Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, July 11, 2019

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Lawmakers remain far apart, physically and politically, as clock winds down on veto overrides

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s legislators remained in different physical and political places today. And there’s no likelihood of another vote on overriding Governor Mike Dunleavy’s line-item vetoes.

Murkowski finds EPA criticism of Pebble Mine ‘substantial’

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

The Environmental Protection Agency issued harsh assessments of the proposed Pebble Mine last week, and they’ve made an impression on Lisa Murkowski.

Warmer waters believed to be main cause for dead pink salmon in Norton Sound

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

Norton Sound residents have reported salmon die-offs in unusually large numbers during the last week.

As polar bears encroach on this Alaska village, feds charge whaling captain with illegally shooting one

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

As Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are spending more time near the Alaska North Slope village of Kaktovik. Now, federal prosecutors have charging a whaling captain there with killing one in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

‘Who are the 100?’ If budget vetoes stand, Anchorage shelter says it must choose who stays and who leaves

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

As prospects for a veto override look increasingly slim, organizations that provide aid to low-income, homeless and other needy Alaskans say they have already had to make tough choices. But if Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes stand, they say some of the choices ahead will be even more difficult.

UAA students, staff respond to impending, unprecedented budget cuts

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The University of Alaska is preparing to absorb a 41 percent cut in state funding. At the Anchorage campus, administrators estimate they will have to lay off 700 employees and eliminate more than a third of the school’s academic programs.

Smoke fouls Fairbanks, North Pole area

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Wildfire smoke has been fouling air in many areas of the state, with some of the worst conditions in the Interior, including at North Pole.

Premera Blue Cross pays states $10 million over data breach

Associated Press

Premera Blue Cross is paying $10 million to 30 states following an investigation into a major data breach.

Alaska communities debate proposed location of LNG project

Associated Press

An Alaska community has criticized the process used to select the terminus of the proposed $43 billion Alaska LNG Project.

University cuts could hurt state earthquake center

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Alaska Earthquake Center is among the state programs that receive funding through the University of Alaska, which is targeted for a massive budget cut if legislators do not override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s vetoes.

Artists call on Legislature to fund state arts council

Zoe Grueskin, KTOO – Juneau

If the Legislature does not override the governor’s veto, the Alaska State Council on the Arts will lose funding on Monday, making Alaska the only state in the U.S. without an arts council.