Alaska News Nightly: March 25, 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

House Passes Bill To End High School Exit Exam

The Associated Press

The Alaska House has passed legislation that would repeal the high school graduation exam.

The high school exit exam tests student aptitude in reading, English and mathematics.

House Bill 220, sponsored by Republican Pete Higgins of Fairbanks, terminates the exam as soon as the bill becomes law. It allows former students who earned enough high school credits to graduate to obtain their diploma even though they failed the exam.

Higgins says if the bill does become law, it will save the state $2.7 million in administrative costs.

The vote was 32-5. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Gasline Bill Could Include Rural Provisions

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

With less than 30 days remaining in the legislative session, the Alaska House is considering gasline legislation that would advance a line from the North Slope to an LNG export facility in Nikiski. For rural Alaska, the bill includes funding that could send gas to communities hundreds of miles from the pipeline.

Legislature Weighs ‘Erin’s Law’

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

Erin Merryn is visiting Alaska this week to promote a law that provides age-appropriate sexual abuse education to children in public schools. Erin’s Law, named after the 29-year-old from Illinois, has passed in 11 states and is pending in 26 others, including Alaska. A warning to listeners: this story deals frankly with sexual abuse and rape.

Murkowski: Clean Water Act Rule a Threat to Development

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal today that critics say would expand the reach of the Clean Water Act to cover most creeks and wetlands across the country.

Though Earthquake Detection Has Improved, Gaps Remain

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Just five years after statehood, Alaska endured the largest earthquake recorded in North America. The quake devastated communities around the Southcentral portion of the state, but in the years that followed it also made Alaska the epicenter of extreme seismic studies.

Valdez Earthquake Survivors Recall 1964 Experiences

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The community of Valdez was devastated by the Good Friday earthquake. The giant tsunami that formed right after the shaking began killed 30 people gathered at the harbor and on the dock. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed the town.  It took three years for locals to relocate from Old Town Valdez to where the new town site is today.

Galena Residents Prep For Season Of Rebuilding

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Galena residents are preparing for another season of rebuilding from devastation wrought by last year’s major break up flood.  There was a major emergency response last summer, but much work remains to be done in the Yukon River community.

Archivists Rally To Keep National Archives In Anchorage

Jolene Almendarez, APRN – Anchorage

Funding for the National Association of Records and Administration, or NARA, building in Anchorage has been chopped from the National Archives budget as a result of a $10 million budget cut. All federal records will be moved to a Seattle based facility beginning in September. Local archivists, historians, senators and residents though, are rallying behind efforts to keep the archives in Anchorage.