Alaska News Nightly: June 20, 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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Parnell Signs Bills, Resolutions Supporting Gun Rights

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Governor Sean Parnell signed a package of bills and resolutions today supporting gun rights. The signing took place at the Matanuska Valley Sportsmen Shooting Range, near Palmer.

Anchorage Pediatricians Quietly Protest High Hospital Charge

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Patients have a hard time getting information on hospital costs. And the doctors who work in those hospitals are no different. They rarely understand the hospital charges they generate for patients when they perform procedures. But last year, two of the largest pediatric groups in Anchorage discovered what Regional Hospital is charging for a simple infant procedure. And as APRN’s Annie Feidt reports, they decided to take a quiet stand against a fee they feel is unreasonably high.

Traditional Foods Program Hosts Gathering In Wrangell

Shady Grove Oliver, KSTK – Wrangell

The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Traditional Foods Program is hosting a gathering this week in Wrangell.

Artist Making Masks Representing Top-10 Diseases In Alaska

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

On a recent sunny afternoon, Alaska Native mask carver Drew Michael puts the finishing touches on an enormous mask under a canopy in his backyard in east Anchorage. Michael is creating three foot by five foot wooden masks that will be painted by artist Elizabeth Ellis to represent the cells of the top ten diseases in Alaska for a show called Aggravated Organizms.

Hilcorp Handed $115,000 Penalty

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

Citing aggressiveness in its operations, the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has handed down several orders to energy producer Hilcorp, including a $115,000 civil penalty.

Electric Cars Slow To Catch On In Sitka

Erik Neumann, KCAW – Sitka

It was just a few years ago that Sitka’s electric utility predicted a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road, especially in communities with relatively inexpensive electric power. Despite steady high fuel prices, the community’s interest in electric cars — after an initial spike — has been flat.

Alaskans Dealing With Apparently Large Mosquito Crop

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Anchorage residents are complaining of more mosquitoes this year than usual.

And Interior Alaska residents are also dealing with what appears to be an unusually large mosquito crop.  University of Alaska Museum curator of insects and professor of entomology Derek Sikes says there’s no scientific data to back it up, but that’s the local talk.