Alaska News Nightly: August 20, 2013

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Oil Prices Surge As Alaskans Stockpile For Winter

Global unrest is forcing oil prices to rise just as rural Alaskans are purchasing heating oil for the coming winter.

State Considering New Abortion Regulations

This spring, state legislators considered a controversial bill that would define what counts as a “medically necessary” abortion for the purpose of Medicaid reimbursement. Now, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is considering regulations tackling the same issue. The proposed rule would require doctors to get specific on why they think the state state should cover the procedure.

Anchorage Police Crack Down On Drunk Driving

The Anchorage Police Department says it arrested 34 people for driving under the influence during the first weekend of an expanded effort to crack down on drunken drivers. There have been five drunk driving deaths in the city in the last two months.

Judge Suspends Controversial Union Ordinance

A state Superior Court judge has sided with Municipality of Anchorage employee’s unions in a dispute over a city labor law. Judge Eric Aarseth heard arguments from union and city attorneys yesterday, and made his decision from the bench only minutes after their conclusion.

Mike Williams Sr. To Help Lead Suicide Prevention Summit

Tribal leaders from around the state will be gathering in Anchorage this week to address the suicide epidemic. It’s sponsored by the Alaska Tribal Leaders and is their 13th annual summit meeting. All 229 tribes in Alaska are invited.

Good Aurora Forecast This Week Could Be Due To Solar Magnetic ‘Flip’

Geophysical Institute is forecasting strong auroras at the end of the week. Some of that activity could be in response to changes in the suns magnetic field. Over the next few months, the sun will undergo a magnetic flip.

With climbing season over, mountaineering rangers in Denali National Park have turned some of their attention to conservation. A team just returned from the Muldrow Glacier after spending two days picking up decades-old trash from climbers that has begun melting out of the ice.