Alaska News Nightly: February 17, 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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Alaska Lawmakers Frustrated After Meeting With Interior Secretary Jewell

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

After President Barack Obama announced a plan to designate most of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, Alaska lawmakers seized a chance to meet his Interior Secretary on their own turf. A team of nine legislators took a break from session work in Juneau to travel to Kotzebue this week to confront Sally Jewell about those actions. But while the meeting was hyped, neither the delegation nor the Secretary described it as a showdown.

Sen. Murkowski Says Protecting Lands Is Top Priority

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Beyond filing lawsuits and requesting meetings with administration officials, there’s little Alaska’s legislative or executive branches can do to influence President Barack Obama’s approach to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Lawsuit Challenges Alaska’s Regulation Restricting Abortions For Low Income Women

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A trial got underway today in Anchorage in a lawsuit challenging the state regulation that restricts abortions for low income women.

Brent Sass Outduels Allen Moore For Yukon Quest Win

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Eureka musher Brent Sass cruised across the finish line in Fairbanks last night to win this year’s Yukon Quest. Sass has been trying to win the Quest for years.  This year, he gave up a ten hour lead to two-time defending champion Allen Moore, who refused to give up easily.

Alaska Budget Cuts Threaten Local Jails

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – Sitka

Gov. Bill Walker plans to submit a budget amendment that would restore some funding to the community jails program. Corrections commissioner Ronald Taylor made comments during a joint subcommittee hearing Monday evening

Sitka is one of several local departments who say the proposed cuts were so deep, it could force their jail to close.

Rescued Hiker: “We Definitely Got More Than We Bargained For”

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

One of four Juneau hikers rescued off a wind-scoured mountain earlier this month says the group was looking for a bit of an adventure, but may have gotten more than they bargained for.

“Emotional Creature” Teaches Young Women To Speak

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

A new play opened this weekend at Cyrano’s Playhouse in Anchorage from the author of the Vagina Monologues. On stage, the songs and monologues tell the true stories of traumas faced by young women around the world. But behind the scenes, it’s the tale of Anchorage’s young women learning what it means to be an “Emotional Creature.”