Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017

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Murkowski could swing Senate for latest ACA repeal

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

Defenders of the Obama health care law are applying as much pressure as they can to get Sen. Murkowski to vote no on the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. All eyes were on her at the Capitol Tuesday.

Alaska sees 26 percent drop in health insurance rates

Associated Press

Some of the highest insurance rates in the nation just got a little bit cheaper. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield is the sole provider for the Alaska individual health insurance market. It announced Tuesday that its rates will decrease 26.5 percent for 2018.

Transgender troops: Sullivan says let them serve

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

The U.S. Senate passed an annual Defense bill Monday night that includes icebreakers and more missile interceptors, which Sen. Dan Sullivan championed. The bill does nothing to block President Trump’s effort to ban transgender people from the military, a ban Sullivan opposes.

Walker administration appoints climate adviser, promises new policy “soon”

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Nikoosh Carlo began work this month in a newly created position: senior adviser for climate.

University of Alaska students may see 10 percent tuition hike over next two years

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

University of Alaska officials are considering a 5 percent tuition increase in each of the next two academic years.

Fairbanks’ anti-commercial marijuana ballot measures likely to boost turnout for October election

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Local elections like the one coming up on Oct. 3 in Fairbanks are notorious for drawing low voter turnout. But observers say this year’s city and borough elections may be different, because the two marijuana-related propositions on the ballots are likely to draw more voters to the polls in what observers say will likely be a close election.

After mining exec weighs in, Juneau Assembly holds off on boundary mine resolution

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

A local mine executive urged the Juneau Assembly to reconsider a resolution urging federal action on transboundary mining, and the Assembly did on Monday night.

Ferry Taku sold, will become floating hotel

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The Alaska ferry Taku’s next life will be as a floating hotel.

State appeals court overturns 2012 Ketchikan murder conviction

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Citing improper arguments by the prosecution, the Alaska Court of Appeals on Friday overturned the murder conviction of a 25-year-old Ketchikan man who was found guilty about five-and-a-half years ago.

Pink salmon found in odd places near Homer

Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer

Pink salmon are showing up in unexpected places around the Homer area.