Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

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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Red Dog Mine owners sue borough over severance tax

Associated Press

A world-class zinc mine operating in northwest Alaska is suing the Northwest Arctic Borough, claiming the municipality has enacted an unfair severance tax.

An obscure rule may be contributing to Alaska’s rising health care costs

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Buried deep in the October 2004 supplement of the Alaska Administrative Code are a few sentences a lot of Alaska health care experts are talking about right now. It’s called the 80th percentile rule. It was adopted as a consumer protection but insurers say instead, it’s encouraging excessive prices for specialty care.

Federal Subsistence Board votes to improve Alaska relations

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

The Federal Subsistence Board voted Tuesday to work to re-establish better relations with the state of Alaska.

Wal-Mart to shutter Juneau store

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

Wal-Mart announced Friday that it’s closing its Juneau location, along with 154 other stores across the country.

Homer authorities give Spit campers the boot

Quinton Chandler, KBBI – Homer

The City of Homer is trying to kick out campers at an unofficial campsite on the Homer Spit. Police are telling people living in a parking lot beside the Seafarer’s Memorial to move to an official campground down the road.

Amid icy trail conditions, mushers ready for K300

Lakeidra Chavis, KYUK – Bethel

Twenty-five mushers, some local, some international–but all prepared to race this evening along icy river trails—are in Bethel for the Kuskokwim 300. The race starts Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

Musher Brent Sass’ lead dog dies days before K300

Amanda Frank, KUAC – Fairbanks

The dog that lead Brent Sass to victory in last year’s Yukon Quest has died unexpectedly.

AK: David Bowie’s Alaskan name-twin adopts rocker’s rebel streak

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

UAA linguistics Professor David Bowie — pronounced BOO-wee, but spelled b-o-w-i-e — has a vexed relationship with the celebrity he shares his name with. He resented the musician until he was in his 20s, when something changed.

49 Voices: Roger Sparks of Eagle River

This week, we’re hearing from Roger Sparks, a pararescueman with the Alaska Air National Guard. Five years ago, Sparks was involved in a heavy firefight in the mountains of Afghanistan. What happened after that changed his life.