Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

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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Three pitches for closing state budget deficit with the Permanent Fund

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO/APRN-Juneau
Governor Bill Walker has proposed using the Permanent Fund earnings  to pay for much of the state’s annual budget. But Walker isn’t alone in eyeing the 50 billion dollar account. Lawmakers have introduced two other bills to pay for part of the budget using the Fund.

AK House passes military code of justice reforms

The Associated Press
The state House today passed a bill designed to strengthen the state’s Military Code of Justice. It passed on a 39-0 vote with one member absent, and now goes to the state Senate. Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, a Republican from Anchorage, says the revisions create a state code which is similar to the federal code.

Court will hear oral arguments on Medicaid expansion

Annie Feidt, APRN-Washington, DC
The issue of Medicaid expansion will be back before a Superior Court in Anchorage Thursday morning. The Republican led Legislative Council sued last summer to stop Governor Bill Walker from unilaterally expanding Medicaid.

ANSEP proposes to run Mt. Edgecumbe as 3-year STEM school

Hannah Colton, KDLG-Dillingham
A state legislative committee last week heard a proposal from the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program to turn Mt. Edgecumbe High School into a three-year accelerated program.

Summit explores achieving racial equity in Alaska

Anne Hillman, KSKA- Anchorage
The First Alaskans Institute hosted a Racial Equity Summit in Anchorage this week. But what exactly is racial equity and how do we start to achieve it?

Low risk of Zika virus in Alaska

Phillip Manning, KTNA-Talkeetna
The World Health Organization declared Zika virus a global health emergency this week.  Experts believe there is a strong link between the virus and a serious birth defect, but that the risk to most Alaskans is low.

Anchorage paramedic travels to Greece to help with rescues

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage resident Teresa Gray just returned from volunteering in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Gray is a retired paramedic who was moved to volunteer after she saw the tragic and widely circulated photograph of a
small refugee boy, deceased and washed up on a beach.