Alaska News Nightly: July 11, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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Former State Rep. Heinze Dies In Homer Floatplane Accident

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

A floatplane accident in Homer Tuesday night claimed the life of former Alaska state legislator Cheryll Heinze, who represented Anchorage for one term in 2003 and 2004. Federal investigators are unsure what exactly caused the Cessna 206 carrying Heinze and four others to flip over while attempting to land on Homer’s Beluga Lake.

Lawmakers Search For Ways To Lower Energy Costs

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Legislators began looking for ways to help lower energy costs for Alaskans on Wednesday – but they aren’t finding many options yet.

U.S. House Repeals Health Care Overhaul

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. House of Representatives just voted to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul. Representative Don Young joined his entire party in the vote.

School Funding Programs Extended For A Year

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau & Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

A federal funding program key to Southeast school districts will remain in place for another year.

Troopers, Delta Residents Search For Missing Man

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska State Troopers and dozens of Delta Junction-area volunteers are searching for a 20-year-old man who hasn’t been seen since Sunday evening.

Beluga Had Numerous Infections

The Associated Press

Necropsy results show the baby beluga whale rescued in Naknek last month had multiple infections, including in his heart and lungs.

Candidate Deadline To Back Out Of Election Passes

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The ballots closed just a few minutes ago in the final formality before next month’s primary elections. Candidates who had filed to run in the party races had until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday to remove their names from consideration.   Since the election season began, 11 people have backed out of running – and two have been refused a spot on the ballot.

Detained Jet Skiers Back In US

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

Six American jet skiers are back on American soil after spending five days in detention in Lavrentiya, Russia. The group crossed the Bering Strait without proper documentation while filming for the reality show Dangerous Waters.

Animator Uses Kickstarter To Fund Interactive Story Project

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

An animator from Fairbanks just raised over $40,000 on Kickstarter to build an interactive story about a whale on driftwood stilts. Kickstarter is a website that provides a platform for grassroots, do-it-yourself fundraising for projects like movies, music and journalism. Now based in San Francisco, Gabriel Smetzer is able to devote himself fully to the project with the money he raised.

UAF Getting Winter Terrain Park

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks will become the nation’s first to have an on campus winter terrain park. It’s midsummer, but plans are in the works for the ski and snowboard facility.