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KNBA Morning Newscast for Wednesday July 08, 2015

Goldwater institutes files lawsuit challenging ICWA

By Daysha Eaton, KYUK

The Goldwater Institute has filed a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of core provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA.

Supporters say the lawsuit is part of an effort to reform state and federal laws they say discriminate against abused, neglected and abandoned Native American children by allowing cultural heritage and race to trump the well-being of the child. They say placing a child with a Native family or tribal member is not always in the best interest of the child.

KNBA Morning Newscast for Tuesday July 7, 2015

Three Alaska Native regional for-profit corporations form an alliance

By Jenn Ruckel, KNOM

Three coastal Native corporations have joined together to form the Inuit Arctic Business Alliance. Bering Straits Native Corporation, NANA Regional, and Arctic Slope Regional announced the partnership last week.

Tara Sweeney with Arctic Slope Regional said the hope is to build a strong foundation for future shareholders.

Photo: Zachariah Hughes, KSKA

Governor holds back $200 million in oil tax credit payments

Gov. Bill Walker has reduced by $200 million the amount available to pay for oil tax credits this fiscal year. In a letter to legislative leaders, Walker said the state will continue funding credits this year but at a slower pace until a more sustainable credit system is developed or the state financial situation improves. The new fiscal year started yesterday.

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Outgoing Mayor Dan Sullivan packs

By Zachariah Hughes, APRN

Today [July 1] marks the end of Dan Sullivan's six years as mayor of Anchorage. As Sullivan packed up his office in city hall, he spoke with told KSKA reporter Zachariah Hughes about what he'll keep.

Sullivan often calls himself the "CEO of the City," and has an equally candid, business-like approach to administrative transition, saying, “There's nothing magic about it."

Fire danger remains high

Cooler weather is helping fire crews, and there have been no new evacuations. However 314 fires are burning in Alaska, and fire danger remains high.  Eight fires, consuming 190-thousand acres are burning near the village of Tanana, which is under voluntary evacuation. Those fires are zero percent contained.

The Rex Complex fire  near Anderson, at 16-thousand acres, is 15% contained. 

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State assistance applications available

  Alaska's largest tribe is boycotting FedEx, a sponsor of the Washington, D.C. NFL team whose name and mascot many consider derogatory to Native Americans. The Juneau Empire reports the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Thursday that it has told tribal employees use of FedEx services will be discontinued.  FedEx is one of the team's top sponsors and owns naming rights to the Washington D.C. stadium. 

Wayside closures will affect travelers on Glenn, Richardson and Tok Cutoff highways

Volunteers from Galena 40 miles upriver from Nulato are taking boats to Nulato to help with the evacuation. The fire was sparked by lightning on Sunday just a mile from the village of 270. 

Cart St. fire near Sterling on the Kenai Peninsula is now 25 percent contained after burning 11 structures. The Sockeye fire near Willow, 40 miles north of Anchorage, is 79 percent contained after burning 26 homes. 

A break in Alaska's unseasonably warm weather is helping firefighters fight fires in Southcentral Alaska. The Sockeye fire is 73% contained after burning 26 homes. Evacuees are returning to the burn area. 

Gov. Bill Walker declared a state disaster in response to damage from fires on the Kenai Peninsula.

About 200 people in Juneau met in a suicide prevention conference that started with information about the link between strong trauma and suicide, and discussions of how to provide children with care that helps build resilience.. 

Stefan Hinman, Public Information Officer / Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Evacuation area reduced, and opened to homeowners who lost homes

  By Liz Ruskin, APRN

Managers of the Sockeye Fire near Willow plan to begin letting residents back into the evacuation area today. At 10 this morning, the evacuation zone will be reduced to the fire perimeter line, controlled by nine security checkpoints. Homeowners who have lost homes will be let into the fire zone starting at 11. The evacuation is set to end entirely on Saturday but security checkpoints will remain in place through the weekend.

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