Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

Calls for ‘vigilance’ on Russian military buildup in Arctic

Russia's Arctic ambitions worry regional experts. So do the lack of ambitions on the part of the United States.

Pebble boosts spending to lobby feds

Washington, D.C. firms report Pebble paid them $1.2 million to lobby Congress and the executive branch in 2018.

‘Uber for icebreakers’ idea gains traction

Money for a new polar icebreaker is caught up in the fight over whether to build a wall at the southern border. But there’s more than one way to break ice.

ERA now, Murkowski says

Sen. Murkowski is pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment. Yes, she knows that sounds like 1972 is calling and asking for its protest sign back.

Critics say shutdown will doom Arctic projects in court

The Trump administration continued work on some Alaska oil development projects, despite the partial shutdown. Critics say that could invalidate the government's ultimate decisions to approve them.

Alaska’s US senators veer apart on shutdown votes

Two competing bills to end the partial government shutdown both fizzled. Alaska's senators took different tacks.

Some GOP defied Trump on Russia sanctions, but Alaskans did not

Congress almost passed a measure to keep sanctions on companies affiliated with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. Alaska's Congressional delegation voted to let the Trump administration lift them.

Those 20 ‘new’ interceptors Trump wants in Alaska? They’re not NEW new

President Trump highlighted the role of Fort Greely in the missile defense plan he unveiled Thursday. But what sounded like a call for a major expansion at the Interior base isn't breaking new ground.

In this shutdown, every day is a winding road

Sen. Lisa Murkowski says it's slow-going, but she sees progress at the U.S. Capitol among lawmakers working to end the partial government shutdown, now in its fourth week. 

Protesters target SAExploration in Texas over Arctic Refuge

A group of Native American protesters went to the offices of SAExploration in Houston today to object to work the company wants to do in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Federal furlough drives Alaskans to the unemployment line

Hundreds of furloughed federal workers in Alaska are filing unemployment claims. They'll have to pay back any benefits they receive once they get retroactive pay.

A functioning government or border security? Murkowski wants both

"I've got a lot of people who are saying 'Lisa, you've got to stand with the president. ...'" Murkowski said on the Senate floor. "And then I have an equal number that are saying, 'Please, please, do something to help reopen this government.'"

In Congress, Alaskans are split over shutdown

Republicans in Congress remain mostly united behind President Trump and his rejection of legislation to re-open government departments unless it includes $5 billion for a border wall. But the Alaska delegation is split on this.

Young considers crossing aisle as shutdown grinds on

In Congress, several Republicans are talking about voting with the Democrats to reopen most of the unfunded departments. Among Alaska's delegation to Congress, two say they're warm to the idea, and one isn't saying. 

Build a wall with military funds? Murkowski says no

Trump has been floating the idea of building a wall using military construction dollars. Sen. Lisa Murkowski isn’t on board with that. With 5,700 Alaskans unsure whether they'll miss a payday, she wants to see Congress pass the less controversial bills to at least shrink the number of workers affected.

Murkowski aims to revive public lands bill, despite objection

One of Sen. Lisa Murkowski's first priorities of the year is to pass a 680-page public lands bill. Murkowski nearly passed it last month but was thwarted by a single senator.

DC police: Driver handled ringing phone as bus struck Skagway mayor and her mother

Gerard Derrick James, 45, was arrested Thursday, according to the D.C. Metropolitan Police. They say video footage shows James picked up his ringing cell phone just before impact.

Effects of government shutdown not as severe as in the past

For a number of reasons, the effects of this shutdown are more subtle than in the past.

Skagway mayor and her mother die after hit by DC tour bus

D.C. Metropolitan Police say 61-year-old Monica Adams Carlson of Skagway, and 85-year-old Cora Louise Adams of Washington state were struck in a crosswalk on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Why Alaska’s US senators say ‘no’ to criminal justice reform bill

President Trump is congratulating the U.S. Senate for passing a criminal justice reform bill that shortens sentences for some federal inmates. But both Alaska senators voted against it.