Alaska News Nightly: March 13, 2015

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Medicaid Reform Bill Introduced In Alaska Senate

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN -Juneau
A Medicaid reform bill has been filed in the Alaska Senate. Many Republican legislators have said reform of the state’s low-income health care program must happen before they accept federal dollars to expand it.

House Passes Leaner Operating Budget

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN-Juneau
The Alaska House of Representatives has passed a $4.1 billion operating budget, reducing agency operations by 10 percent over last year. The vote happened shortly after midnight. House Finance Co-Chair Mark Neuman said a $230 million cut in unrestricted general fund spending set a record.

Board of Game Says No to Denali Buffer Zone

Dan Bross, KUAC-Fairbanks
The Alaska Board of Game has turned down an emergency petition to re-establish a buffer zone to protect Denali National Park area wolves. Meeting on Friday in Anchorage, the board voted unanimously to reject the petition from the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, the National Parks Conservation Association, Denali Citizens Council and several individuals, to create a no kill zone on state lands along the northeastern edge of the Park near Healy.

Worker Killed at Port of Anchorage

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA-Anchorage
A worker was killed at the Port of Anchorage earlier today handling military equipment. Lindsey Whitt is the head of the External Affairs for the Port, and says this morning’s incident involved cargo shipping to the 1st Stryker Brigade in Fairbanks.

Three Advance in Pilot Project to Arm VPSO’s

Ben Matheson, KYUK-Bethel
Daysha Eaton, KYUK-Bethel

Three Village Public Safety Officers have been selected to advance in the VPSO Arming Pilot Project with training this month in Sitka. Twenty one VPSOs initially showed interest in taking part. There were seven earlier this year still in the process.

Gray Named Bethel DA

Ben Matheson, KYUK-Bethel
Alaska’s attorney general has named the Fairbanks district attorney as Bethel’s new district attorney. J. Michael Gray will begin in Bethel April 1 and will replace June Stein, who was fired last month.

New Route Makes Some Mushers Feel Like Rookies

Emily Schwing, APRN Contributor
This year’s race reroute has left even the most seasoned of Iditarod mushers feeling like rookies. Race leaders won’t start to appear until after teams complete their mandatory layovers and make up their start time differentials. But as Emily Schwing reports, many mushers are still surprised at where they’re finding themselves in the standings.

Women’s Hall of Fame Inducts New Members

Lori Townsend, APRN-Anchorage
The annual Alaskan spring ritual of honoring women who have helped shaped Alaska, took place last weekend in Anchorage. The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame holds their induction ceremony in the Wilda Marston theater at the Loussac Library. Every year, women, some well known and others not, are honored for their contributions to the state.

AK: Blogger Libby Bakalar

Scott Burton, KTOO-Juneau
There are a bazillion blogs these days but what does it take to write one people will actually read? Juneau writer Libby Bakalar has figured out the formula with her blog “One Hot Mess.” Bakalar mixes it up when she writes- using humor, self-deprecation, social media and even a Stephen Colbert-like character to connect with her audience. Her most-read post, titled “Alaska Airlines-to-English Dictionary,” received more than 8,000 hits, and the blog is getting national attention too.

49 Voices

Now it’s time for 49 voices. This week we will hear from a high school student from the western Alaska village of Scammon Bay. Tom James Greg Tomaganuk is from Scammon Bay. He was in Anchorage recently for the Academic Decathalon. 49 voices is AK’s attempt to put every Alaskan on the radio.