Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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Former climate official says details surrounding his reassignment look “damning” for Trump admin

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

A new federal report sheds some light on how job reassignments in the Department of the Interior were handled last year.

Alaska Senate set to debate state budget on Thursday

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The biggest difference from the House budget is that the Senate bill does not include $1.28 billion for school funding. The Senate would provide that money in separate legislation.

Workplace smoking ban advances

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The bill was changed so that it won’t affect the use of electronic cigarettes or marijuana. It also would allow municipalities to opt out of the workplace smoking ban.

Army Corps defends review process for Pebble Mine

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Another environmental assessment of the proposed Pebble Mine is underway. This time, the lead agency is the Army Corps of Engineers. In a call with reporters today, the Army Corps addressed criticism it’s already receiving as it weighs whether to give the controversial mine a permit.

Walker’s bills to swap oil tax credit debt for bond debt making progress

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

A bill that would have the state issue bonds to pay oil and gas companies is on the move in the legislature.

Alaskan educators advocate for increased K-12 funding

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

School administrators, teachers and parents from across the state testified before the House Finance Committee Tuesday in support of increased school funding. Rep. Les Gara’s HB 339 would increase the base student allocation by $100 to $6,030.

Wind storm hits Southeast; Ketchikan clocks biggest gusts

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Ketchikan was warned Tuesday morning to expect a big storm that afternoon, and they weren’t kidding. Weather spotters clocked sustained winds around 70 mph and gusts exceeding 100.

Walker’s climate team meeting in Fairbanks for two days

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Governor Walker’s Climate Action Leadership team is meeting in Fairbanks today and tomorrow. The 20 member team appointed in December, is charged with climate change mitigation, adaptation, research, and response.

Juneau Empire and Alaska sister papers sold again

Jacob Resneck and Aaron Bolton, KTOO – Juneau and KBBI – Homer

The 105-year-old Juneau Empire has been sold to a Canadian newspaper chain just six months after its longtime owner offloaded some of its Alaska holdings to GateHouse Media.

Juneau Hidden History ‘docu-follow’, reality TV show premieres this week

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau Hidden History group shown searching for the lost Rocker Mine near Juneau.