Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnDownload AudioNOAA Proposes Critical Habitat For Ringed Seals Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage & The Associated PressA federal agency has proposed about 350,000 square miles of ocean off Alaska’s north and west coasts as critical habitat for the seal that’s the main prey of polar bears.BOEM Report Says Chukchi Sea Drilling Runs Heightened Risk Of Large Spill Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DCThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding hearings around the state on lease sale 193, in the Chukchi Sea. In its latest Environmental Impact Statement, BOEM says there’s likely more oil there, but also more risk of a large oil spill.ASD Seeking Solutions To Staff Morale, Hiring And Retention Problems Anne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageFinancial uncertainty at the Anchorage School District is leading to morale problems and an inability to attract qualified teachers. The School Board is looking for solutions.Iditarod Boosts Payout to $70k for 2015 Winner Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – AnchorageIditarod 2015 will have the highest winner’s payout in the race’s history. Stan Hooley, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race CEO, says the first to Nome will receive $70,000, that’s almost $20,000 more than the winner earned last yearCaribou, Reindeer Compete For Space On The Seward Peninsula Francesca Fenzi, KNOM – NomeFor decades, caribou have posed a threat to reindeer herders on the Seward Peninsula – their numbers swelling, even as the reindeer population shrinks.State Releases Design Study For Tustumena Ferry Replacement Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – HomerThe ferry Tustumena (tuss-tah-MEE-nah) is getting old. The state is looking into options for repairing or replacing the aging vessel, which serves parts of southcentral and southwestern Alaska, Kodiak Island, and the Aleutian chain. On Dec. 2, the Department of Transportation released the design study report for replacement with an estimated construction cost of $237 million.Burst Water Pipe, Flood Temporarily Shut Down Juneau Homeless Shelter Casey Kelly, KTOO – JuneauThe Glory Hole, Juneau’s emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen, is temporarily out of commission following a burst water pipe and flood at the downtown facility Sunday evening.Compliance Ordered for Ketchikan Water Supply Leila Kheiry, KRBD – KetchikanA compliance order from the state Department of Environmental Conservation spells out what Ketchikan is required to do over the next couple of years to address ongoing concerns over the city’s drinking water.Artists Flock To Juneau’s Public Market Kayla Desroches, KTOO – JuneauArtists and vendors from all over Alaska and some from the Lower 48 landed in Juneau last weekend for The Public Market. It’s part Christmas craft fair and part gallery.