Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, June 6, 2016

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Sweeney nomination wins committee approval

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

Alaskan Tara Sweeney’s nomination to be assistant Interior secretary for Indian Affairs cleared a U.S. Senate Committee today with no opposition – though there may still be one hang-up.

US, Russia agree on shipping standards for Bering Strait

Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

New standards were recently introduced to protect transiting vessels and the marine environment in the waters off Northwest Alaska. Those standards go into effect in the Bering Strait on Dec. 1.

Special audit finds Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority violated multiple state laws

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority violated state statutes by investing nearly $45 million dollars in commercial real estate. The Trust’s board violated other laws by purposely trying to keep some board issues out of the public eye. Those are the findings of a special audit of the Trust released yesterday by the Alaska Division of Legislative Audit..

Legislative ethics bill will keep issue off fall ballot

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

It looks like voters will not have a chance this fall to weigh in on a legislative ethics ballot measure.

New Anchorage fire chief is first woman to lead the department

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Jodie Hettrick has been appointed to lead the Anchorage Fire Department, the first woman to be fire chief in Alaska’s largest city, according to an announcement Wednesday from the mayor’s office.

Anchorage Assembly member Tim Steele announces resignation due to ‘serious health issue’

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Early this morning, Anchorage Assembly member Tim Steele announced that he would be resigning from his position due to a “serious health issue.”

Newest megaship docks in Juneau for the first time

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

The newest megaship to ply Alaska waters arrived in Juneau Tuesday for the first time. The 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss was specially designed for sailing in Alaska and will be making weekly stops in Juneau through the season.

Totem pole represents long-delayed healing for descendants of Douglas Indian Village

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

Members of the T’aaḵú Ḵwáan gathered today at Savikko Park in Douglas for the raising of the Yanyeidì Gooch kootéeyaa, or Wolf totem pole.

Social media post criticizes Trident Seafoods, Gulf of Alaska trawl fleet for halibut bycatch

Daysha Eaton, KMXT – Kodiak

A fisherman based out of Homer posted images on social media of halibut bycatch headed for the grinder at Kodiak’s Trident Seafoods processing plant.