Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, August 27, 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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Judge strikes down law restricting Medicaid-funded abortions

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The Alaska Superior Court today struck down a state law that would have limited Medicaid coverage of abortions for low-income women. The judge found the law, which imposes a strict definition of “medically necessary abortion” violates the equal protection guarantees of Alaska’s constitution.

Judge hears arguments in anti-Medicaid lawsuit; Plaintiff’s attorney joins by Skype

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Superior court judge Frank Pfiffner heard oral arguments this afternoon in Anchorage in the Legislative Council’s case against Governor Bill Walker to stop Medicaid expansion. The Council filed suit Monday to stop the program from going forward as planned next week, saying the governor doesn’t have the authority to expand Medicaid on his own.

BC official says they’re open to more mine treaty talks

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

British Columbia’s top mining official says he’s open to involving his federal government in transboundary mine conflicts. That’s a change from earlier statements.

Anchorage prepares for a stately crew of visitors

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Anchorage

Next week, downtown Anchorage will be crawling with dignitaries who will be in town for an international conference hosted by the State Department. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz today announced which streets will be closed for security. He says residents should be flexible when visiting downtown for the first half of the week.

Science takes center stage at USARC meeting in Nome

Laura Kraegel, KNOM – Nome

Science was in the spotlight when the U.S. Arctic Research Commission came together in Nome for its second and final day of meetings, covering a range of topics — from fire forecasts and walrus tagging to sea ice loss and the nutritional value of reindeer meat.

For hungry bears, it’s open season on garbage

Madelyn Beck, KRBD – Ketchikan

Local garbage bandits have been making their bi-yearly rounds in Ketchikan, leaving messes in their wake.

Farmer in Homer tries to cultivate a north-hardy strain of garlic

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

A farming couple in Homer is trying to change the way the state grows garlic by developing special strains resilient in the northern climate.

Cleaning Up to Be with His Kid — Stories from Brother Francis

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The morning at Brother Francis Shelter starts with a sleepy bustle. Guests wake up at 5 am, start gathering their belongings, drink some coffee and help clean the shelter.