Alaska News Nightly: March 17, 2015

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Walker Introduces Medicaid Expansion Bill

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN-Juneau
After failing to expand Medicaid through a budget item, Gov. Bill Walker is trying again. On Tuesday, he introduced a standalone bill that would allow the state to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion, while also offering some reform measures.

Feds OK to Process Visas for Roe Technicians

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington
The federal government can once again continue processing H-2b visas, the program that traditionally allows foreign fish roe technicians to work in Alaska seafood plants.

Dallas Seavey First to White Mountain

Emily Schwing, APRN Contributor
Dallas Seavey was the first musher to arrive in White Mountain Tuesday morning.  It’s the second to last stop along the Iditarod trail.  Teams will take an eight-hour mandatory rest there, before they make the final push for Nome.

Premera Warns of Possible Data Breach

Lisa Phu, KTOO-Juneau
If you have a health insurance plan through Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, your personal information may be vulnerable to a data breach.  According to Premera, about 650,000 Alaskans are among the 11 million people potentially affected by a cyberattack of the health insurance company.  A Premera press release says attackers may have gained access to customers’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, mailing addresses and bank account information.

Iditabike Racers Reach Nome

Francesca Fenzi, KNOM-Nome
In Nome, onlookers welcomed the first racers off the Iditarod trail on Monday – but not for the iconic sled dog race, these racers had wheels.

Roe Herring Fishery Gets Two-Hour Notice

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW-Sitka
The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery will be on two-hour notice starting 10 a.m. Wednesday the Alaska Department of Fish & Game has announced.

Tribal Members Move Ahead Toward Unifying Region

Ben Matheson, KYUK-Bethel
Despite having no quorum and no vote, tribal members at the Calista-sponsored Yukon Kuskokwim Governance Convention on Monday decided to move ahead with an interim step toward unifying the regional politically.

Rupert Delegation Lobbying for Continued Connections

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska-Juneau
Prince Rupert leaders are in Juneau this week to lobby for continued connections with Southeast Alaska. Budget cuts threaten to reduce state ferry sailings to and from the British Columbia port city. And policy differences have blocked construction of a new ferry terminal there. Rupert Mayor Lee Brain says the marine highway link helps economies on both sides of the border.

UAF Rifle Team Falls Short at Championships

Dan Bross, KUAC
The University of Alaska Fairbanks fell just short of a national title at the NCAA Rifle Champions on their home turf over the weekend.

Weather Doesn’t Stop Emergency Responders from Training at Dutch Harbor

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB-Unalaska
Chilly winds and whiteout conditions didn’t stop a team of emergency responders from mounting a unique exercise at the Port of Dutch Harbor on Friday.