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Alaska News Nightly: March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014

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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Dallas Seavey Wins 2014 Iditarod

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Dallas Seavey won this year’s Iditarod early this morning in a surprise victory, just a few minutes ahead of runner up Aliy Zirkle. The top six mushers have now reached the finish line in Nome.

The 42nd annual Iditarod has proven to be one of the most dramatic from start to finish.   Dog teams were lost, ganglines were broken, mushers were injured – some severely. The trail from Anchorage to Nome threw everything possible at mushers from rocks to tree stumps to hurricane force winds.

The Iditarod is by no means easy, but even the most veteran of mushers were surprised by what they faced in this year’s race.

Democrats in the Alaska Senate want Gov. Sean Parnell to withdraw the name of one of his board appointees, because of residency issues.

House Committee Discusses State Of Alaska Native Law And Order

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Tuesday, the State House Community and Regional Affairs Committee heard from several people about the sorry state of law and order for Alaska Natives. Legislators asked them why they think the state is the source of the problem, but the person in the best position to answer that question couldn’t make it to the hearing. The Attorney General had a scheduling conflict.

Permitting Bill To Only Be Considered By Resources

The Associated Press

Senate Resources is expected to be the only Senate committee to consider a sweeping bill that proposes changes to Alaska’s permitting system.

A revamped version of HB77 emerged in Senate Resources on Monday. Public testimony is scheduled for Wednesday.

The bill currently has no other committee of referral. If the bill advances from Resources, Senate Majority Leader John Coghill said the intent is to send it to Rules, which schedules bills for the floor.

HB77 last year was stuck in Senate Rules after failing to win sufficient support in the Senate for a vote.

The bill is expansive, touching on issues like land exchanges and permitting procedures. Its more contentious provisions have focused on appeals, general permits and the issuance of water reservations.

Anchorage’s National Archives Office Closing

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The government’s top archivist, David Ferriero announced today the Anchorage branch of the National Archives will close this year.

Its collection will be shipped to Seattle, where he says it will be digitized and made available to historians and researchers on the Internet.

The closure of the Third Avenue facility, along with consolidations in Philadelphia and Fort Worth, are projected to save more than $1 million a year.

The National Archives also owns a 9-acre lot in Midtown Anchorage, purchased a decade ago with the sponsorship of then-Sen. Ted Stevens. Sen.

Lisa Murkowski suggested today Archives should use money from the sale of that land to more quickly put the Alaska collection online. She also asked the national archivist to consider affiliating with an Alaska library so the documents could stay in-state.

For Self-Employed Sitkans, Health Act Makes A Difference

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – Sitka

New figures from the Obama administration show more than 6500 Alaskans have enrolled in insurance plans on healthcare.gov. The deadline to sign up is March 31st. And that has prompted many Alaskans to bite the bullet and figure out what the Affordable Care Act means for them. For some commercial fishermen and others who are self-employed, what they’ve found has been a pleasant surprise.

Herron Asks Legislature To Support Izembek Road Campaign

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Alaska’s legislature is still searching for ways to connect King Cove and Cold Bay by building a road through a federal wildlife refuge.

Mendenhall Glacier Inspires Awe, Demands Respect

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau’s most popular attraction is Mendenhall Glacier, one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. Visitors and residents took advantage of the recent cold, clear weather to hike across a frozen lake in front of the glacier to find an ice cave. They’ve taken pictures of themselves inside of the awe -inspiring tunnel and surrounded by blue-tinted ice walls.

Rod Perry Focusing On Traditional Dog Sled Design

Jolene Almendarez, APRN – Anchorage

With most current Iditarod mushers focused on the finish line in Nome, one former musher is still thinking about the start. At this year’s ceremonial start in Anchorage, Rod Perry drove a sled that weighed more than twice as much as the other mushers. The Iditarod pioneer hopes it was the first of many historic sled runs to come.

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