Alaska News Nightly: December 24, 2013

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More Than 700 Alaskans Sign Up For Health Coverage

The Associated Press

More Alaskans are signing up as the deadline to enroll in the government health care plan looms.

If people want coverage by Jan. 1, they must sign up by the end of the day Tuesday.

As of Tuesday morning, more than 700 people had signed up with help from Enroll Alaska, which was created to help individuals enroll and understand their options.

Tyann Boling, the chief operating officer of the broker, said more than 600 of those people have signed up in December.

She said there was a rush Monday, and the deadline was extended a day. Other navigators weren’t available for updated numbers on Christmas Eve.

The overall deadline for people to enroll in a plan is March 31.

Interior Gas Utility Lays Out Fairbanks LNG Plan

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Interior Gas Utility is laying out a plan of action, following the state granting the Fairbanks North Star Borough entity’s request to supply natural gas to currently un-served areas of town. Getting natural gas to more neighborhoods is a step toward lowering energy bills and reducing emissions.

Kenai Groups Oppose Commercial Setnetting Ban

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

Two government bodies on the Kenai Peninsula have voted unanimously to oppose efforts to ban commercial setnetting in Cook Inlet.

Southeast Dungeness Crab Catch Surpasses Expectations

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fleet has exceeded expectations for the season, thanks to a strong catch during October and November.

Selling A Small Business

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

A number of small businesses are for sale in Juneau right now.

They’re all fairly successful and none have plans to close their doors, but due to life changes for their owners, they’re on the market. It’s part of the life cycle of a small business.

Alaska Flags To Be Lowered For Former State Rep

The Associated Press

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has ordered state flags to be lowered Thursday in memory of a former lawmaker.

Former state Rep. Richard “Dick” Greuel died Dec. 3 in Anoka, Minn. He was 85.

A release from the governor’s office says Greuel arrived in Alaska in 1946 and later served on the Fairbanks City Council.

He was elected to the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives in 1953, 1955 and 1957. He served as House speaker in 1957.

He owned Greuel Real Estate in Fairbanks for more than 30 years, and was again elected to the Fairbanks City Council in 1974.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia, and five children.

Flags to will return to full-staff on Friday.

17,000 Alaskans Fall Into Health Care Gap

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Alaskans who earn less than $14,350 a year will not qualify for subsidies to buy insurance on They won’t qualify for Medicaid either, as the Affordable Care Act intended. That’s because Governor Sean Parnell decided not to expand Medicaid in Alaska, even though the federal government would pay most of the cost. A new report from the Kasier Family Foundation shows 17,000 Alaskans fall into that “gap.”

Samantha Artiga, a researcher with the foundation, explains who those uninsured adults are in Alaska.

Walt Monegan Remembers Special Christmas Memory

Walt Monegan, APRN Contributor

Walt Monegan is an Alaskan well known to many as a man of public service. He is the former commissioner of Public Safety and the former Anchorage chief of police. Monegan now serves as President and CEO of the Alaska Native Justice Center, but more than four decades ago, he was a teenage Marine spending Christmas a long way from home.