Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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White House budget proposal cuts legal services for low-income Alaskans

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

For the past 50 years, Alaska Legal Services Corporation has offered free legal help to low-income Alaskans. Cases have ranged from private matters, like guardianship designations and protective orders, to statewide issues such as building high schools in rural Alaska. President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint eliminates federal funding for legal services programs nationwide, which would have a direct impact on Alaskans.

Wildlife managers urge conservative hunting of emperor geese

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

After 30 years of waiting and conserving, residents of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta will be able to hunt emperor geese again next month. Wildlife managers and hunters are standing by for the federal government to release the official notice. Then residents will continue a tradition that’s skipped a generation.

Thousands of state employees temporarily locked out of computers

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

A software update error locked thousands of state employees out of their work computers earlier today. Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers this morning, affecting two in five Executive Branch workers.

Hilcorp fined again by state for unauthorized use of nitrogen in wells

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 — the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers.

Two outside companies look to find world-class shale oil

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Amidst a wave of new oil discoveries in Alaska, other companies are hoping to get lucky, too. And in pursuit of the next billion-barrel find, two companies from Texas and Australia are trying something a little different.

Federal air quality officials visit Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks North Star Borough residents have to find ways to burn less and cleaner to bring the community into compliance with federal air quality regulations. That’s the message from Environmental Protection Agency representatives in Fairbanks this week to talk about chronic wintertime fine particulate pollution in some area neighborhoods.

Longtime leader Rosita Worl to leave Sealaska board

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

One of the Sealaska regional Native corporation’s longest-serving leaders is stepping down.

Heating system fire caused last year’s Ice Alaska fire

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

An investigation has concluded that a fire that destroyed the main building at Ice Alaska late last year, originated in a heating system.

Mat-Su Borough bans trapping on some public land

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A ban on trapping within some public lands in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is now official, after a yearlong push by concerned trail users.

Arctic winter sees record low sea-ice cover

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

It’s been a chilly winter here in the Interior and elsewhere around the state. But for the Arctic Ocean, it’s been one long warm spell. That’s led to another record-low year for formation of Arctic winter sea-ice cover.

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