Alaska News

Alaska News Nightly: December 26, 2014

Legislators Urge Governor Walker To Rein In Budget; $1 Million Loan to Buy Sitka Hospital ‘Breathing Room’; Fire Marshals say PATC Fire Cause ‘Undetermined’; Incoming DNR Commissioner Prepares For New Position; AK: Exploding History Download Audio

Legislators Urge Governor Walker To Rein In Budget

Alaska lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Bill Walker this week urging measures to rein in budget items. Incoming Senate President Kevin Meyer, a Republican from Anchorage and House Speaker Republican Mike Chenault of Nikiski signed the letter, along with the chairs of the finance committees for both chambers. The letter lays out suggestions such as a hiring freeze for all state departments, limiting agency travel and requesting department budgets for the first six months of 2015. Download Audio

$1 Million Loan to Buy Sitka Hospital ‘Breathing Room’

Sitka Community Hospital will get a $1-million infusion of cash from the Sitka assembly, in order to meet short-term expenses. A long-term solution for the hospital’s cash woes is still on the horizon. Download Audio

Fire Marshals say PATC Fire Cause ‘Undetermined’

A report from the State Fire Marshals’ office has ruled the cause of a fire that burned the new alcohol treatment center in Bethel as ‘undetermined’. The building is owned by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation and was fully insured. Download Audio

Incoming DNR Commissioner Prepares For New Position

Mark Myers is preparing to become Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources on January 16th. He is currently Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Myers has also worked for the oil industry as a petroleum geologist and for the federal government- leading the United States Geological Survey. And he was the director of the division of oil and gas when Frank Murkowski was Governor. Myers says he made a difficult decision to resign from that job. Download Audio

AK: Exploding History

It’s been more than 70 years since Unalaska came under attack during World War II, but you don’t have to look hard to find the remnants. The community is littered with old gunnery installations, battered Quonset huts and bunkers – some of which are being preserved for posterity. But there’s history, and then there’s hazard, and the shells and bombs that keep washing up on Unalaska’s shores fall somewhere in between. Download Audio

The Year Gone by and Prospects for the Year to Come

From the Pebble mine order to the election to the sale of our largest newspaper to a website, 2014’s news had a lot of unexpected developments. What do you think was the big news of the year gone by? Was it the National Guard scandal? The death of the HAARP (harp) Project? The beginning of same-sex marriage? Or something else? APRN: Tuesday, 12/30 at 10:00am

Homer Residents Take Part In Christmas Bird Count

The birders met at 8:30 in the morning Saturday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to take part in a decades-old tradition of Christmas bird counting.

Alaska News Nightly: December 24, 2014

Officials Warn of Botulism Outbreak; Investor Pulls Out of BC Mine; LNG Exports Hits Bumps; Lights Return in Ft. Yukon; Maybe No White Christmas in Aleutians; Volunteers Pitch in Haines; Fish Skin Appearing in Modern Fashion

Officials Warn of Botulism Outbreak in Twin Hills

Health officials are warning of a botulism outbreak from a batch of seal oil produced recently in the Bristol Bay village of Twin Hills, near Togiak. A state investigation into the outbreak says more than 25 people may have consumed the seal oil, and they're working quickly to track them down.