Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, August 4, 2016

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Walker appoints Arctic policy advisor for D.C. office

Associated Press

Gov. Bill Walker has appointed his Arctic policy advisor to lead the state’s Washington, D.C., office.

Majority Republicans worry about possible bipartisan coalition

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Republican primary challengers in some races for seats in the Alaska House of Representatives fear that Republican control is threatened by members of their own party.

BLM to review new ConocoPhillips project in Petroleum Reserve

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska — or NPRA – was first set aside for oil production nearly a century ago. But it wasn’t until last year that the Reserve produced its first barrels: that’s when ConocoPhillips brought its CD-5 unit online. Now, the company is hoping to expand production from the reserve, with a string of new drill sites reaching ever deeper into the NPRA. One of those projects — Greater Mooses Tooth 1 — will start construction this winter.

Banner Helath suffers cyber attack potentially affecting millions

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The company that runs Fairbanks Memorial Hospital has suffered a cyber-attack. Banner Health reports that the hack potentially compromises financial and personal information of over 3 point 7 million patients, other customers and staff in 7 states where it operates.

Bringing UA under single accreditation not viable option, study finds

Josh Edge, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Each of the three main University of Alaska campuses are accredited separately. A study released this week asks would it be more cost effective to bring all the campuses together under one accreditation. The answer: probably not.

Bill would speed Tongass-Mental Health Trust land trade

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A bill before Congress would speed a timberland trade between the federal government and the Alaska Mental Health Trust. It’s part of a larger legislative effort to increase logging in the Tongass National Forest.

Lower 48 wildfires cause Alaska firefighters to head over and help

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

More Alaska firefighters have gone to the lower 48, as wildfires in western states there intensify.

EPA under pressure from air quality advocates in Fairbanks to address air pollution

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Air Quality advocates continue to press the Environmental Protection Agency to address Fairbanks area fine particulate pollution. Representing air quality groups, the law firm Earth Justice notified the EPA this week of intent to sue. Earth Justice Attorney Kenta Tsuda said the action is aimed at forcing the agency to take past due actions.

Attorneys argue for listing bearded seals as threatened

Associated Press

A federal government attorney says Alaska’s bearded seals deserve to be listed as a threatened species because of climate warming’s effect on their sea ice habitat.

Fall Yukon chum run starts stronger than anticipated

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

The Yukon River fall chum run is coming back stronger than initially predicted.

Kombi Life shows two partners traveling from South America to Alaska

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Driving the Americas is a once in lifetime adventure for most who undertake the epic journey from the southern tip of south American to Alaska’s North Slope, but for one couple, who recently completed the trip in a Volkswagen van, travel is a way of life.

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