Alaska News Nightly: Friday, April 12, 2019

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State House passes operating budget

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The Alaska House has passed a budget that includes about $250 million. That is about a quarter of what Gov. Mike Dunleavy as proposed.

State DHSS suspends thousands of senior benefits payments

Henry Leasia, KHNS – Haines

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has suspended payments for some recipients of the state’s Senior Benefits Program due to a lack of funding.

Caring for Alaska’s seniors during tense budget talks

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget proposes eliminating more than a third of the state’s funding for Medicaid. To achieve that, some hospitals and nursing homes could be paid less to provide skilled labor.

Army Corp begins hearings on draft EIS for proposed Pebble Mine

Izzy Ross and Renee Gross, KDLG – Dillingham and KBBI – Homer

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continued its series of public hearings on the proposed Pebble Mine and the project’s draft environmental review this week.

Missile defense test success accelerates arms race with Russia, China, program critic says

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

A prominent critic of U.S. missile defense agrees that a test of the system two weeks ago was a success. And that’s why former Assistant Secretary of Defense Philip Coyle is more concerned than ever that the system is fueling a new arms race with both Russia and China.

AK: Experimental tilapia skin burn treatment heals Haines dog

Claire Stremple, KHNS – Haines

Veterinary medicine didn’t have solutions for severe burns in animals until a UC Davis vet was motivated by the California wildfires to pioneer a new treatment. She brought her skills to Haines to teach local vets how to use the tilapia fish skins—and help save a local dog’s life.

49 Voices: John Fitka of Tuntutuliak

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

This week we’re hearing from John Fitka in Tuntutuliak. Fitka was born in Bethel and is a subsistence hunter.