Alaska News Nightly: April 17, 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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Ferry Workers Considering Strike If Contract Negotiations Don’t Move Forward

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Contract talks between the state and Alaska’s ferry workers are heating up as each side disagrees on how to make up the gap between revenues and the cost of operating the ferry system. Workers are now considering whether to authorize a strike if negotiations remain stalled.

Texan Confirmed To Gasline Board

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The Alaska Legislature confirmed a controversial appointee to the Alaska Gas Line Development Corporation board of directors on Thursday, but not without debate over whether he has Alaska’s interest at heart.

Gov. Parnell Signs Bill Restricting Medicaid Payments For Abortions

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Governor Sean Parnell has signed a bill that restricts state Medicaid payments for abortions.

State House OKs Refinery Subsidy Plan

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Alaska State House has approved a deal to give the state’s refineries – and one fertilizer plant – up to $200 million in subsidies spread over five years.

High Mercury Levels Found In Lake Trout From Lake Clark 

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

A new study shows that lake trout in the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve have mercury levels that exceed the state and national standards for consumption by women and children.

Alaska Inuit Circumpolar Conference Searches For Food Security Definition

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

The Alaska Inuit Circumpolar Council met in Nome this week to define food security from an Alaska Native perspective.

National Weather Service Forecasts Kuskokwim Breakup

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

The Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center predicts the Kuskowkim will break up at Bethel between May 9th and May 15th. That range is right around the historical average of May 12th.  But after a warm winter with little snow, the Forecast Center says this year’s breakup could bring some flooding.

Birthday Cupcakes Exempt From Ketchikan Schools’ Nutrition Guidelines

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

The Ketchikan School Board adopted new administrative regulations last week governing student nutrition and physical activity, in order to meet new federal standards. The standards essentially require that only healthy food be served in schools. There are some exceptions built into the rules and the Ketchikan school board added a few more, including the “cupcake clause.”

NOMAR Names ‘Alaska Manufacturer Of The Year’

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

NOMAR Manufacturing in Homer has been churning out gear for fishermen, hunters, oilmen and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 35 years. The company was recognized for its work a few weeks ago, when it was named “Alaska Manufacturer of the Year” by the “Made In Alaska” organization.