Alaska News Nightly: April 16, 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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Battle Over Medicaid Spills Onto Capital Steps

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Governor Bill Walker spoke at a rally today in favor of Medicaid expansion outside the capital in Juneau. The event is another strategy from the administration to get lawmakers to bring the issue to a vote in the Legislature.

 

As Deadline Looms, Gov. Walker Says Legislature Could Gavel Out On Time

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

With the legislature scheduled to gavel out by midnight on Sunday, Governor Bill Walker has seen very few pieces of legislation make it to his desk. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez sat down with Walker yesterday afternoon to get his take on how the session is progressing. Walker said he thinks it’s still possible for lawmakers to get their work done on time.

 

Emergency Regulations Strengthen Indian Child Welfare Act

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Since 2008, the state has been in litigation with the Native Village of Tununak over the fate of a young girl whose parental rights were terminated. The state has held that because the girl’s grandmother did not file formal adoption paperwork, she lost the preference she would have been granted under the Indian Child Welfare Act. Now, Governor Walker has rolled out emergency regulations that seek to prevent situations like this in the future. The action is a win for Native groups in the state.

 

Petitioners ask Governor to Stop Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Bans

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchoraeg

More than 1,200 Alaskans have signed a petition asking Governor Walker to withdraw Alaska’s support for an amicus brief defending same-sex marriage bans.

 

Coast Guard Says Remains Of Missing Alaska Pilot Found

The Associated Press

Searchers have found the remains of the pilot of a plane that went missing in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

 

FBI Looks Into Bethel Incident

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

FBI staff were in Bethel recently on a fact finding mission related to an incident in which a former Bethel police officer arrested a man in a parking lot of an AC store.

 

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Defends Federal Land Management

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today defended the federal government’s land management and brushed off calls from legislators in Alaska, and other states, to seize federal lands.

 

Oil Price Likely To Dip Again After Brief Surge

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The price of Brent Crude hit above $63 a barrel today, the highest it’s been this year. That gives Alaskans something to cheer about. But the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration told a Senate panel Thursday two political events on the horizon would likely bring the global price down.

 

Ninth Circuit Denies Big Thorne Injunction

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an emergency motion for an injunction that would have delayed the Big Thorne Timber Sale pending an appeal of a lower-court ruling.

 

Anchorage Students Rally Against Education Funding Cut

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

More than 150 high school students walked out of class this afternoon to attend an impromptu rally in downtown Anchorage. They are protesting the legislature’s proposed $47.5 million cut to education.

 

Juneau School District Seeking Special Election For School Bonds

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The Juneau School District wants a special June election asking voters to approve a bond for school renovations before a law stopping state reimbursements for school construction takes effect. The governor still hasn’t signed the bill, but if he does, the school district has 90 days before it becomes a law to hold an election. Even if all goes smoothly and the district beats the countdown, it’s still unclear if it will get reimbursed.