Alaska News Nightly: February 5, 2014

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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Who Should Pay For Public Education?

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Every year, politicians struggle with how much money to put toward public education. Now, they’re asking another question. Who should pay for it? One legislator is making the case that local governments shouldn’t be obligated to contribute to school budgets.

Shively Takes Aim At Recent Anti-Pebble Mine TV Spot

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The proposed Pebble Mine isn’t at the permit stage yet, but it continues to make news. This week, anti-mine groups released a letter signed by more than 300 scientists opposing the project, and the Pebble Partnership has announced a shuffle at the top. Attorney Tom Collier will become CEO, taking over from John Shively, who will stay on as chairman of the board. Meanwhile, Shively is taking aim at a recent anti-Pebble TV spot.

Senate Passes Farm Bill

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Senate passed a four-year farm bill Tuesday that includes Payments in Lieu of Taxes. The so-called PILT program sends some $26 million a year to Alaska communities adjacent to non-taxable federal lands.

Richardson Highway Reopens After Avalanche Debris Removed

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The wait is over for residents in Valdez. The Richardson Highway is now completely open to motorists ahead of schedule. The announcement comes after avalanches buried and flooded the roadway nearly two weeks ago.

Board Of Fish Contemplates Kenai River King Conservation

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

The state Board of Fisheries continued deliberation over dozens of proposals for Cook Inlet fishing industries today. Some steps were made in the direction of conserving Kenai River king salmon, but many other issues are due for some attention.

Cook Inlet Salmon Changes Could Benefit Mat-Su

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Mac Minard, is a fisheries biologist now working as a consultant for the Mat-Su Borough. He says the board’s action today focuses primarily on Kenai River king salmon, but it could be beneficial to the Mat-Su on two fronts.

Legislation Allows Pre-2008 Canadian Polar Bear Trophies Into U.S.

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. House today passed a bill that included a provision allowing some 41 American sport hunters to bring polar bear trophies home from Canada. It’s an issue Alaska Congressman Don Young has been working on for five years. Young, on the House floor, said the animals were shot in Canada, before the bear was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 2008.

2 Minors Charged In Illegal Musk Ox Killings

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

Two minors were charged in Nome in January with 11 counts of wanton waste of big game. The case comes from an incident a year-and-a-half ago near Brevig Mission in which a herd of musk ox were illegally killed and not harvested. At the time of the incident the defendants were 13 and 10 years old.

Yukon Quest Leaders Race Into Dawson City

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A fast pace at the front of the pack has Yukon Quest teams spread out over nearly 200 miles of trail.  Cody Strathe who’s running in 4th place isn’t expected into Dawson city until the early evening, roughly 18 hours after the first team arrived at the half way point. This year’s Yukon Quest won’t break any official records because of trail reroutes, but the pace itself is definitely one for the books.

U.S. Ski Team’s Winning Formula Includes Plenty Of Fun

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

On the Cross Country Skiing World Cup scene, the U.S. Women are known as the team that has the most fun. And you can bet they’ll have more glitter, face paint and fancy socks than any other Olympic team in Sochi. The accessories may seem silly, but they’ve also become an important element in the phenomenal success of the team.

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