Alaska News Nightly: December 27, 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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Thousands of Alaskans to Lose Unemployment Benefits Saturday

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

About 6,500 Alaskans will see their emergency unemployment benefits come to an end on Saturday.

The federal program was enacted by Congress in 2008 at the beginning of the recession, which is still affecting the economy in certain states.

An effort to reauthorize the program is expected early next year.

Budget Pressure Mounts On Senate Appropriations Committee

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

It’s quiet in the U.S. Capitol these days, but the pressure is on one groups of lawmakers – the appropriators – among them Alaska’s two senators, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich. They have until Jan. 15 to complete a dozen spending bills. If they don’t, we could see another government shutdown, or, less drastically, a type of budget purgatory Congress has been resorting to what’s called a “Continuing Resolution.”

Interior Alaska Temperatures Dip To 50 Below

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Interior low temperatures dipped into the 50 below range again today, as a cold snap that began Monday, deepened across the interior.  Among the coldest readings this morning were minus 55 at Eagle and 54 below at Ft. Yukon. A strong inversion has kept hilltop temperatures in the 10 to 15 below range, while sinking the deepest cold into valleys. The Fairbanks bowl has also suffered from accumulated emissions.

Appeals Court Reinstates Overfishing Charges Against Kookesh, Two Others

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Overfishing charges against former state Senator Albert Kookesh and two other men have been reinstated by the Alaska Court of Appeals.

Human Skeletal Remains Exhumed From Cable House

Emily Forman, KCAW – Sitka

Human skeletal remains discovered in KCAW’s basement in 2011 were removed from the Cable House A week ago on Friday. The bones were identified as Alaskan Native and are now in the custody of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.

Chena River Getting Cleaner

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Chena River is getting cleaner. The waterway that winds through the heart of Fairbanks had been plagued by oil and sedimentation from runoff, but local efforts have turned things around.

AK: Hair

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

Hair is important, especially in high school. But that didn’t stop a few dozen students at Bethel’s Kuskokwim Learning Academy boarding school from shaving off their hair in support of a teacher who has cancer. It was also a chance for some students to remember family members who died from the disease.

300 Villages: Port Heiden

This week, we’re heading to Port Heiden, a community of about 100 people on the Alaska Peninsula. Scott Anderson is mayor of Port Heiden.

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