Alaska News Nightly: March 19, 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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The Koch Effect: Two Rich Guys Democrats Love to Hate

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

In Alaska’s U.S. Senate race, there’s been so much talk about the billionaire Koch Brothers you might think they were running for office. They’re not, though a Koch-affiliated group has already spent close to $1 million on ads against Mark Begich. The Cook Political Report today declared the race a toss-up and Begich one of the Senate’s most endangered Democrats. But,  the well funded anti-Begich ad run may not be having the desired effect.

State Senate Passes Bill Advancing Gasline Project

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

After six hours of debate, the state Senate voted in favor of a bill advancing a natural gas megaproject where Alaska is a part owner. Although the legislation passed with a clear majority, there was opposition from Democrats who had problems with the deal brokered by the Parnell administration.

Tsunami Debris Clean Up Is Slowed By Huge Volume, Rugged Terrain

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

The state is planning an aerial survey this spring to figure out how much new debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami has arrived on Alaska’s shores. Environmental groups spent much of last summer cleaning up debris. But the state’s vast and rugged coastline has made it a slow and costly project. APRN’s Annie Feidt returned to Montague Island, on the edge of Prince William Sound with the man who’s leading the effort to return Alaska’s hardest hit beaches to their pristine state.

What Alaska Natives Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

For most Americans, the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is March 31. For American Indians and Alaska Natives, the process is a little different.

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and United Way have teamed up at Juneau’s Gold Medal Basketball Tournament to get the word out.

Sitka Herring Fishery Could Open As Soon As Thursday

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – Sitka

It’s herring time in Southeast Alaska. The multimillion-dollar Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery could open as early as the end of this week.

Bill Prioritizes Personal-Use Dipnet Fishing

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

A bill that would place a priority on personal-use dipnet fishing has been working its way through the system since it was introduced in the state legislature last year. The bill had a hearing in the House Fisheries Committee Tuesday.

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