Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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Murkowski throws support behind opposing Trump emergency declaration

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

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is speaking out more in opposition to President Trump’s emergency declaration to divert money to build a wall on the southern border.

Dunleavy announces Alaska National Guard deployment along Mexico border

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The deployment is a response to President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern U.S. border last month.

Regulators: Top Dunleavy administration official can’t conceal consulting firm’s clients

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Staff at the Alaska Public Offices Commission this week said Mary Ann Pruitt, Dunleavy’s contract communications director, is required to disclose the clients of PS Strategies, an advertising and political consulting firm she owns.

State says BP must prove more Prudhoe Bay wells aren’t at risk of ‘catastrophic failure’

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

In a recent order, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a state oil and gas watchdog agency, said BP “has no evidence that permafrost subsidence will not result in sudden catastrophic failure” at other Prudhoe Bay wells.

Von Imhof to Anchorage School Board: Dunleavy ‘budget bomb’ unlikely, but expect cuts

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Anchorage Republican Senator Natasha von Imhof told the Anchorage School Board Monday night that districts should expect less funding next year, but not at the level proposed by Governor Mike Dunleavy.

Fairbanks North Star Borough schools hold budget meeting in lieu of potential cuts

Robyne, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District is asking for a lot of public engagement this month as it works toward an April 1 deadline to submit a budget for next year. The Board of Education held a worksession last night, the latest in a series of meetings to work on a spending plan shadowed by anticipated big reductions from both the state and the borough.

Third lawsuit filed against Sitka Police Department

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A former jailer in the Sitka Police Department claims that he was defamed and forced to resign his job, after he left a police training program due to an injury.

Prospect of commercial fishing in central Arctic Ocean poses big questions for science

Ravenna Koenig, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Fairbanks

The first legally-binding, multilateral agreement to prevent commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean was signed last year. A key part of that agreement is collaboration on scientific research, which could underpin a management plan later.

Ulsom passes a resting Petit in McGrath to take lead

Alaska Public Media

Last year’s Iditarod champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom is leading the Iditarod. The Norwegian musher blew through the Interior checkpoint of McGrath just before 5 p.m.

Iditarod mushers react to rules reducing max dog team size from 16 to 14

Ben Matheson, KNOM – Nome

Iditarod mushers racing their dogs to Nome this year are doing it with a smaller team on the gangline. The race reduced the maximum team size from 16 to 14. This means quite a bit for race strategies, speeds and the trade-offs that mushers face as they travel across Alaska.

Even trickier parts leading to Nikolai are calmer this year, mushers say

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Iditarod checkpoint in Nikolai is the first community on the north side of the Alaska Range. Mushers arrive after crossing the most technical terrain along the trail, going through a narrow mountain pass then a descent through a gorge.