Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015

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Judge orders Kodiak to comply with public records request

Jay Barett, KMXT-Kodiak
A Superior Court judge this week sided with Kodiak Public Broadcasting Corporation and ordered the City of Kodiak to immediately comply with the state’s public records act in a case of alleged excessive use of force by three Kodiak police officers. The order was handed down by Kodiak Judge Steve W. Cole. KMXT public radio’s parent corporation sued when the city denied the station’s Freedom of Information Act request for details after an incident where three policemen handcuffed and pepper-sprayed 28-year-old Nick Pletnikoff, who is severely autistic, as he was checking his family’s mailbox on September 16th.

New health center opens in Sutton

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage
More than a hundred people turned out this week for a ribbon-cutting at a community health center in Sutton, a town on the Glenn Highway 60 miles northeast of Anchorage. The center will serve residents from Palmer to Eureka. And although the Indian Health Service contributed funding, and the Chickaloon Native Village Council manages the center, it will be open to Natives and non-Natives alike.

Kasigluk students creating winter survival packs

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel
A sad story re-tells itself every winter in rural Alaska—people go out on the tundra and they don’t come back. A group of Kasigluk students are working to change that story by creating affordable winter survival packs for their community. The packs could save lives and win thousands of dollars in prizes for their school.

Third person charged with murder in Anchorage

The Associated Press
A third person has been charged with murder in the shooting deaths Monday of two Anchorage men following a failed drug transaction. Anchorage police say 23-year-old Solomon Brown Tavita is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one of drug misconduct in the deaths of 22-year-old Jeramyha Talauega and 33-year-old Robin Porter.

NCAA hits UAF with sactions

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks women swimmers and basketball players are barred from participating in post-season NCAA events this year. UAF officials say, the NCAA Infraction Appeals committee denied the school’s challenge to the bans.

Haines skiers ask to lawfully XC on roads

Jillian Rogers, KHNS – Haines
With cuts to plowing services, it might be time to consider an alternate mode of transport if that big snow storm ever comes. But skiing on roads in the Haines borough is illegal, and those gliding down local thoroughfares can be dinged with a fine. One ski enthusiast is spearheading a campaign in hopes of changing that minor offense.

Revisiting the halfway house that got me sober

Elasonga Milligrock, KTOO – Juneau
With Alaska recidivism rates hovering just above 60 percent, helping prisoners transition back to society successfully is as important as ever. Some prisoners enter a halfway house and receive substance abuse treatment, housing, help with employment and education.
NORAD celebrates 60 years of tracking Santa

Monica Gokey, KSKA-Anchorage
Three-hundred and sixty-four days a year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command — or NORAD — is the U.S.-Canadian military unit that monitors North American airspace for enemy threats. But one day a year, NORAD turns its watch onto one very popular air traveler.

Counting Santas: Jeff Campbell’s house lights up Juneau

Lisa Phu, KTOO-Juneau
Juneau resident Jeff Campbell bought two truckloads of Christmas lights and decorations at a garage sale more than 20 years ago. Ever since then, he’s been decorating his house in a big way, making his downtown neighborhood a more festive and bright place. People joke that you can see his house from space.

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