Alaska News Nightly: January 17, 2014

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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Spending Bill Includes $75 Million For Fisheries Disaster Assistance

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska’s congressional delegation has been churning out press releases to trumpet Alaska-bound funds in the trillion-dollar spending bill President Obama is expected to sign Saturday. Among them is $75 million in fisheries disaster assistance.

US, Russia Drafting Voluntary Bering Strait Passage Regulations

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

Vessel traffic is increasing through the Bering Strait, and no regulations exist to monitor that movement. The United States Coast Guard wants to change that.

Early Bills Tackle Lawsuits, Medical Care

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

With the legislative session getting ever closer, lawmakers have released another batch of bills for consideration.

Signatures Submitted for Minimum Wage Initiative

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Sponsors of an initiative to raise Alaska’s minimum wage have turned in their signatures. They submitted 43,000 names to the Division of Election’s Anchorage office this morning.

Alaska Ranks 5th In Millionaires Per Capita

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

In a count of millionaires per capita, Alaska ranks fifth among states, according to a market research firm that tracks affluence. Phoenix Marketing International estimated investable assets per household, based on commercial surveys, the Census and other data.

Alaska’s Population Grows By 3.7 Percent In Three Years

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska’s population growth is increasing faster than that of the rest of the country. Figures released Friday by the state labor department indicate that the state’s population increased 3.7 percent over the past three years, compared with a 2.4 growth rate in the US.

Health Campus Proposed To Handle Anchorage’s Homeless

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A recent editorial in the Anchorage Daily News proposes addressing chronic inebriation and the moribund area of east 4th avenue as the way forward for a more vibrant downtown. These ideas have been on the table before, but not from the person charged with championing the city as a great place to visit and do business. Andrew Halcro is a former state lawmaker and the current President of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Rather than glossing over the city’s ongoing problems, he proposes a health campus to deal head on with homeless people and chronic drunks.

2014 Kuskokwim 300 Brings Past Champions And New Trail

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

24 mushers, including six past champions will be at the starting line for the 35 running of the Kuskokwim 300. The start is scheduled for 6:30 this evening.

AK: Girls Wrestling

Emily Forman, KCAW – Sitka

Your high school might have had a wrestling team, but how many wrestlers were girls? There are more than a dozen girls on Sitka’s Mt. Edgcumbe High School wrestling team, and they regularly beat boys in their weight class. The team is tackling more than just gender barriers; they’re paving the way for the first girls sanctioned wrestling tournament in the state of Alaska.

300 Villages: Hooper Bay

This week, we’re heading to the community of Hooper Bay, on the Bering Sea. Fred Joseph Junior is the Tribal Administrator in Hooper Bay.