Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018

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Why Alaska’s US senators say ‘no’ to criminal justice reform bill

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

President Trump is congratulating the U.S. Senate for passing a criminal justice reform bill that shortens sentences for some federal inmates. But both Alaska senators voted against it.

St. Paul Island fears losing air service in Ravn purchase

Zoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Unalaska

St. Paul Island could lose all air service starting Thursday and the city fears it will not return until Ravn Alaska’s airplanes are certified to fly over open water.

Alaskans see extended health insurance enrollment period following November quake

Kirsten Swann, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Regular open enrollment closed December 15, but when FEMA issued an emergency declaration in response to the Nov. 30 quake, it triggered something called an exceptional circumstances special enrollment period — and extra 60-day window to apply for health insurance via the federal exchange.

After big earthquake, aftershocks continue to rattle Alaska

Associated Press

Nearly three weeks after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook up Southcentral Alaska, the state continues to register frequent aftershocks.

Alaska man charged in bogus threat against Lafayette College

Associated Press

Federal authorities say an Alaska man has been charged in a bogus online threat that disrupted exams and a graduation ceremony at an eastern Pennsylvania college earlier this year.

Donlin Gold signs deal with AMHTA to protect Cook Inlet wetlands 

Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Bethel

Donlin Gold has signed an agreement with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to protect some of its wetlands in Cook Inlet.

US future in Arctic hinges on expanding its icebreaker fleet, Coast Guard says

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

There’s a heavy demand from scientists to use the Coast Guard’s icebreakers to do research in Arctic waters. But with only two icebreakers in its entire fleet, the Coast Guard’s capabilities are limited.

Anchorage biz supplies military women with practical fashion

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Gaps in the clothes and accessories available to service-members led an Anchorage entrepreneur to try meeting a market demand that’s particularly acute for women in the military.

Anchorage plastic bag ban postponed to March

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Anchorage’s pending ban on plastic bags is getting a slight delay.

Fairbanks borough installs energy-efficient LED lights at recycling center

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough replaced all the old fluorescent tubes at the Central Recycling Facility Monday with much more-efficient LED lighting. It’s one of several energy-efficiency efforts the borough has undertaken this year that will save taxpayers nearly a million dollars in the coming years.