Alaska News Nightly: May 19, 2014

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Report Says U.S. Participation In Arctic Council Lacks Coordination, Follow-Through

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

A report released Monday from the Government Accountability Office suggests U.S. participation in the Arctic Council lacks coordination and follow-through.

The U.S. and other member nations in the Council have agreed to dozens of recommendations over the years. They address, among other things, opportunities and challenges that arise as ice retreats from the region.

The GAO found the State Department, which leads the U.S. team, lacks a joint strategy for acting on these recommendations, leaving federal partner agencies unsure how to prioritize the work.

The GAO says there’s also no system for measuring outcomes.

The State Department notes the GAO report only addresses the many recommendations of the Council.

The report does not cover the more formal commitments the U.S. makes in international agreements. The State Department announced in February it will boost its Arctic representation with a special representative for the region.

Former Executive Editor Pat Dougherty Speaks On ADN Sale

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

It’s been a little more than two weeks since the Alaska Dispatch took ownership of the Anchorage Daily News. Pat Dougherty was the Executive Editor of the Daily News and had been with the paper for 34 years. He’s speaking publicly about the sale for the first time. He says he retired from that position when the sale became final because he and Dispatch founder Tony Hopfinger wouldn’t have been able to work together.

Dougherty says he was surprised when he first heard that Alaska Dispatch publisher Alice Rogoff was buying the paper.  And he says there’s one thing about the sale he wants the community to understand.

Crews Work To Contain Wildfire Near Tyonek

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

State fire crews are scrambling to contain a wildfire near Tyonek on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Assemblywoman Proposes Anchorage Labor Law Changes

The Associated Press

An Anchorage assemblywoman is rolling out a proposal to repeal Mayor Dan Sullivan’s labor law changes.

Democrats Leave Nome With Updated Platform, Candidate Endorsements

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

The Alaska Democratic Party ended its weekend convention in Nome Sunday with resolutions on issues ranging from Alaska Native rights to same-sex marriage and came away with a full lineup of candidates for key November races.

State Finds No Health Impacts From Aurora Energy Plant

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

An analysis by the state finds no health impacts from coal ash and dust from the downtown Fairbanks Aurora Energy Plant. Particulates from the facility drift onto properties in the surrounding neighborhood, but the state report dispels health concerns.

Bethel Novelist Wins Rasmuson Grant

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

Don Rearden has won a Rasmuson Project Award grant of $7,500 to turn his novel, The Raven’s Gift, into a screenplay.

Remembering Harvey B. Marvin

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

Tlingit elder Harvey B. Marvin has died at the age of 81. Marvin grew up in Hoonah, worked for the public health service in Sitka and was the state of Alaska’s first Native auditor.

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