Alaska News Nightly: March 23, 2010

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Plane Crashes Near Homer Airport
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
A charter plane with three passengers aboard crashed at the Homer Airport this afternoon. All passengers were safely removed from the wreckage, according to Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

Health Bill Includes Reauthorizing Indian Health Care Improvement Act
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC and Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
When President Obama signed the health care bill into law on Tuesday he reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act – something that hadn’t been done in two decades.  The reauthorization was rolled into the broader health care package passed by the Senate and House.

Rural Health Care Providers Benefit from New Funds
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Rural Health care providers say the reauthorization funds could have a major impact for remote communities.

Old Shipwreck Has Sparked Curiosity About Possible Fuel Leak
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
After 58 years, a shipwreck just outside of Juneau’s Auke Bay has piqued the interest of federal and state authorities. Fuel oil may be leaking from the “Princess Kathleen,” a steamship that ran aground and sank at Point Lena. Now, it may be a race against time to empty the underwater tanks before there’s a catastrophic spill.

Ice Safety Focus of UAF Investigators
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A group of Fairbanks researchers travelled to the village of Tanana last week as part of an ice travel safety study. Principle investigators University of Alaska Fairbanks professors Knut Kieland and Bill Schnieder have been leading the National Science Foundation project since 2004.

Profile: Liz Medicine Crow
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Tlingit attorney Liz Medicine Crow works for the Native Policy Center at the First Alaskan’s Institute in Anchorage. Medicine Crow comes from a family where advanced education has always been considered important and women in her family have made academic history more than once. Her sister was the first Tlingit woman to graduate from MIT and her grandmother was one of the first Haida women to get a bachelors degree in the 1930s.

Happy 100, Sitka National Historical Park
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
Sitka National Historical Park officially turns 100 today, but events honoring the milestone got underway this weekend. While the events are being billed as a birthday celebration, the park commemorates some sensitive history.