Alaska News Nightly: March 1, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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U.S. Court Of Appeals Upholds Polar Bear Listing

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. has upheld the listing of polar bears as threatened.

JBER Commander Anticipating Sequester Cuts

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Congress has failed to come up with a deal so the sequester cuts take effect at midnight. But what that may ultimately mean is still a moving target. The Commander at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Colonel Brian Duffy says he would like to be hopeful that Congress will still find a resolution before the late night deadline.

Anchorage Braces For Sequestration Impacts

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Communities are bracing for the automatic sequestration cuts. As KSKA’s Daysha Eaton tells us, plans are already underway in Anchorage.

Legislature Considers Shaving Money From Early Education Programs

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A subcommittee in the legislature is looking to shave money from early education programs. The group tasked with looking at education in the House rolled out their recommendations Thursday night, and has proposed trimming $6 million from Gov. Sean Parnell’s budget. A pre-kindergarten pilot program and two programs focused on teaching parents how to educate young children all saw reductions.

North Slope Villagers File Suit Against Army Corps Of Engineers

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A group of North Slope villagers filed suit Thursday in federal court against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to Brian Litmans, with the environmental law firm, Trustees for Alaska, seven residents of Nuiqsut claim that the Corps violated the Clean Water Act in issuing a permit to Conoco Phillips to fill almost 60 acres of wetlands for the oil company’s Colville Delta 5 project.

Tribes Get Larger Voice At AFN With Bylaw Change

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The Alaska Federation of Natives has changed its bylaws to give tribes more votes during conventions. The move separates tribal votes from tribal corporation votes.

Superior Court Decision Could Impact Water Protection Statutes

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A state Superior Court decision could sidetrack state administration plans to change water protection statutes.  Earlier this week, the court decided in favor of the Chuitna Citizens Coalition in a case involving what is termed “instream flow” rights to Middle Creek,  on the West side of Cook Inlet.  The Coalition filed for instream flow rights in 2009, saying that wild salmon populations in the creek need to be protected.  But the state Department of Natural Resources failed to process the application.  Later, DNR approved a temporary water use permit for PacRim Coal to remove water from the same creek, with the Coalition application pending, so the Coaltion appealed to the courts. The court has decided that DNR failed to follow its own rules.

AK: Rookie

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Thirteen rookies will hit the trail this weekend for the 1000 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. They are an international bunch, hailing from Norway, Russia and even Brazil. Eight call Alaska home, including musher Christine Roalofs who keeps 22 dogs in a barn in her backyard in east Anchorage. Roalofs is a pediatric dentist who fell in love with the idea of racing the Iditarod when she moved to Alaska more than a decade ago.

300 Villages: Haines

This week we’re heading to a northern part of Alaska’s Pandhandle, Haines. The community of over 1800 people is a gateway between the U.S. and Canada. Daniel Lee Henry is a long time community member in Haines.

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