Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Aug. 26, 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

McKinley Fire close to 50 percent contained, evacuation levels lowered

Casey Grove and Phillip Manning, Alaska Public Media & KTNA – Talkeetna

Officials lowered evacuation levels for the McKinley Fire between Willow and Talkeetna Monday, allowing some residents to get into their homes.

‘Do they know that it’s that bad?’ Drivers describe ‘hellfire’ on Sterling Highway Sunday

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

As managers try to balance fire hazards with residents’ transit needs, drivers describe an unexpected inferno along the Sterling Highway overnight.

Kennicott rescues boat passengers in Canada’s Inside Passage

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau

An Alaska Marine Highway ferry rescued five people after a small boat capsized Friday morning near Bella Bella, B.C. in the Inside Passage.

Dunleavy sends letter encouraging potential Pebble investor

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

Officially, Gov. Dunleavy is neutral on the Pebble mine. But a letter he wrote to a potential investor in the controversial project calls his neutrality into question.

Rockslide blocks Pogo mine entrance

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Officials with the federal agency that regulates mine safety have confirmed that a rockslide at the Pogo mine blocked access to one of the mine’s entrances last week.

Water shortage looms in Chignik Lagoon

Tyler Thompson, KDLG – Dillingham

A boil water notice has been in effect since July 2. As of Thursday, residents had only 5,000 gallons of drinkable water left.

Dunleavy appoints 2 new members to human rights commission

Associated Press

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed two new members to the state human rights commission.

In Alaska, Education Secretary DeVos touts alternative schooling agenda

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is in Alaska this week, traveling the state to see how certain communities are using alternatives to traditional K-12 public schooling.

Veteran musher Jim Lanier denied entry into 2020 Iditarod

Associated Press

A veteran Iditarod musher says he’s been denied entry into the 2020 race.

Southeast Alaska’s summer chums returned much lower than expected

Angela Denning, KFSK – Petersburg

The fishing season for fall chum salmon in Southeast Alaska is just getting going. But earlier runs of summer chum this year turned out to be unexpectedly very poor. Hatchery managers in the region are struggling to get enough eggs for raising future generations of fish.

Elim residents ride on new roads; Kawerak says they’ll improve quality of life

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

Youth in Elim are starting to trade in their bikes for scooters and roller-skates now that they have paved roads to ride on. Through a $12-million project funded by Kawerak, Elim now has approximately three miles of paved streets throughout town.