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Alaska News Nightly: August 23, 2013

August 23, 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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Grand Jury Indicts Driver In Deaths Of Two Girls

A 31-year-old Anchorage man accused of driving drunk and killing two teenage girls walking along a street has been indicted by a grand jury. The state Department of Law said today in a statement that Stacey Graham was indicted on two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of manslaughter. He also was earlier charged by the state with driving under the influence.

Memo Cites Concerns With Proposed Abortion Regulations

A legislative attorney says a proposed new regulation that would further define what constitutes a “medically necessary” abortion for purposes of receiving Medicaid funding would likely be found unconstitutional.

State Considers New Same Sex Partner Benefits

The Alaska State Personnel Board is considering including Same-sex partners in the definition of “immediate family.” The proposed change in rules would allow state employees to take family leave due to a serious health condition of a same-sex partner.

Premera Braces For Upheaval In Health Insurance Market

The largest health insurer in Alaska is likely to get a lot bigger next year. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of two insurance companies that will offer plans on the new federally run marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The company is expecting to serve thousands more customers in the state, but that growth will come with the kind of uncertainty the insurance industry has never had before.

Red Flag Bugs People, Dogs

The military’s Red Flag Training exercise wraps up today. Representatives of branches of U.S. and several foreign forces participated in the 2 week training, which included jet fighters and bombers engaged in mock battle using live ordinance. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, some interior residents are glad it’s over.

University Dedicates Murie Building

University of Alaska, Fairbanks Faculty and Staff gathered Thursday for the ribbon cutting and dedication of the new Margaret Murie Life Science Building. The new building houses the Department of Biology and Wildlife alongside the Institute of Arctic Biology. KUAC’s Emily Schwing got a behind the scenes tour of the new state- of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms and offices.

Eldred Rock Weather Sensors Down

Eldred Rock wind speed and wind direction sensors have not been working for a couple of weeks, frustrating both the Lynn Canal gillnet fleet and National Weather Service.

State Fair Opens In Palmer

Soggy skies did little to dampen enthusiasm on the first day of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer on Thursday.

AK: Fishing

This week on AK: We go fishing. A group of four female soldiers spent a weekend last month on the Naknek river. The weather was gorgeous, the fish were biting, and the company was unmatched at the Project Healing Waters retreat. Through the program, the fishing community and veterans organizations hope to help injured veterans in their long recovery. KDLG’s Ben Matheson takes us out on the water.

300 Villages: Kodiak

Now it’s time for 300 villages. This week, we’re heading to Kodiak – the community of about 6,000 people on Kodiak Island. That was Jenny Osterman and Eric Olsen, who live in Kodiak.