Alaska News Nightly: Monday, March 12, 2018

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House passes fast-track bill to fund Medicaid, ferries

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The House today passed an extra funding bill to allow the state to make Medicaid payments to hospitals and the Alaska Marine Highway System to operate through the spring.

Tariffs already boosting Alaska aluminum prices

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

How will President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs affect Alaska? In at least one sector, the impacts are real.

To disrupt land in Upper Kuskokwim, Donlin Gold may preserve land by Cook Inlet

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

The Alaska Mental Health Trust is considering handing over control of nearly 2,000 acres of Cook Inlet land to Donlin Gold.

Weather hampers ongoing search for missing Mendenhall climbers

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

The search continues for two missing climbers who did not return from their ascent of the Mendenhall Towers last week. Winter weather has made it difficult for rescuers to search for Ryan Johnson of Juneau and Marc-Andre Leclerc of British Columbia on the Mendenhall Ice Field.

Petit lead disappears as Ulsom overtakes on coast

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

There’s been a shakeup along the Iditarod trail. Bad weather along the coast earlier today hampered the race’s front runners.

Alaskan skier wins gold, silver medals at Paralympic Games

Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Andrew Kurka’s first place finish in the men’s downhill race on Friday was the first medal ever for an Alaskan athlete at the Winter Paralympic Games.

Governor Walker asks feds to declare Pacific cod disaster

Kayla Desroches, KMXT – Kodiak

Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott signed a letter last week asking the federal government to declare the 2018 Pacific Cod Fishery in the Gulf of Alaska a disaster.

Ferry reform effort gets a legislative boost

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The effort to reform the Alaska Marine Highway System took a step forward Thursday. The House Transportation Committee voted to instruct staff to draft legislation that would establish a public corporation to take over the system. But it’s a long way from a done deal.

Cama-i 2018 honors its roots

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

In the 1980s, a gathering of a few traditional village dance groups in Bethel started what may now be the world’s largest gathering of Alaska Native dancers: the Cama-i Dance Festival.

Ask a Climatologist: A winter of warm temps and decent snow

Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

For climatological winter, Alaska was about seven degrees above normal.