Alaska News Nightly: May 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.

Download Audio

How Much Are Hospitals Charging? How Much Is Medicare Paying?

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

How much does a hospital charge for a certain procedure? That information can be difficult for consumers to access before they get a bill in the mail. Now for the first time, the federal government is publicly sharing what hospitals charge Medicare for the 100 most common procedures. And the information shows hospitals across the country, and across Alaska, charge dramatically different prices for the same procedure. At least one hospital in the state is considering adjusting their prices after reviewing the data.

Arctic Scientists Take On ‘Emerging Research Questions’

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

Environmental changes from climate warming are hitting the Arctic harder and faster than anyone predicted.  This week, top arctic scientists have been meeting in Anchorage looking for better ways to investigate and even track the changes…and what they could mean.

City, Borough Officials Of Juneau Keeping Track Of Marketplace Fairness Act

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau officials are keeping an eye on legislation making its way through Congress that would allow states to collect sales tax on online purchases. The U.S. Senate this week voted 69-27 in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act.  While Alaska does not have a statewide sales tax, the City and Borough of Juneau is one of many municipalities with a local tax on the sale of goods and services.

Alaska Native Fisheries Group Wants Fair Share

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

An Anchorage based Community Development Quota group wants a greater share of Alaska’s deep sea fisheries.  The Coastal Villages Region Fund, which represents 20 villages in Western Alaska, has asked the state’s Congressional delegation to make changes in how the fisheries quotas are allocated,  but critics call the plan “reckless” and say it could endanger the entire CDQ program.

Land Exchange Between Fairbanks Borough, Local Resort Hits Snag

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

For nearly a decade, the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Chena Hot Springs Resort have been working on a land sale. Last fall, the Assembly passed an ordinance to approve the sale.  But, the deal is at an impasse, because neither side can agree on the value of the property.

Biologists Release Numbers For Spring Wolf Count In Denali National Park

The Associated Press

Biologists at Denali National Park released numbers today from their spring season wolf survey this year.  In March, they observed 49 wolves in and around Denali National Park and Preserve.  That number is down slightly from last fall, when 57 wolves were counted in the region.  This spring’s is the lowest count since the park started monitoring wolves in the park in 1986. In the fall, the Park Service observed nine wolf packs in the area.  That number increased to eleven this spring.  It’s unknown whether the two packs are new or if they split off from existing wolf packs.  The Park Service was able to collar a wolf from one of those two packs.

Police Break Up Eagle Party At Unalaska Safeway

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

A flock of eagles descended on the Safeway parking lot in Unalaska last week, prompting police intervention.

King Island Community Members Hope To Return To Bering Sea Island

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

It’s been more than 50 years since there were year-round permanent residents on King Island. And today, most King Island community members who now live in Nome, Fairbanks or Anchorage have never been to their homeland. But one person is raising money to bring members of her community to the island in the Bering Sea.