Alaska News Nightly: Monday, March 20, 2017

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State health commissioner, Rep. Young concerned about health care bill

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s top health official said the federal health care bill scheduled for a vote on Thursday would devastate the Medicaid program in the state. The bill’s effect on Alaska has prompted U.S. Rep. Don Young to say today he won’t vote for it in its current form.

Citizen scientists monitor North Pole air

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks and North Pole have suffered numerous Clean Air Act violations again this winter due to fine particulates from wood, coal and other burning. Smoke pollution persists despite long term government efforts to assess and remedy the problem, and a local group has taken air quality monitoring into their own hands.

Feed Me Hope culinary school teaches skills for life beyond the kitchen

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A new culinary school that teaches more than the difference between saute and simmer opened in Anchorage last fall to provide classes for people who are homeless or are leaving prison. Instructors at Feed Me Hope go beyond teaching cooking skills to teach life skills.

Anchorage Teamsters building break-in results in personal information theft

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Last week, members of Teamsters Local 959 were informed by the union that a break-in had occurred at their building on January 26 and that personal information for those members who were contacted had been compromised. This information included names and social security numbers.

Never Quit: Being a pararescueman

Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Jimmy Settle knows what it is to struggle back to health after being shot in the head. Settle and co-author Don Rearden recently released their new book, Never Quit.

House reintroduces bill designed to increase rural voting turnout

Caroline Halter, KTOO – Juneau

In the last Legislature, a Democrat-sponsored bill aimed at increasing voter turnout, especially in rural Alaska. It didn’t get a single hearing in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Now, Rep. Chris Tuck, an Anchorage Democrat, is in a powerful position leading the new House majority, and has reintroduced the legislation.

The Open North American Championship sled dog race comes to a close

Robyne, KUAC – Fairbanks

Roxy Wright won the Open North American Championship sled dog race in Fairbanks over the weekend.  The hometown favorite was followed by defending ONAC champ Buddy Steeper of British Columbia, and his wife Lina Steeper, in the three stage, 70 mile sprint competition.

Nome Finishers’ Banquet marks end of Iditarod 45

Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM – Nome

The 2017 Iditarod Sled Dog Race is over. The 45th running, rerouted from Fairbanks to Nome, came to an end Sunday night with the Finishers’ Banquet held at the Nome Rec Center.