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Alaska News Nightly: November 25, 2013

November 25, 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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Canadian Company Explores Possibility Of Graphite Mine

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

A small Canadian mining company is in the exploratory phases of setting up a graphite mine on the Seward Peninsula. Though years away from being operational, the Graphite Creek deposit could be the nation’s first and only graphite mine.

Sikuliaq Departure Delayed

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The National Science Foundation’s new arctic research vessel Sikuliaq will spend the winter undergoing trials in the Great Lakes. The 261 foot ship to be operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, was launched in Lake Michigan a year ago, but the Sikuliaq’s original target date for arrival at homeport in Seward has been delayed a year due to technical problems.

Group Investigating Biomass Energy Potential

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A state and federally funded task group has investigated biomass energy potential in 75 communities around the state.  Alaska Energy Authority Biomass manager Devany Plentovich is tracking projects that have resulted from a base line analysis that looked at availability of wood and opportunity for turning it into energy.

Premera Alaska Allows 5,200 Customers To Keep Insurance Plans

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Health Insurer Premera Alaska will allow 5,200 customers in the state to keep their insurance plans. The company canceled the plans for 2014 because they didn’t meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But earlier this month, after public outcry, President Obama said insurers could offer those canceled plans for another year, as long as states allowed it.

Breaking Up With Healthcare.gov

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few Alaskans who managed to get through the healthcare.gov process late last month. Now though, after she discovered problems with her application, Imler wants to cancel her enrollment. And she’s finding that may be difficult.

SEARHC Front Street Clinic Soon To Be Under New Management

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium – or SEARHC – decided to cut funding to Juneau’s homeless medical clinic at the end of September due to budgetary constraints.

Front Street Clinic got a six month reprieve when the community was able to raise more than $120,000.

Now, a coalition of local organizations have joined together to keep the clinic open, hopefully, forever.

Subsistence Fishermen File Brief in Appeals Court

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

New court documents have been filed in Alaska’s Court of Appeals arguing why the convictions of about a dozen Yup’ik subsistence fishermen should be overturned. The fishermen are fighting for religious rights to fish for King salmon.

Juneau Panel Aims To Deconstruct Racism In Alaska And Beyond

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

A group of Juneau residents are tackling the issue of racism head on. Their work started earlier this year, and sprang out of the trial of George Zimmerman for killing unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, as well as a series of local events that had been building up for years. They held a panel discussion earlier this month at the University of Alaska Southeast.

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