Alaska News Nightly: Friday, July 26, 2019

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Alaska House absences draw attention

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Along with Alaska House members who’ve voted yea and nay on three major bills this week, there has been a third category: members who were absent.

State warns striking ferry workers of loss of health coverage

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

The state sent a letter to the more than 400 striking workers represented by the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific warning employees that the state would not be paying health insurance premiums or unemployment compensation if the strike lasts past August 1.

Moody’s sees negative outlook for Alaska’s credit rating

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

If the state’s credit rating were to be downgraded, it would raise the interest rate for the government to borrow money. 

Alaska appeals court sends murder case back to lower court

Associated Press

An Alaska appeals court has tossed out the murder conviction of a Wasilla man serving a 30-year prison sentence in the 2008 death of his 15-month-old daughter.

‘We’re gonna be out on the streets’ Anchorage readies for homeless crisis

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

If Gov. Dunleavy’s budget vetoes stand, the next 30 to 90 days will determine whether hundreds more people will have to move out of housing.

Chair of Rasmuson Foundation, and Dunleavy voter, walks back support for governor

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Ed Rasmuson is a third generation Alaskan from a successful banking family. He’s also a political conservative, and gave $25,000 to a group that supported Republican Mike Dunleavy in his successful bid to become governor last year. But then, Dunleavy proposed steep cuts to social services and other government programs. And, among other cuts, Dunleavy vetoed about 40 percent of the university system’s funding.

Governor’s veto could close Head Start classrooms in Southeast Alaska

Zoe Grueskin, KTOO – Juneau

Tlingit & Haida’s Head Start pre-K program serves 10 communities in Southeast Alaska. Without state funding, they may have to reduce staff, cut spots or close classrooms altogether.

Donlin Gold suspends operations as Smith Creek Fire grows

Krysti Shallenberger, KYUK – Bethel

Temperatures have cooled in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta thanks to some rain, but the lightning that came with those storms has ignited 10 more fires in Southwest Alaska; others have grown. Those wildfires forced Donlin Gold to evacuate the rest of its employees from its mine site.