Alaska News Nightly: February 12, 2015

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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Facing First Cuts In Years, Alaska Lawmakers Tackle The Budget

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Right now, the Legislature is facing a deficit that some leaders are describing as a “$4 billion problem.” With oil prices half what they were a year ago, lawmakers are having to cut agency budgets for the first time in years.

Today, the finance committees in the House and the Senate held their first hearings on the operating budget.

Alaska Writer David Holthouse Shows Support For Erin’s Law

Lisa Phu, KTOO

Alaska raised writer David Holthouse has told his story of being sexually abused as a child before. It’s appeared in newspapers, on the radio and on stage in New York City.

But when he spoke in the Alaska Capitol building today, it was to support Erin’s Law, a bill that would require public schools statewide to provide age-appropriate K-12 sexual abuse education.

Sullivan Stands With House on DHS Funding

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Funding for the Department of Homeland Security will run out February 27, unless Congress can resolve an impasse over immigration policy riders the House added to a funding bill.

BOEM Assessment Suggests Shell’s Chukchi Leases Remain Intact

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Federal regulators are recommending that Shell’s disputed oil leases in the Chukchi Sea be left intact. That’s the conclusion of a new assessment of Lease Sale 193 – the 2008 auction where Shell picked more than $2 billion worth of Arctic drilling prospects.

Alaska Delegation Seeks New Limits On National Monuments

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

For over a hundred years, presidents have used the Antiquities Act to order permanent protections for federal land and resources at sea. Now, Alaska’s senators are looking to curb that authority before the Obama administration tries to apply it in the 49th State.

As The Iditarod Start Shifts North, So Does The Economic Boon

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Moving the Iditarod start from Anchorage to Fairbanks will impact businesses across the state.

Learning to Sew With Seal Guts

Charles Enoch, KYUK – Bethel

Students at the Cultural Center in Bethel recently learned the traditional art of ‘gut sewing’. Seal intestines were prized throughout Yup’ik history for their waterproof performance. And a culture bearer from Chefornak is teaching the skill.

Story49: Love Series – Coffee and Rolls

Kristin Leffler, KNOM – Nome

Valentine’s day is just a few days away. KNOM Producer Kristin Leffler found this story of two people who had given up on the idea of soul mates until they met each other on an island in the middle of the Bering Sea: