Alaska News Nightly: March 5, 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

Bill Would Eliminate Ferry Workers’ Cost Of Living Adjustment

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

For almost 40 years, ferry workers who are Alaska residents have gotten a cost-of-living adjustment, allowing them to be paid more than those who don’t live in the state. Now, a bill getting rid of that salary bonus is moving through the Legislature. And the way it’s advanced has raised a few hackles.

Legislature Considers Changing Autopsies In Rural Alaska

Ben Matheson, KNOM – Nome

When a person dies under suspicious or unusual circumstances, the state has an obligation to make sure that evidence is processed and that they can protect the victim and their family.  In rural Alaska, that means sending the body to the medical examiner’s office in Anchorage.  If the legislature acts on a bill this year, part of that examination could take place locally.

Burmeister Leads Mushers Into Cripple

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Nome Musher Aaron Burmeister has the Iditarod lead. He pulled into the remote checkpoint of Cripple at 3:25 this afternoon. Jeff King followed 40 minutes later. A number of mushers appear to be taking their 24 hour lay overs in Takotna, including Aliy Zirkle, Robert Sorlie and Dallas and Mitch Seavey.

UAA Panel Discussing Pros, Cons Of Pot Legalization

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Tonight the University of Alaska Anchorage will feature a panel discussion on the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana. Last night we brought you the perspective of a legalization advocate and this evening we offer the opposing side. Dean Guaneli is a retired assistant attorney general for Alaska. Guaneli says there is confusion over the current law regulating marijuana here. He says because of the privacy clause in the state constitution, a 1976 decision by the Alaska Supreme court made it impossible for the state to enforce the law for small amounts in one’s home. But he says in 2006, the legislature clearly re-criminalized marijuana.

Infusion Suite Opens At Ketchikan Hospital

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Chemotherapy patients at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center have a brand-new infusion suite for their treatments. The center opened last week with a special ceremony, and the first patients tried it out on Tuesday.

Nome Business Owners Prepare For Iditarod Influx

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

Mushers are racing towards Nome. And so are the tourists. A small business owner is gearing up to capitalize on the influx.

Trapper Creek Man Survives Snowmachine Crash Thanks to His Dog

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Dogs are an integral part of many people’s lives in Alaska, and Otis Orth, from Trapper Creek man has even more reason to be grateful to his four-legged companion.

After Perfect Season, Kodiak Girls, Set Sight On Regions

Brianna Gibbs, KMXT – Kodiak

The Kodiak High School girls basketball team wrapped up an undefeated regular season over the weekend. The Lady Bears are ranked number one among large schools in Alaska, and will be looking to advance to the state championship tournament with a good performance at regionals this weekend.

The last time Coach Amy Fogle wrapped up an undefeated season, her team, the Kodiak High School boys, went on to win the state championship in the year 2000.