Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Aug. 23, 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

51 homes burned from McKinley fire, 3 businesses, 80 outbuildings

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Officials dealing with the McKinley fire burning between Willow and Talkeetna released an assessment Friday of damage since the blaze ignited last weekend.

Large chunk of Southcentral deemed an ‘extreme drought’ area for the first time

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The U.S. Drought Monitor has designated a swath of Southcentral Alaska from the Kenai Peninsula, to Anchorage and the Susitna Valley, as being in “extreme drought” for the first time ever. That’s the second most severe category of five, behind only “exceptional drought.”

Poll by anti-tax Gov. Dunleavy shows Alaskans, narrowly, favoring more taxes

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Earlier this summer, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s office paid thirty-five thousand dollars for a poll, but never shared the results publicly. Today, the governor’s office released a copy in response to a public records request.

GOP sends 3 nominees for vacant Alaska Senate seat

Associated Press

A state representative and a deputy commissioner in the Department of Administration are among the three nominees selected by Republican officials for a vacant Alaska Senate seat.

Once vetoed by Dunleavy, funding for Alaska’s arts council is back in the budget

Scott Burton, KTOO – Juneau

Among the funding the Alaska Legislature restored that Gov. Mike Dunleavy let stand was $3,869,600 for the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

ConocoPhillips’ next big oil project in Alaska takes another step forward

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The company hopes to construct a new oil processing facility, up to five drill sites, about 40 miles of permanent roads, a gravel mine and hundreds of miles of pipelines and seasonal ice roads.

Unalakleet’s water troubles persist; city looks for long-term solution

Katie Kazmierski, KNOM – Nome

A pump to the city of Unalakleet’s water supply gave out nearly a week ago, pumping too much of the chemical ferric chloride into the city’s water tank.

Lawsuit blames fatal Butte home fire on gas company, owners

Associated Press

A wrongful death lawsuit blames a natural gas company and property owners for a mobile home fire that killed five young girls.

2 Juneau 13-year-olds in custody after alleged school shooting threat

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau police received a report Wednesday night from someone who overheard two students at Floyd Dryden Middle School talking about bringing a gun to school and shooting people.

New transportation bill could reinstate funding for the Shakwak Project

Claire Stremple, KHNS – Haines

The Yukon’s territorial government has long sought American funding to maintain miles of the Alaska Highway in Canada.

At the moment, Donlin Gold isn’t building a mine. But it is building a church

Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Bethel

The company that wants to build one of the world’s biggest gold mines is currently renovating a church in Chuathbaluk in the middle Kuskokwim River. Donlin says that investing in communities near the mine is being “a good neighbor.”