Alaska News Nightly: April 10, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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Senate Confirms Sally Jewell Appointment

The Associated Press

The Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Interior Department, Sally Jewell, this evening.

Eighty-seven Senators voted to confirm the former chief executive of REI, including both Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich.

Before the vote, Senator Murkowski took to the Senate floor to praise Jewell’s work in the private sector, from her time at REI to her work in the oil fields of Oklahoma.

The 11 no votes were all Republican.

Senate To Vote On First Steps In Gun Control Debate

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Senate will vote tomorrow on whether to begin debate on a package of new gun regulations.

The bill aims to strengthen school safety and stiffen penalties for gun trafficking.

There could be amendments to establish an assault weapons ban and limit the size of magazines. And as APRN’s Peter Granitz reports, there will be one amendment that would require background checks for guns bought and sold online and at gun shows, an amendment that neither of Alaska’s senators has committed to.

ConocoPhillips Suspends Chukchi Sea Drilling

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC & Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

ConocoPhillips announced today it is suspending its Chuckchi Sea drilling campaign. The company says “regulatory uncertainty” led to the decision.

More Questions Than Answers On Federal Health Insurance Exchange In Alaska

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska’s federally run health insurance exchange is supposed to be ready to enroll participants on October 1st. But with that deadline less than six months away, insurance companies and the state’s division of insurance say they have little information on what the online insurance marketplace will look like.

Legislators Prioritize Capital Projects

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Alaska State Legislature is putting the finishing touches on a $2 billion capital budget. Even though it’s small in comparison to previous years, it still funds hundreds of projects big and small across the state. But how do lawmakers decide which ones take priority? APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez takes a look at how one set of players figure into that process: lobbyists.

Alaska Senate To Vote On HB77

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

The Alaska Senate is scheduled to vote soon on a controversial piece of legislation that’s part of Governor Parnell’s effort to streamline the permitting process for developments on State land.

Unalaska Prepares For Bird Blitz

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

Every spring, Unalaska prepares to do battle with the national bird. Eagles become territorial when they nest, and that sometimes leads to attacks on unsuspecting pedestrians. This year, the city tried to preempt the bird blitz by destroying the nest of a particularly combative pair. But as KUCB’s Stephanie Joyce reports, the eagles weren’t so easily thwarted.

Gwichin’ Athabascan Version Of Shakespeare Play Goes On Tour

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A Gwichin’ Athabascan version of Shakespeare’s King Lear is going on statewide tour.