Alaska News Nightly: Monday, May 13, 2019

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Three dead after two planes collided midair near George Inlet

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Two floatplanes with a combined total of 16 people on board crashed Monday afternoon in the George Inlet area near Ketchikan.

Senate committee goes further than House in repealing controversial crime law

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The Senate Finance Committee passed House Bill 49 on Sunday after adding elements of a criminal justice package proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Alaska lawmakers are trying to fight crime by toughening prison sentences. Not everyone agrees that will work.

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

People who work with released prisoners say the best way to combat crime is enhancing access to programs that target mental health problems and drug addiction — not increasing prison terms.

Fire officials take preventative measures to combat Oregon Lakes Fire

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fire fighters took preventative action yesterday against the Oregon Lakes wildfire, south of Delta Junction. The blaze is consuming dry grasses and dead trees on military training lands, previously burned in 2013.

University of Alaska begins transition for Anchorage campus’s teacher education program

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska is making progress restructuring its teacher education program, following the University of Alaska Anchorage’s loss of accreditation for its initial licensure program.

Workplace anti-discrimination agency sues free sample company, alleges ADA violations in Juneau

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

A Juneau woman is at the center of a federal lawsuit against the company that employs the people who give out samples at Costco. The suit alleges the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Military begins Northern Edge exercises in Alaska

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Around 10,000 service members participate in Northern Edge, with exercises primarily above the Alaska Range and Gulf of Alaska.

Eielson GPS signal-jamming exercise may affect navigation devices, cellphone apps

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Eielson Air Force Base has begun a series of exercises that may cause intermittent problems for navigation systems and other electronic devices around the Interior over the next couple of weeks.

Rangers rescue Denali climber hurt in snowboarding fall

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The National Park Service rescued a climber Sunday on Denali who had been injured in a fall days earlier while snowboarding down the mountain, the tallest in North America.

Claiming two first ascents, climbing group seeks to create more opportunities for women in the mountains

Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Last month, an all-female group of mountaineers flew high into the mountains of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. After nine days, they claimed two first ascents of unnamed peaks.

Shaktoolik students save abandoned bearded seal pup

Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM – Nome

An abandoned and starving bearded seal pup is making her way towards good health thanks to a group of Shaktoolik students.