Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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State ends Wellpath contract to run psychiatric institute, could open up contract for bids

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The company will continue to work at the facility through December. The state also has hired a contractor to study whether it makes sense to privatize API.

Defense department chooses icebreaker contractor 

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

Plans to construct a new icebreaker reached an important milestone today. The Defense Department announced it has selected a contractor to design and build the ship.

As Capitol reporters dwindle, Alaska lawmakers grapple with rise of political blogs

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The newest member of the Alaska Capitol press corps isn’t your average reporter — he once made the news for posing for photos in a Speedo. But he’s one of a growing number of political bloggers who are trying to fill in gaps left by Alaska’s shrinking mainstream media.

As part of Dunleavy administration directive, ADF&G considered selling its hatcheries

Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer

When Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveiled his budget proposal back in February, he also issued a directive asking departments to seek out state-owned properties that could be sold in an effort to save money.

Anchorage files appeal over $2M award to former police officer

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The municipality of Anchorage is appealing an award of almost $2 million to an Anchorage police officer who was fired four years ago.

Fairbanks City Council approves ‘cannabis cafes’

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks City Council voted Monday to allow consumption of marijuana at authorized cannabis shops in town.

Southeast business survey shows misgivings over Dunleavy budget

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A questionnaire sent to business leaders across Southeast Alaska found deep misgivings over the governor’s approach to balancing the budget.

Lawmakers urge Dunleavy to continue pursuing BC over transboundary mine pollution

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Lawmakers are urging the Dunleavy administration to continue the state’s engagement with British Columbia over pollution threats from transboundary mining.

Cruise industry responds to community concerns about environmental impacts

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

With another cruise season about to begin, the tourism industry and Juneau are both looking at ways to respond to public concerns about air quality.

‘Ragin’ Contagion’ exercise tests Nome’s ability to respond to widespread disease

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

The fall of 2018 marked one hundred years since the Spanish flu hit Western Alaska, devastating Alaska Native populations and wiping out some villages in the region. This month, public health officials participated in a statewide exercise that tested how communities would respond if a similar widespread airborne disease happened today.