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Alaska News Nightly: February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013 - 5:12 pm

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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State House Passes Gun Bill

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Alaska House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday that would make it a felony for federal agents to enforce new gun control measures within the state.

5,000 Alaska Department of Defense Workers Could Be Furloughed In Sequester

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC & Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The numbers are dire. Five thousand civilians who work for the Department of Defense in Alaska would be furloughed once a week.

Food for the elderly would be cut, because the federal government would slash more than $180,000 from programs like Meals on Wheels.

Federal work study students could lose their jobs. Head Start classes will be cut for hundreds.

All this, reports the White House, could be avoided if Congress passes an alternative to the budget cuts set to begin Friday.

This week we’ll be looking more closely at how the sequester could impact several areas of federal spending in Alaska, including national parks and education.

New Crude Oil Agreement Signed Between State, Flint Hills

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state would continue to supply the Flint Hills North Pole Refinery with crude oil under a proposed new contract. The state of Alaska has sold royalty oil to Flint Hills for the last three decades, an arrangement state and company officials say is mutually beneficial.

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins Make History At World Championships

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

It’s been an incredible 24 hours for Nordic skiers Kikkan Randall, from Anchorage and her Minnesota teammate Jessie Diggins. The pair made history in Italy on Sunday, winning the first World Championship gold medal in cross country skiing for the U.S. They dominated the skate sprint event from the beginning, but had to recover from a mishap late in the race.

First 6 Cyclists Check Into Winterlake Lodge Checkpoint On Iditarod Trail Invitational

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The first six cyclists in this year’s Iditarod Trail Invitational have checked in at the Winterlake Lodge along the Iditarod trail. It’s the third checkpoint in an ultra-distance human powered race that started north of Anchorage yesterday.

Cyclists and runners in the race can choose to travel the Iditarod Trail for 350 miles to McGrath or they can go the full 1000 miles to Nome.

Chinese, NOAA Dismantle Pirate Fishing Vessels

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

A pirate fishing vessel intercepted by the Coast Guard last August has been cut up. The head of enforcement for District 17, Captain Phillip Thorne, says the Chinese government has disposed of the 177-foot Da Cheng.

Alaska Cultural Connections: Family

Anne Hillman, APRN Contributor

For the next several weeks, APRN will be airing a series that looks at how Alaskans describe what makes their way of life unique. Whether you live in a village or a city, everyone has a culture and we’re going to bring you stories of how both urban and rural Alaskans define and live theirs.

While reporting for this series, Anne Hillman traveled to Barrow last fall.  And her urban perspective on life was turned on its head, in part due to her time with one particular family.

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