Alaska News Nightly: March 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.

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Legislature Debates Gasline Project

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A debate on a gasline megaproject is currently underway.

KABATA Bill Up For Consideration

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A bill authorizing the state to build a billion-dollar bridge across Knik Arm is back for consideration.

With Deadline Approaching, More Alaskans Signing Up For Health Insurance

Annie Feidt, APRN – Juneau

Alaskans working to sign people up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act say they’re seeing a big increase in enrollments this month. Groups like the United Way and Enroll Alaska made the announcement at a press conference today in Anchorage. The boost comes as the March 31st open enrollment deadline approaches. Anyone who doesn’t have health insurance by that date will pay a penalty unless they qualify for an exemption.

Lawmakers Urge Gov. Parnell To Keep Flint Hills Refinery In Operation

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A resolution in the legislature urges quick action by Governor Sean Parnell to ensure Alaska doesn’t lose in state refining capacity. HCR 22 by Representative Tammie Wilson of North Pole, is aimed at keeping Flint Hills North Pole Refinery in operation under a new owner. Flint Hills plans to cease refining this summer in favor of selling cheaper imported fuels.

Lawmakers Mulling Anchorage Office Purchase

The Associated Press

Lawmakers are considering the possible purchase of a legislative office building in downtown Anchorage as an alternative to the current leasing arrangement that critics have questioned as extravagant.

The Senate president and House speaker requested seven working days to discuss the idea raised during Monday evening’s Legislative Council meeting with their members.

The proposal calls for authorizing the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. to purchase the office building for about $28.3 million.

The council’s chair, Representative Mike Hawker, a Republican from Anchorage, said the arrangement could save about $2.4 million a year.

Red King Crab Harvest Abysmal In Bering Straits

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

Earlier in March, 1.2 million pounds of Tanner crab were caught in the Southeast’s commercial fishery, the biggest haul in over a decade. But in the Bering Straits region the winter season for Red King Crabs has been abysmal.

University, State Timber Offerings Planned Near Petersburg

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

Plans are starting to gear up for timber sales on state and university owned lands in the area of the Tongass National Forest.

Heliskiing Guide Caught In Haines Avalanche Dies

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

A heliski guide caught in an avalanche over the weekend near Haines died late Monday according to a statement posted online by his family.

DNR’s Parks Move Wood Tikchik Under Chugach Supervision

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The state’s division of parks and recreation has reorganized the management structure of two of its largest parks. As part of the re-shuffling, one of Wood Tikchik’s two park rangers will be reassigned to Chugach later this year.

Oosik Classic Ski Race Draws Hundreds To Talkeetna

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Last weekend, hundreds of skiers descended on Talkeetna for the Oosik Classic Ski Race and Tour.  Some come to compete, and others wear costumes.  Everyone comes to have a good time.

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