Alaska News Nightly: April 9, 2013

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 and on Twitter @aprn.

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Senate Passes Controversial Abortion Bill

Right now, the state of Alaska is obligated to provide Medicaid funding for all “medically necessary” abortions. Today the Senate passed a bill that would narrow that definition.

House Considers Scrapping Knik Arm Bridge And Toll Authority

The future of the Knik Arm bridge project is now in question. A bill advancing the project was pulled from floor consideration last night, and now a member of the House majority is pushing for a change that would take away the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority’s independence.

F-16s At Eielson Are Grounded

The Air Force has grounded the 18th Aggressor Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base due to federal budget restrictions. The Squadron of F-16s is the same one the Air Force has considered relocating to Joint Base Elemendorf Richardson near Anchorage.

Nominee To Lead Energy Department Noncommittal On LNG Exports

President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Energy Department, Ernest Moniz, director of the MIT Energy Initiative, testified before the Senate Energy Committee today.

Investigators Looking At Alleged Assault By Juneau Football Coach

Oregon investigators are taking the lead in the case of an assistant Juneau high school football coach who allegedly knocked out a student during a sparring match. Juneau Police Sargent Chris Burke says the Juneau School District notified them about the incident on Friday.

State Attorney General Weighs In On Tribal Lands Case

A recent D.C. court ruling has left state officials with a lot of legal uncertainty. The court said the Secretary of the Interior can take land into trust status for tribes in Alaska and can not treat tribes here differently than in the lower 48.

Alaska Republican Party Ousts Chairwoman

The Alaska Republican Party has ousted Party Chairwoman Debbie Brown, and state party vice – chair Peter Goldberg has become the new chair.

Proposed Bill Would Allow VPSOs To Carry Guns

State Representative Bryce Edgmon introduced a bill last week that would allow Village Public Safety Officers across the state to carry firearms. KYUK’s Mark Arehart has more.

Alaskan Couple Completes Mega Traverse

You could spend a lifetime exploring the terrain an Alaska couple traversed last year. KUAC’s Dan Bross has more on the human powered mega adventure.