Alaska News Nightly: February 19, 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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Walker Aims To Ramp Up Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline Project

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

When Gov. Bill Walker was elected, there were questions about the fate of the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project. The proposed $10 billion state-owned gasline was viewed as a backup plan to the large line currently being pursued alongside the North Slope producers, but Walker had criticized the project as being redundant.

Now, Walker not only plans to keep the ASAP project alive – he wants to scale up.

New Alaska Branch of Americans For Prosperity Campaigns Against Medicaid Expansion

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

The conservative group Americans For Prosperity, backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, recently opened an office in Anchorage. They’re working to convince elected officials to support their vision of smaller government. And one of their main priorities this legislative session is defeating Medicaid expansion.

Tlingit Masks On ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Draw Questions From Southeast Alaska

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

A recent episode of the popular PBS program “Antiques Roadshow” caught the attention of some Southeast residents when a couple of 200-year-old Tlingit masks from Haines appeared on-screen. It sparked the interests of regional Natives and historians and raised questions about how the items ended up in the Midwest.

Alaska Tops Gallup’s Index of Well-Being

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Gallup today released its annual Index of Well-Being, and for the first time, Alaska tops the list. The researchers who produce the Gallup-Healthways report say Alaska residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2014.  The Gallup report doesn’t mention that the state has among the highest rates of suicide, sexual assault and other violence. Nonetheless, Alaskans working in the social services trenches were inclined to greet news of the report with open arms.

Seward Highway Reopened After Rock Slide

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A rockslide closed the Seward Highway in both directions for about two hours Thursday morning.

Tanaina Supporters Appeal To UA Board of Regents

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Supporters of the Tanaina Child Development Center appealed on Thursday to the University of Alaska Board of Regents …urging the board to help save the day care center. Tanaina was informed it would need to find a new home late last month, when UAA opted to end an agreement which allowed the childcare facility space on campus.

YKEDC Gets Grant to Improve Economy, Housing

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

The State of Alaska has awarded a grant to the Yukon Kuskokwim Economic Development Council, or YKEDC, for a truss-manufacturing project. If the plan goes forward, local workers would use the region’s wood resources to build frames for highly energy efficient housing.