Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Dec. 30, 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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Rep. Hawker won’t seek re-election

Associated Press

In a statement, Hawker said he wants to make the most of his “miraculous” response to cancer treatment and “the renewed life God” has given him.

Russian icebreaker makes record-setting Arctic voyage

Emily Russell, KNOM – Nome

According to the Russian media outlet Port News, a Russian icebreaker just completed the fastest transit of the Northern Sea Route. Along with setting the speed record at 7 and a half days, the icebreaker also completed the trip over a month after the shipping season usually ends in the Arctic.

Fairbanks marijuana club treads carefully forward

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks first marijuana business has been open for just over a month. “The Higher Calling” is one of several so called “clubs” in the state that have arisen since voter’s passage of a marijuana legalization initiative in 2014. Clubs like Fairbanks’ “The Higher Calling” do not sell marijuana.

About 7,700 Alaskans have enrolled in expanded Medicaid

Associated Press

A state health department official says that since the state expanded Medicaid to cover more lower-income Alaskans on Sept. 1, about 7,700 people have enrolled.

Alaska school districts advised to adopt transgender policies

Hannah Colton, KDLG – Dillingham

School bathrooms & locker rooms have become legal battlegrounds recently as courts in the Lower 48 puzzle over how schools should treat students who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Now, two statewide education organizations are trying to equip Alaska school districts with policies regarding transgender students.

Behavioral health the focus of Mat-Su grants

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A Mat-Su nonprofit is looking to fill the funding gap for behavioral health services with more budget cuts on the horizon at the state level. One program benefiting from that grant money is aiming to curb the earliest sources of drug and alcohol abuse with a focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences awareness.

Holy Bible translated into modern Yup’ik

Charles Enoch, KYUK – Bethel

The Bible is now available in the modern Yup’ik orthography after nearly half a century of work put in by fluent Yup’ik speakers in the area and the American Bible Society.

Former Juneau mayor Jamie Parsons dies at 74

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Former Juneau mayor Jamie Parsons died Saturday in Washington state after more than a decade battling cancer. He was 74. Friends and former colleagues remember his sense of humor, his love of sports and his unfailing commitment to the capital city.