Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019

Stories are posted on the statewide news page. You can subscribe to Alaska Public Media’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @AKPublicNews

‘Pride’ and ‘sadness’ for local Alaska crews who saved some homes from wildfires, and saw others burn

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Dozens of wildland firefighters have arrived from the Lower 48, and authorities say they’re trying to shift their efforts from defense to offense. But for the first two days, it was largely local crews responding to the fire.

Caribou Lake Fire grows to 700 acres overnight

Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A wildfire burning just outside Homer is threatening nearly 30 cabins. The Caribou Lake Fire, 25 miles northeast of the city, grew to an estimated 700 acres today.

Swan Lake Fire pushes Cooper Landing’s smoky air quality off the charts, literally

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Cooper Landing is registering some of the worst air quality readings in the country this week, due to smoke from the Swan Lake fire.

Pentagon scraps Fort Greely missile plan

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

The Pentagon is canceling a project to improve its ground-based missile interceptors, most of which are housed at Fort Greely in the Interior of Alaska.

Will EPA veto Pebble? Boss of agency says it’s not his call

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

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency was in Alaska this week. He talked about several big controversies – like narrowing the definition of wetlands and chemical pollutants in drinking water. But he wouldn’t discuss the hottest Alaska conflict facing the EPA: the proposed Pebble mine.

Trump’s path to ‘energy dominance’ in Alaska hits a key obstacle: lawyers

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The Trump administration famously proclaimed “the only path for energy dominance is a path through the great state of Alaska.” One of the biggest impediments to that path? Lawyers.

Veto to debt reimbursement could raise your tax bill

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Halving the amount of money for school bond debt reimbursements could mean local governments look to property taxes to close gaps.

To bolster financial options for refugees, a state program works to get them into farming

Amy Mostafa, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

An expanded program of Alaska’s Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services is teaching new Alaskans how to grow food and run a farm business. They had their first farm-to-table pop up earlier this month. And they’ve got plenty more Alaska grown.