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Alaska Native

The U.S. Department of Interior is asking for public comments on a new policy that will allow it to take land into trust for Alaska Native tribes. Trust lands cannot be sold, nor taxed. Tribes say the change will bring them one step closer to self-determination.

A federal judge says the Constitutional right to vote requires the state to translate election materials into Native languages for voters lacking English proficiency. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has introduced a bill that would require the translations, and other measures he says are needed to ensure equal access to polls. The Native Voting Rights bill would also require federal pre-clearance on decisions about polling places and early voting.

The Funny River wildfire is now 46% contained, meaning fire breaks that flames likely cannot cross surround nearly half the fire.

Alaska Congressman Don Young amended the Maguson-Stevens Act as it moved through the U.S. Natural Resources Committee,to allow subsistence fishermen a voice on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

The board of directors of the regional Native corporation Sealaska named Anthony Mallott as president and CEO. He's the son of former CEO and long-time board member Byron Mallott, who's running for Governor.

A health advisory is in effect for areas from Soldotna to Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna valley as some 200 firefighters work to contain a wildfire near Soldotna. Another 90 firefighters are working to contain the Tyonek wildfire that is headed toward Beluga, the site of the Chugach Electric powerplant at Beluga that supplies electricity to half of Anchorage.

Congressman Don Young, Alaska Republican, has proposed a measure that would set aside federal land in Northwest Alaska for an Arctic deep water port.

In the first of two newscasts today: Alaska Democrats have endorsed U.S. Mark Begich for the seat he now holds, former Juneau mayor Byron Mallott for Governor, and Anchorage attorney Forrest Dunbar for U.S. Congress.

The state has requested an evidentiary hearing in the case of the "Fairbanks Four," who were convicted of the beating death of Mark Hartman in 1997, but new information points to others being responsible for the killing.

In the first of two newscasts today: Alaska Democrats have endorsed U.S. Mark Begich for the seat he now holds, former Juneau mayor Byron Mallott for Governor, and Anchorage attorney Forrest Dunbar for U.S. Congress.

The state has requested an evidentiary hearing in the case of the "Fairbanks Four," who were convicted of the beating death of Mark Hartman in 1997, but new information points to others being responsible for the killing.

One of two newscasts today - The Alaska Democratic Party wrapped up its statewide convention in Nome on Sunday, having endorsed incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Begich for the seat he now holds, former Juneau Mayor Byron Mallott for Governor, and Anchorage attorney Forrest Dunbar for the U.S. Congressional seat  held by Rep. Don Young.

A tribal health organization in southeast Alaska is encouraging members to sign up for health insurance.

In the Northwest Arctic Borough, caribou users are concerned about a big drop in the number of caribou, and potential effects of a proposed road through the area.

The National Park Service is developing new regulations on the use of discarded or shed animal parts, such as bones and antlers, in the use of traditional  handicrafts.

The regional Native corporation for southeast Alaska shows a $35 million loss for last year.

In a half-hour interview, KNBA News Director Joaqlin Estus talks with psychologist Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, who has been researching happiness in Kenya and Israel, and among the Amish in this country, and homeless people in Oakland, California. While different cultures aspire to different forms of happiness -- peace and harmony, say, compared to joy and enthusiasm -- the happiest people have strong personal relationships.

After a court ruling that the Department of Interior (DOI) improperly excluded Alaska tribes from a process long available to lower 48 tribes, DOI announced a proposal that would allow it to accept Alaska tribal lands into trust. Although any action is years in the future, the change would provide certain protections to those lands.

A study on the depletion of herring in Southeast Alaska is prompting discussions on whether and how it may be possible to replenish their numbers.

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