Alaska News Nightly: February 25, 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.

Download Audio

Air Force Officials Say F-35 Program Back On Track, Eielson Remains Preferred Location

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The F-35 aircraft, the new fighter the Air Force wants to keep at Eielson Air Force base, has been plagued by cost overruns and equipment failures. But Air Force brass told a U.S. Senate Committee this morning those problems are in the past.

NORAD Commander Visits Alaska

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Admiral Bill Gortney visited Alaska for the first time earlier this month since taking over the two organizations tasked with defending North America from attack. Gortney wears two hats: he’s head of both the North American Aerospace Defense Command – or NORAD – as well as the U.S. Northern Command. It’s one of the highest positions in the military chain of command, responsible for dealing with airborne threats — whether that’s missiles launched from a hostile country, or a rogue plane within American air space.

After a visit to Fort Wainwright and the missile fields in the Interior, Gortney came to Anchorage for an inspection of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Cargo Ship Detained In Unalaska For Environmental Investigation

Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

The Coast Guard is holding a cargo ship in Unalaska over alleged environmental crimes.

Attorneys Wrap Up Arguments In Lawsuit Challenging Restrictions To Medicaid-Funded Abortions

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Attorneys for both sides wrapped up arguments Wednesday in a case that could reverse state prohibitions against some Medicaid-funded abortions. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood claim a state statute is too restrictive and violates a woman’s constitutional rights.

New Marijuana Bill Would Require Alaska Residency Of Sellers

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Two days after Gov. Bill Walker filed a bill to create a marijuana control board and a day after the drug became legal in the state, state senators are offering legislation setting terms for that board.

Early Education Programs Facing Budget Cuts

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Lawmakers are targeting a number of early education programs for cuts.

As Legislature Eyes Budget Cuts, Public Media Funding Targeted

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Legislature is considering cutting in half, the amount of funding available for public broadcasting.

Rep. Nageak Taken From Capitol By Ambulance

The Associated Press

A Barrow state representative was taken by ambulance from the state Capitol today.

Commercial Fisheries Commission Chief Reacts To Being On Chopping Block

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission is defending itself against a recent state report pointing out inefficiencies and legislation that could dissolve the agency.

Update: Tlingit-Haida OKs Same-Sex Marriages

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization has authorized its courts to perform same-sex marriages. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced its new policy Monday.