Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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USGS nominee inclined to show data to Interior bosses

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

If confirmed as USGS director, James Reilly says he’d likely share sensitive data with his higher-ups at the Interior Department if they ask to see it. A demand to release data about the NPR-A led two USGS staffers to quit this winter.

State regulator pushes for stronger laws to deal with abandoned oil wells

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

A top state regulator is asking the legislature to make sure oil companies pay to clean up old oil wells, even after the wells are sold to a different company.

Juneau police end policy of flagging flying weed

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

A change in policy by Juneau police means licensed marijuana producers should now be able to fly their product out of Juneau on commercial airlines. Until recently commercial cannabis was allowed to fly in but not out of Juneau International Airport.

Aleutians East Borough votes to join feds in battle over King Cove road

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

The Aleutians East Borough Assembly approved spending $61,875 to hire a law firm to help them join a lawsuit over the controversial road between King Cove and Cold Bay.

DeeDee Jonrowe second musher to scratch in 2018 Iditarod

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Willow musher DeeDee Jonrowe has scratched from the 2018 Iditarod.

Some mushers deck out in “full body armor” to tackle Dalzell Gorge

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Even years later, the infamous 2014 conditions along the Dalzell Gorge stretch has left a lasting impression on mushers – one that they bring specialty gear for.

Snowier year makes for smoother run to Nikolai

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

It’s one of the snowiest years in recent memory along a notoriously bare stretch of the Iditarod trail. In recent years, low-snow and a bald, icy trail conditions have made for a perilous run down the Dalzell Gorge through Rohn and across the Farwell Burn on the way to the village of Nikolai.

Alaska Railroad’s first black conductor celebrates unprecedented 50 years with company

Victoria Petersen, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Harry Ross never imagined he’d be conducting trains. But in 1968 he became the first black conductor for the Alaska Railroad. March 6th will be Ross’ 50th anniversary with the company, a milestone never reached by any other trainman.

To feed elders, traditional foods take untraditional route

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Traditional foods are healthier, but for a long time, federal regulations prevented elders in care facilities from accessing them. A team in Kotzebue worked to change that. Here’s how.