Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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UA regents move to consolidate University of Alaska system into one accredited university

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted 8 to 3 to move towards consolidating the entire university system to a single accredited university. The board discussed several proposals for the university system well into the afternoon in Anchorage Tuesday.

Ferry workers strike continues as Marine Highway cancels sailings into August

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced Tuesday it has canceled sailings on eight vessels into the first week of August. Ferries remain tied up in port as the strike by the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific enters its second week.

This time, EPA decision has Pebble mine developers cheering

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

The EPA has thrown out a proposal launched during the Obama administration that some called a “preemptive” veto of the mine. It’s a procedural decision that has bad implications for mine opponents.

Feds award nearly $5M to combat rural Alaska violence

Associated Press

Rural Alaska Native villages are receiving almost $5 million from the U.S. Justice Department to combat numerous public safety problems, including no law enforcement presence in some communities.

NTSB: Pilot safely evacuated passengers from burning plane

Associated Press

Federal investigators credit a pilot with safely evacuating passengers before flames consumed an Alaska commuter plane after it crashed.

Can Alaska learn anything from ‘the Kansas experiment’?

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Public Media – Anchorage

As Alaskans debate Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget cuts, a different state occasionally enters the conversation to serve as a kind of cautionary tale: Kansas.

IGU borrows millions to continue to store natural gas

Robyne, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Interior Gas Utility is borrowing $10 million to continue building storage facilities for natural gas, as plans to hook North Pole residents up to gas service by the end of next year continue.

Ferry workers’ strike chokes supply chain to Gustavus

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

ToshCo is flying milk and eggs into the town of about 450 people as an emergency measure, which will roughly double their retail prices.

Wrangell residents react to ferry strike

June Leffler, KSTK – Wrangell

As ferry workers in Alaska strike, KSTK’s June Leffler asked residents in the island town of Wrangell whether they side with the workers or the state in this dispute.

1 West Valley student remains hospitalized following UAF pool accident

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough school district is not releasing much information about a Friday incident in which three West Valley High School students nearly drown while participating in a pre-season football activity at the University of Alaska Fairbanks swimming pool.

Democratic presidential candidates take to Twitter to weigh in on Alaska politics

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The leading Democratic contenders for the White House are weighing in on Alaska politics and the ferry strike — at least, on social media.

Wildfire near Donlin Gold mine site grows

Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Bethel

It was a quiet weekend for wildfires burning in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Scattered pockets of rain prevented new fires from breaking out, but at least one fire has grown.

Chignik Bay ‘hanging by a thread’ in second year of scant fishing

Alex Hager, KDLG – Dillingham

While some parts of Bristol Bay have had record-breaking years, one South Peninsula village hasn’t been as lucky. After a year and a half of bad runs, Chignik Bay is worried about the survival of the community.