Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, April 5, 2018

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Senators aim for $1,600 dividends, early school funding

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

It’s likely Alaska Permanent Fund dividends will be roughly $1,600 dollars this year. That’s because the Senate Finance Committee’s draft version of the state budget includes the same amount as the House.

As oil spill response vessels arrive, Alyeska argues Prince William Sound safer than ever

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy desk – Anchorage

Alyeska Pipeline Service Company is bringing on Edison Chouest as a new contractor responsible for oil spill prevention and response. The switch has drawn scrutiny and criticism. So Alyeska is trying hard to reassure Alaskans that Prince William Sound — the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill — will be safer than ever before.

Northern Dynasty and First Quantum extend deadline for finilizing Pebble option agreement

Avery Lill, KDLG – Dillingham

In December, Northern Dynasty Minerals and First Quantum Minerals announced that First quantum had agreed to buy into Pebble at $150 million for the option to become a 50 percent owner of the Pebble Limited Partnership at the end of four years. On Thursday, the companies extended the deadline to finalize that option agreement from April 6 to April 30.

Searchers recover body of man missing out of Whittier

Associated Press

The body of a man missing on a weekend boating trip out of Whittier has been recovered.

Mat-Su Borough looks to change school funding formula

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A proposed ordinance before the Mat-Su Assembly would direct the borough to calculate funding of schools as a percentage of the property taxes it takes in each year, and it would set the rate for five years.

Political operative accused of battery in Vegas

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

Sen. Dan Sullivan’s former campaign manager Ben Sparks may be facing arrest following a bizarre report of domestic violence in Las Vegas.

Sitka herring fishery closes early, 8,300 tons short of quota

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

The Sitka sac roe herring fishery has shut down early this year, falling 8,330 tons short of this year’s guideline harvest level.

Wrangell cancels it’s 65-year-old King Salmon Derby

June Leffler, KSTK – Wrangell

“This time people aren’t going to be able to fish for quite a while and retain the fish. So this will get people really excited to get on the water and compete.”

Mistake invalidates ban on distilleries serving cocktails

Associated Press

Members of the Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Board have been told that their January vote forbidding distilleries from serving alcoholic mixed drinks is invalid.

Alaska welcomes home Olympians in gold medal celebration

Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

“This may be the first [medal] in women’s cross-country [skiing], but it’s not going to be the last,” Alaskan Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall said.