Alaska News Nightly: Monday, March 19, 2018

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Legislature split on budget, taxes and use of Permanent Fund

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The House and Senate finance committee co-chairs have reached an agreement that they’re going to talk about a long-term plan. That may be a step in the right direction. But it’s not clear how much reassurance Alaskans can take from it.

State puts out list of companies that got $75 million in cashable tax credits last year

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

These cash-for-credits recipients used to be kept confidential, but a law passed in 2016 now requires that the state report them.

Feds to drop new habitat rules, ending state’s legal challenge

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

The Trump administration has agreed to rewrite rules that would have made it easier for the government to designate areas as “critical habitat” for endangered species.

Feds approve $1.7M to buy out homes in Newtok

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The state and federal government have announced almost $2 million dollars in funding to buy out homes in the eroding village of Newtok, in Western Alaska.

Snow blocks road to Hatcher Pass; 10 stranded at lodge

Associated Press

Two avalanches have stranded about 10 people at a lodge outside an Alaska state park.

The Cost of Cold: When the only option is diesel

Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

There are a lot of heating options. Electricity, natural gas, wood, coal… even french fry oil. But in much of rural Alaska, and even some cities, the primary heating source is diesel.

The Cost of Cold: Keeping warm in Unalaska

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

For The Cost of Cold, we profile Unalaska resident Travis Swangel, who heats his small home on the island with a Toyo stove.

At 2018 Finisher’s Banquet, tales from a difficult Iditarod

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

The 2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has come to an end, as 52 out of the original 67 mushers have crossed the finish line in Nome.

Wrangell assembly approves new $9 million water plant

June Leffler, KSTK – Wrangell

The Wrangell assembly approved a new $9 million water treatment plant last week. The current plant hasn’t met the town’s needs for several years.

New analysis adds to picture of how belugas are impacted by sea ice loss

Ravenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Fairbanks

Researchers have published a new paper that adds a little more to what we know about how beluga whales are navigating their changing habitat.