Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018

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State senators slam additional Medicaid costs

The rising cost of Medicaid to the state of Alaska has been the target of criticism during the first two days of Senate Finance Committee hearings. The state added $100 million in additional Medicaid expense for this year after the Legislature passed the budget.

Andrew Kitchenman/AKPM-KTOO – Juneau

Alaska senators vote ‘no’ as Senate renews surveillance law

The U.S. Senate today approved an extension of the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. both of Alaska’s senators voted no.

Liz Ruskin/AKPM – Washington, D.C.

Bethel police unable to trace cellphone calls to 911

More than 70 percent of 911 calls are made through cell phones, but if you call 911 in Bethel, the Police Department won’t be able to trace that call.

Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK – Bethel

Prison riot prompts lockdown

An Alaska prison remains on lockdown following a disturbance that the Department of Corrections is calling a “riot.”

The Associated Press

Anchorage bust nets $1.2M worth of meth, heroin

A federal grand jury indicted two Anchorage residents on drug charges following a seizure of methamphetamine and heroin with an estimated street value of $1.2 million.AP/rdr

New app harnesses crowdsourced weather information

After a record-setting weekend, temperatures have dropped to a more normal range in Sitka and elsewhere around Southeast. And after huge advances in weather forecasting, the National Weather Service is starting to use one of the most sophisticated weather observation tools ever: regular people.

Roberty Woolsey/KCAW – Sitka

What caused the Blob? Scientists conclude, we did

In 2014, a warm water system known as “the blob” wreaked havoc in the Gulf of Alaska. The relationship between extreme weather events and climate change is complicated, but scientists are getting closer to figuring out how the two are linked.

Elizabeth Jenkins/Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

K300 no stranger to severe weather

The Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race is no stranger to severe weather. But this year, Bethel is experiencing its warmest winter ever and officials have had to reroute to avoid open water. So how does this year rank in a long history of adverse weather

Laura Kraegel/KUCB – Unalaska

Board of Fisheries navigates ‘uncharted territory’ for Southeast’s king salmon

Some tough decisions face the Alaska Board of Fisheries this week, including how to conserve dwindling king salmon stocks in a way that won’t financially cripple Southeast salmon fishermen.

Jacob Resneck/KTOO – Juneau

Fishermen set off for first tanner crab fishery since 2013

After a few weather delays, the tanner crab fishery opened today, the first time the fishery has been open in the Kodiak area since 2013.

Kayla Desroches/KMXT – Kodiak