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, March 1, 2018

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Coast Guard makes plans for ramping up Arctic operations with new icebreaker

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

Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft broke some Arctic news in his annual State of the Coast Guard address today. The admiral says the coasties have a huge mission in the Arctic and need the right tools to get the job done.

Senate votes to let car insurers base renewal rates on credit histories

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

In 2003, the state allowed insurers to start using these records for new applicants. But they still couldn’t use them for people who are renewing policies.

Lacking competitive benefits, exodus of troopers causes ‘critically low’ staffing

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Alaska State Troopers are at “critically low” staffing levels, according to a recruitment and retention plan report from the Department of Public Safety.

Forest Service chief, Murkowski hear from Tongass stakeholders

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

The main theme of Friday’s discussion at the Ketchikan Public Library was “Access.”

Forest Service official says fighting Lower 48 wildfires is cutting into Alaska forest services

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

“We’ve seen 8,000 positions across the agency that we have essentially shifted from either providing services, forest management (or) recreation management to fire suppression,” said U.S. Forest Service Associate Deputy Chief Chris French.

KEA chooses contractor for Terror Lake hydroelectric project expansion

Kayla Desroches, KMXT – Kodiak

Last year, the Kodiak Electric Association received a permit to extend its Terror Lake hydroelectric project, and it’s now selected a contractor.

Scientists confirm traditional knowledge regarding seal pup migration

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

Scientists have confirmed what indigenous people have known for centuries — the wind influences the travel of northern fur seal pups.

Ketchikan High School wins state Academic Decathlon competition

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Ketchikan High School’s Academic Decathlon team won the state championship Saturday in Anchorage. They will be headed to the national competition in April.

Dillingham-raised artist’s work draws attention to missing and murdered Alaska Native women

Avery Lill, KDLG – Dillingham

Amber Webb, originally from Dillingham, drew portraits of missing and murdered Alaska Native women on a handmade kuspuk to call attention to the high rate of death by homicide among Alaska Native and Native American women.