Alaska News Nightly: April 1, 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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Alaska’s Health Insurers Call Marketplace Enrollment Figures Disappointing

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

The Obama administration announced today more than seven million Americans signed up for health insurance on government run marketplaces by Monday’s enrollment deadline. In Alaska, the final numbers aren’t in yet. The two insurers on the state’s federally run marketplace say the initial figures leave plenty of room for improvement.

Feds Ask King Cove to Weigh In on Road Alternatives

Lauren Rosenthanl, KUCB – Unalaska

A group of tribal and government officials from King Cove are back from a week of lobbying in Washington, D.C. – and they’ve come home with a new assignment.

Panel Proposes More Education Money, Pension Fix
The Associated Press
The House Finance Committee has proposed an increase in education funding of about $300 per-student over three years.

Alaska Native Languages Bill Clears Final House Committee

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

A bill that would symbolically make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages is heading to the House floor for a vote.

FDA Adds Alaska Salmon Testing To Radiation Monitoring Program

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska fish are being tested for radiation contamination from Japan’s leaking Fukushima Nuclear energy plant. The plant was damaged during an earthquake 3 years ago and continues to releases radioactive water into the sea.

Study: Forecasts For Summer Arctic Sea Ice Lack Reliability

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Year-to-year forecasts of summer Arctic Sea Ice extent aren’t reliable.  That’s according to a report out from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A two-day workshop that started Today in Colorado will focus on ways to improve sea ice extent predictions.

Study Says Melting Permafrost Emitting More Carbon Than Tundra Can Offset

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe. As temperatures increase, permafrost melts, releasing carbon dioxide, and the vegetation growing season lengthens, absorbing CO2. But a study being conducted by the Woods Hole Research Center and published in the journal Ecology, finds that the thawing permafrost emits more carbon dioxide than the tundra’s vegetation can offset.

‘Fairbikes’ To Open In Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A bike share business plans to start operating in Fairbanks this summer. “Fairbikes” owner Jennifer Eskridge previewed what’s planned for the North Star Borough assembly last week.

Board to Review Proposal Limiting King Salmon Fishing to Federally Qualified Subsistence Users

Ben Matheson, KNOM – Nome

With salmon fishing just a few short months away, the Federal Subsistence Board will consider a special action request to limit king salmon harvest in the Kuskokwim drainage to federally qualified subsistence users.

April Fools: Balloons Are Future Of Brown Bear Relocation

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Residents in Alaska’s largest city are distressed by the increasing human/bear encounters in Anchorage parks, along the coastal trail and area streams. In the lead up to salmon spawning in local waterways, an Anchorage biologist is working on a brown bear relocation program. Dr. Robert Bastic has developed a plan that will safely take bears away from the heavy population of Anchorage while also providing a unique tourism experience. The method? Hot air balloons.