Alaska New Nightly: February 18, 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.

Download Audio

Employers Struggle With Ballooning Cost Of Workers’ Comp Medical Bills

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Employers in Alaska pay the highest workers compensation premiums in the country. And most of that cost goes toward medical claims. The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has for several years, made reforming the system one of its legislative priorities. And this year, at least one state lawmaker is working on legislation to help control workers compensation costs.

Delta Western, Employees Clash Over Unionizing

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

A labor dispute is brewing between a regional fuel distributor and its staff in Unalaska. Employees of Delta Western say the company doesn’t want them to unionize.

Fairbanks Assembly Votes To Participate In Education Suit

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough will participate in a school funding lawsuit filed by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough against the state of Alaska. The suit challenges the constitutionality of the state requiring organized municipalities to help cover the cost of local schools.

Democrats Use Driver’s License Bill As Vehicle For Gay Rights Fight

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A bill that would save military spouses the trouble of going to the DMV has triggered an unlikely battle over gay rights in the state legislature.

APOC Reviewing Tosi Complaint

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

A complaint was filed on Tuesday with the Alaska Public Offices Commission against Anchorage Assembly candidate Mao Tosi. The complaint alleges Tosi’s campaign for an East Anchorage Assembly seat violates Alaska’s campaign laws on 15 counts.

Tok Residents Trying to Revive Biomass-Fueled Power Plant Project To Cut Energy Costs

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Business and community leaders in Tok are trying to revive a plan to cut the area’s high energy costs by generating electricity with biomass.

Save Our Schools Rallying Cry Heard On Capitol Steps

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Holding signs saying “Kids! Not Cuts” and “Vouchers Hurt Public Schools,” about 200 people packed the Alaska Capitol steps for a “Save our Schools” rally yesterday afternoon.

Supporters Cheer Alaska Native Language Bill

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

The Barnes Committee Room at the Alaska Capitol erupted in cheers this morning, as a panel of lawmakers unanimously moved a bill that would make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages.