Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017

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Zinke tweets beer pic showing he’s A-OK with Murkowski

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

If harsh words were spoken, Sen. Lisa Murkowski appears to have patched things up with Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke. Zinke tweeted a picture of himself and Murkowski having beers together, two Alaskan Brewing Company pale ales.

Lt. Gov. Mallott says he and Gov. Walker will run for re-election

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott said Wednesday that he and Gov. Bill Walker will run for re-election next year.  He also said they’ll run together. Even for incumbents, that may be an uphill fight.  

Both sides seek to drop Alaska abortion lawsuit

Associated Press

Abortion-rights advocates and the state of Alaska are seeking to dismiss a lawsuit after the state medical board adopted new regulations for abortions after the first trimester.

Britsol Bay sees an unexpectedly large salmon run 

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

It appears that this year the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run has blown forecasts out of the water. The state’s preliminary tally for this year’s total run is 56.2 million. That’s about 35 percent bigger than the preseason forecast. So far, the harvest now stands at 37.5 million fish, which is 10 million more than was expected.

Foretold Disaster – the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground, spilling 11 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound. We sometimes look back and see it as an unprecedented, unthinkable event. But, in fact, people warned about it — and they tried to prevent it. Before the pipeline was even built, fishermen in Cordova fought to keep oil tankers out of the Sound.

Climate change may have driven gray whale up Kuskowkim

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

Climate change may be responsible for pushing Alaska’s Gray Whales up into estuaries and rivers like the Kuskokwim.

Changing climate pushes polar bears toward more dangerous interactions with humans

Carter Barrett, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Human-polar bear interactions are part of life in Arctic communities, but as melting sea ice forces polar bears onto dry land, they are becoming more common and potentially more dangerous. This is the message of a recent scientific paper.

Climate expert predicts warmer-than-normal fall, continuing 10-year trend

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

National Weather Service climate expert Rick Thoman said there’s a good chance that all of Alaska will be warmer than normal in August and the next couple of months. But he said there’s near-certainty that coastal areas along the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering and Beaufort seas will be warm through October.

Southcentral Alaska to feel hotter weather this weekend

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Unseasonably warm spell weather is coming for Southcentral Alaska, just in time for the weekend.

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