Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

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Tension lingers over handling of investigation into linked homicides 

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A day after news that five Anchorage murders are linked to the same gun used in an officer involved shooting over the weekend, questions remain about how officials responded to public concerns in the months before. Law enforcement had very little evidence connecting the homicides, and police walked a fine line between recruiting the public’s help and not losing their only threads in the case.

Walker names Anchorage lawyer as new chief of staff

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Gov. Bill Walker named a new chief of staff Wednesday, bringing in Anchorage lawyer Scott Kendall to replace Jim Whitaker, effective Dec. 2.

NOAA determines that Iliamna Lake harbor seals are not endangered

Avery Lill, KDLG – Dillingham

NOAA Fisheries announced today that after review, they concluded the listing of Pacific harbor seals in Iliamna Lake as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted.

Anchorage Assembly budget makes several cuts to increase police force

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Anchorage Assembly passed a $504 million operating budget during it’s Tuesday night meeting, up slightly from last year’s budget of $488 million. Increases are going primarily to pay for a larger police force.

Four new pot shops approved in Anchorage

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Anchorage assembly approved four new cannabis businesses within the municipality on Tuesday.

Fairbanks school to change controversial name

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A North Pole school will get a new name. The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board of education approved a measure Tuesday night to rename of Badger Road Elementary. The road is named after a North Pole area pioneer who plead guilty to child rape a century ago. Members of the community claim, however, that the name has long since transcended any connection to the man.

Advocates fear cutting Bethel’s Sex Offender Treatment Program could mean more victims

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

State budget cuts have reduced Bethel’s Sex Offender Treatment Program to a fraction of its former self. The program’s staff has gone from three members with a combined experience of almost 40 years to one member with four months experience.

Emmonak struggles to rebuild water systems following fire

Adrian Wagner, KYUK – Bethel

The City of Emmonak remains without its sewer and water after a fire.  Efforts are underway to improve the situation.

Sockeye Fire trial to begin at end of November

Ellen Lockyer, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Two Alaskans charged with starting the destructive Sockeye wildfire over a year ago will face trial starting late November.

Ask a Climatologist: Alaska’s “relentless” streak of warm temperatures

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

According to an announcement this week from the World Meteorological Organization, 2016 is on track to be the warmest year ever. If current trends continue, it would be the third straight year of record-breaking heat

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