Alaska News Nightly: March 1, 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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Alaska Republicans go to the polls on Super Tuesday

Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

Republicans are holding their Presidential Preference Poll on Tuesday. Alaska will send 28 delegates to the Republican Convention — the same number as Oregon, despite Alaska’s small population.

Republicans are holding their Presidential Preference Poll on Tuesday. Alaska will send 28 delegates to the Republican Convention — the same number as Oregon, despite Alaska’s small population.

More cuts proposed to budget, everything from libraries to senior benefits

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Alaskans giving public testimony this week on the House’s budget proposal oppose cuts to many areas. The Republican-led majority released a budget this week that included 145 million dollars more in cuts than Governor Bill Walker’s budget. It would reduce spending on everything from public libraries to senior benefits.

Judge rules in favor of Medicaid expansion

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

A superior court judge ruled in favor of Governor Walker today in the Legislative Council’s case against Medicaid expansion. The Republican led legislative council sued last summer to stop Walker from unilaterally expanding Medicaid.

Polling stations critically understaffed, need volunteers

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Officials in Anchorage say they are critically understaffed for local elections April 5th. Deputy Clerk Amanda Moser says the city needs a minimum of 650 volunteers to keep polling stations staffed across the municipality. Currently, they’re 70 people short.

Let it snow, please

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

It’s been a terrible winter for Anchorage by just about every measure. Warm weather systems have turned what little precipitation has reached the municipality into rain and ice, ruining many of the recreational activities residents enjoy. Few people’s livelihoods in Anchorage depend on reliable winter conditions. But could the icy winters convince some residents to pack up and leave?

Without ferry service, a Southeast village considers $18 gallon of milk

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

Three Southeast villages endured the longest ferry drought in recent memory. The LeConte didn’t arrive for more than a month, leaving communities such as Angoon to depend more on subsistence or the only grocery store in town. As lawmakers consider even deeper cuts to ferry services, some locals are already getting a taste of what that reality could be like.

Anchorage cyclist wins Iditarod Trail Invitational

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Anchorage cyclist Tim Berston has won the Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 mile human powered race between Knik and McGrath. Bernston peddled his fat bike into the Kuskokwim River village Monday afternoon, clocking a time of just under 2 days.

Sitka revisiting idea of consolidating hospital services

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

For decades, the question of whether Sitka can afford two hospitals has percolated, with little success at consolidating services. That era may be coming to a close. Last week, the Assembly entertained a motion from Charles Clement, CEO of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) to renew talks with Sitka Community Hospital about collaborating on medical services. This raised alarm bells for some citizens.

New life raft regulations for fishing boats no longer required

Angela Denning, KFSK – Petersburg

Commercial fishermen scrambling to buy life rafts for their boats this winter can rest a little easier. Congress has changed a new law that would have required life rafts for fishing boats traveling at least three miles off shore.