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From Our Listeners

  • There will be a book signing with author Nick Jans at the Haines Public Library on Tuesday, July...

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Alaska and Yukon Headlines

Despite property tax bump for school funding, Anchorage homeowners will pay less

Wed, 2014-04-30 19:17
Despite property tax bump for school funding, Anchorage homeowners will pay less Even after the Anchorage Assembly added $5.8 million dollars of school district funding to the Anchorage property tax rolls, and another $2.75 million in one-time increases, local homeowners will still see a reduction in their property tax bills for 2014. April 30, 2014

Wielechowski, Mystrom throw down in oil-tax debate

Wed, 2014-04-30 19:15
Wielechowski, Mystrom throw down in oil-tax debate In the latest back-and-forth over Alaska's current oil tax structure, a former Anchorage mayor and a state lawmaker made their respective cases to the Anchorage East Rotary Club.April 30, 2014

North Slope spill spreads to 33 acres

Wed, 2014-04-30 18:39
North Slope spill spreads to 33 acres Monday's two-hour spill was originally believed to have affected 27 acres of snow-covered tundra.April 30, 2014

Policy Change Could Could Create “Indian Country” in Alaska

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:35

The U.S. Department of Interior has proposed a rule change that would allow Alaska tribes to ask the federal government to take their lands into trust. The request isn’t always granted, but Wednesday’s announcement is a legal turn that could vastly expand the recognition and authority of tribal sovereignty in Alaska.

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Sikuliaq Research Vessel Nears Completion

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:34

The National Science Foundation’s new Arctic research vessel Sikuliaq is nearing completion. The $200 million project has experienced delays, but final work is taking place at a Wisconsin shipyard.

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13,000 Alaskans Enrolled With Healthcare.gov

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:33

About 13,000 Alaskans signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that closed March 31st. The two insurers offering plans on the exchange in Alaska shared their enrollment figures today with APRN. Moda Health says it has about 7700 healthcare.gov enrollees in Alaska and the company is still processing some additional sign ups.

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Premera Alaska enrolled 5300 people on the exchange. Before the troubled launch of healthcare.gov, the company had hoped for more customers. But Premera spokesperson Melanie Coon is satisfied with the numbers:

“I think we readjusted our expectations. We’re very pleased with how enrollment went, based on the slow start to the exchange and… the last minute changes that were made where people could extend.”

Both companies are also reporting substantial enrollment off the federal exchange. 2000 Premera customers opted to enroll directly. And 700 people bypassed the federal website to sign up with Moda Health. The insurance plans are the same on and off the exchange. But subsidies are only available on the exchange.

This story is part of a partnership between APRN, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Skagway Ferry Dock Is Floating Again

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:32

Western Marine Construction began working early Tuesday to refloat the dock. (Photo courtesy Jeremy Stephens, Alaska DOT&PF)

The Skagway ferry dock is floating again after a contractor hired by the state brought the sunken dock to the surface. But it’s still not ready to host Alaska Marine Highway ferries.

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Western Marine Construction of Juneau began working at low tide Tuesday to pump water out of the chambers that float the dock.

State transportation department spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says all 24 chambers were flooded. He says it’s still not clear why.

Skagway city officials think a potable water pipe that runs from the ferry terminal to the dock and underneath may have burst, but Woodrow says the state is not yet ready to declare that as the official cause.

He says DOT engineers are inspecting the dock and divers will exam the structure underwater structure.

Early estimates indicate repairs may run around $400,000. Woodrow says passenger ramp, electrical system and vehicle ramp hydraulic system repairs are underway, and other work will likely need to be done.

Ferry service has been suspended to Skagway until at least May 9th.

Sexual Abuse Prevention Bill Falls Through The Cracks

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:31

Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, testified in the House Education Committee on House Bill 233, also known as Erin’s Law. Rep. Geran Tarr is the bill sponsor. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

A bill requiring school districts to implement sexual abuse education seemed poised to become law during the recent Alaska Legislature. Gov. Sean Parnell supported Erin’s Law, the Senate passed it, and the House version had 21 co-sponsors.

But House Bill 233 got stuck in committee.

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House Finance Committee co-chair Bill Stoltze says he’s not sure why Erin’s Law didn’t get heard in his committee. He calls it “a casualty of a hectic session.”

“I guess I’ll call it falling through the cracks because it wasn’t one that I had any animus toward or any interest– I was dealing with so many crime bills and I don’t know how that one slipped through. I can’t even tell you much of the content of it because I didn’t really look at it,” Stoltze says.

HB 233 unanimously passed the House Education committee at the end of March and went on to House Finance. House Speaker Mike Chenault says he doesn’t recall why he referred it there since the bill had no fiscal note.

Chenault was the last of 21 representatives to sign on to co-sponsor the bill. He doesn’t know why it was held up.

“Sometimes it’s inner turmoil. Sometimes it’s just not the right time. Sometimes it’s somebody doesn’t like it. If it ever got to the floor, it probably would’ve passed,” Chenault says.

Of the roughly 380 bills introduced on the House side, Chenault says only 68 House Bills passed this year.

“People were concentrating on the big issues that affected the state versus other issues that didn’t quite get to the top of the pot,” he says.

Democratic Rep. Geran Tarr, who introduced Erin’s Law, says teaching kids to speak up when someone touches them inappropriately is a big issue for the state.

“This is a transformational legacy type of legislation where 10, 20 years down the line you’ve made a difference in the lives of thousands of Alaskans and we should’ve done it this year,” Tarr says.

She says she was shocked and embarrassed the bill died.

“We could’ve done the right thing and given kids a voice on a very important issue. That effort will be delayed by at least a year now. We’ll come back and we’ll be ready to work on it again next year. The sad news is there are kids that need the information now,” Tarr says.

Erin’s Law is named after 29-year-old Erin Merryn from Illinois, who was sexually abused as a child. Merryn travels around the country advocating for sexual abuse education in schools.

She spent a week in Alaska in March. She talked to lawmakers, testified on the bill, and participated in the governor’s annual Choose Respect rally.

Merryn wonders why the bill died, especially since it had support from both sides of the aisle. While the House version of the bill was sponsored by a Democrat, the Senate’s version was carried by Republican Senator Lesil McGuire.

“It’s a bipartisan issue. I’m not sitting here arguing abortion or death penalty. I’m arguing protecting kids. And the only ones who should be against this bill are the ones that have something to hide, the perpetrators themselves,” Merryn says.

Erin’s Law has passed in 12 states. Most recently, Merryn testified in Rhode Island, and will soon take her campaign to Canada, then to Australia.

But she says she’s not done in Alaska.

“I’m not going away. You can vote this down all you want. I’m going to continue to come back and pound on your doors and get others to support this bill until you pass it,” Merryn says.

The Alaska Legislature declared April Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to the resolution, one in four girls and one in six boys will report being victims of sexual assault. Speaking out against sexual assault is an important first step toward eliminating the crime.

Gubernatorial Candidates Answer Student Questions

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:30

2014 Gubernatorial candidates answer questions formulated by Anchorage middle schoolers on April 30, 2014. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage)

Middle schoolers from across Anchorage had a chance to hear from Gubernatorial candidates on Wednesday about a variety of issues the state is facing.

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Over 100 students representing all of the Anchorage School District’s middle schools gathered in the lobby of the Loussac Library’s Wilda Marston Theatre.

While they were waiting for the forum to begin, students and teachers munched on Moose’s Tooth Pizza while mingling with Gubernatorial candidates Byron Mallott, Bill Walker, and current Governor Sean Parnell.

Once the pizza was finished, everyone filed into the auditorium to hear the candidates respond to a number of questions generated by students and teachers, who worked together to research topics they thought Alaska’s next governor needs to address.

Governor Sean Parnell, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, speaks with students prior to the AARP-sponsored candidate forum on April 30, 2014. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage)

“Our question is, do you think Alaskans should be required to show a photo ID to vote? Why or why not?” Robert King, an 8th grader at Clark Middle School, said.

When the candidates addressed the question during the forum, they answered with a unanimous “no” – primarily because it would limit Alaskan’s ability to vote…especially in rural communities.

Corin Kotzke is an 8th grader at Romig Middle School. He was particularly interested in the candidates’ responses to education-related questions.

“I would like to see another increase in the base student allocation and more stability for the jobs of teacher so teachers don’t have to be worrying about retirement and class sizes will be reduced so there can be more 1-on-1 working with teachers and students,” Kotzke said.

All of the candidates said they are in favor of improving Alaska’s education system.

Republican candidate Governor Sean Parnell says education funding has increased substantially since he has been in office.

Independent candidate Bill Walker says the best way to increase education funding is for the state to generate more revenue with more resource development.

And Democratic candidate Byron Mallott says education must be funded fully… and create certainty for students, teachers and administrators.

But Romig 8th grader Aaron Jenkins wasn’t satisfied with those answers. He wanted more specifics from the candidates

“I was hoping to hear some of the 7th period that they are proposing for high schools next year,” Jenkins said. “Yeah, they did talk about their plans to increase the budget for schools, but not their plans for the schools themselves – which I would have liked to hear.”

Other topics ranged from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid in Alaska, to the growth of Alaska’s economy, and how to strike a balance between new construction and maintaining existing infrastructure.

Byron Mallott – the Democratic candidate – was happy with the forum’s turnout. And he says it’s important that adults work to get young people interested and involved in the political process.

“In many ways, Alaska is a vast land, but it’s a small community,” Mallott said. “And children influence every aspect of our lives; they should be our highest priority.”

The forum was organized by AARP Alaska and moderated by Andrew Halcro, of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and Jeannine English, the incoming AARP National President.

Crews Set Up Denali Base Camp

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:29

Thursday marks the unofficial beginning of climbing season on Denali, when base camp gets set up for the thousand-plus climbers that will make an attempt to summit North America’s highest peak.

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For a few months each year, one of the busiest “airports” in Alaska isn’t technically an airport at all.  It’s Denali base camp on the Kahiltna Glacier.  The vast majority of climbers fly in from Talkeetna to the camp at just over 7,000 feet to start their trek.  On arrival, climbers are met by base camp manager Lisa Roderick.  She says her job on the mountain involves wearing multiple hats.  One of her regular tasks is calling the air services in town with current weather conditions in the Alaska Range.

“They love having a person up there that can tell them what the ever-changing conditions are doing.  As climbers fly in, I help unload the planes and just facilitate getting the planes moving and keeping things running smooth.  As the climbers are done climbing the mountain, I call there air service and get their flight out…”

Lisa Roderick doesn’t work for the National Park Service.  Instead, she works for the air services in Talkeetna whose job it is to ferry climbers back and forth to Denali.  She keeps cards for each climbing group that tells who they are, what air service they flew in with, and what languages they speak.  Many of those cards do not list “English,” so Lisa sometimes has to improvise her communication.

“There’s a lot of sign language with some of the climbers who don’t speak English.  It just works out, you point to an airplane and say, ‘Take your stuff over there.’  People want to get home so bad that they’re packed and ready and waiting for their plane ninety-percent of the time, so I don’t have to do too much.”

On Wednesday, Lisa Roderick was busy arranging gear and consulting her checklist.  Unlike climbers, whose supplies are centered around getting up and down the mountain, her gear involves communications equipment and long-term shelter, which comes with a lot of baggage.

“Basically, it’s just making sure I have all the equipment I need up there.  I have solar panels that charge four marine batteries, so [I] make sure I have all the equipment in tip-top shape.  I have a bunch of radios that I use up there–just putting everything into a big pile to be loaded into airplanes for tomorrow.”

While some climbers have begun their treks already, twelve as of Wednesday, most won’t arrive until mid-May or later.  The heart of climbing season in May and June is when base camp earns the nickname, “Kahiltna International Airport.”  For nearly all of those climbers, one of the first and last faces they see on their Denali expedition will be Lisa Roderick’s.

‘Arctic Sun: Fulfilling The Dream’ Chronicles Family’s Wilderness Adventures

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:28

A documentary showing statewide on 360 North this evening, chronicles the wilderness adventures of Jean Aspen and Tom Irons.

Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream is the story of Jean, her husband Tom and their son Luke as they spend a year in the Brooks Range, out of contact and building their own cabin. When she was in her 20s, Jean went into the arctic with her first husband, living off the land for four years.

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UAA Students Cope With Finals Week

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:27

It’s finals week at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and that means many students are crunching a very large amount of work into a very short amount of time. An Anchorage woman has found a creative way to help students beat the stress of the week.

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Alaska News Nightly: April 30, 2014

Wed, 2014-04-30 17:07

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Proposed Rule Change Could Allow Alaska Tribal Land Trusts

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Department of Interior has proposed a rule change that would allow Alaska tribes to ask the federal government to take their lands into trust. The request isn’t always granted, but Wednesday’s announcement is a legal turn that could vastly expand the recognition and authority of tribal sovereignty in Alaska.

Sikuliaq Research Vessel Nears Completion

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The National Science Foundation’s new Arctic research vessel Sikuliaq is nearing completion. The $200 million project has experienced delays, but final work is taking place at a Wisconsin shipyard.

13,000 Alaskans Enrolled With Healthcare.gov

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

About 13,000 Alaskans signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that closed March 31. The two insurers offering plans on the exchange in Alaska shared their enrollment figures today with APRN. Moda Health says it has about 7,700 healthcare.gov enrollees in Alaska and the company is still processing some additional sign ups.

Skagway Ferry Dock Is Floating Again

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

The Skagway ferry dock is floating again after a contractor hired by the state brought the sunken dock to the surface. But it’s still not ready to host Alaska Marine Highway ferries.

Sexual Abuse Prevention Bill Falls Through The Cracks

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

A bill requiring school districts to implement sexual abuse education seemed poised to become law during the recent Alaska legislative session. Governor Sean Parnell supported Erin’s Law, the Senate passed it, and the House version had 21 co-sponsors. But, House Bill 233 got stuck in Finance.

Gubernatorial Candidates Answer Student Questions

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Middle schoolers from across Anchorage had a chance to hear from Gubernatorial candidates on Wednesday about a variety of issues the state is facing.

Crews Set Up Denali Base Camp

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Thursday marks the unofficial beginning of climbing season on Denali, when base camp gets set up for the thousand-plus climbers that will make an attempt to summit North America’s highest peak.

‘Arctic Sun: Fulfilling The Dream’ Chronicles Family’s Wilderness Adventures

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A documentary showing statewide on 360 North this evening, chronicles the wilderness adventures of Jean Aspen and Tom Irons.

Arctic Son: Fulfilling the Dream is the story of Jean, her husband Tom and their son Luke as they spend a year in the Brooks Range, out of contact and building their own cabin. When she was in her 20s, Jean went into the arctic with her first husband, living off the land for four years.

UAA Students Cope With Finals Week

Jolene Almendarez, APRN – Anchorage

It’s finals week at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and that means many students are crunching a very large amount of work into a very short amount of time. An Anchorage woman has found a creative way to help students beat the stress of the week.

SWAT teams respond to standoff in Spenard

Wed, 2014-04-30 16:58
SWAT teams respond to standoff in Spenard Anchorage police surrounded a building in Spenard Wednesday evening after an attempt to serve an arrest warrant turned into a standoff.April 30, 2014

Soul to Soul: April 26-27, 2014

Wed, 2014-04-30 15:24

Here’s the music playlist from the April 26-27, 2014, edition of Soul to Soul with Marvel and Sherry Johnson. All tracks played are listed below in the following format:

  • Song Title
  • Artist Name
  • Album
  • Duration
  • Label

Flight STS Take Off 2013 – Liz and Martin Fly By to Long Pass

02:41

Thats The Way Love Goes (EJ R&B Mix) (Intro Outro)

Janet Jackson

06:58

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Zhane – Vibe

Zhané

03:34

Motown

N DEY SAY

Nelly

03:39

Get It On Tonite (Intro Outro)

Montell Jordan

06:24

www.franchiserecordpool.com

June Old 2 New 2004

STS Sweep

01:17

Fuk That (Clean)

J Stalin ft Too Short

03:34

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Foolish (Album Version)

Ashanti

03:49

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Foolish (Instrumental)

Ashanti

03:52

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Everything Is gonng Be Alright (CJs Dub)

Sounds Of Blackness

06:04

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Everything Is gonng Be Alright (CJs Radio Mix)

Sounds Of Blackness

04:37

www.franchiserecordpool.com

I Be U (Clean)

Future

03:53

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Sugar Hill (Instrumental)

AZ

05:38

www.franchiserecordpool.com

I’m Your Woman

Karen White

05:20

Incredible

J. Holiday

04:00

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Nobody Has To Know (Show Me Remix) (Clean)

Kranium, Banky Hype, Chris Brown

03:27

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Zhane – Request Line Instrumental Ripp

Zhane

03:59

Feel Me

Cameo

06:10

Mercury/Funk Essentials

Jet Fly-By

Sound Effect

00:11

Flight STS Liner Hold It Mixdown 1

01:25

Pleasure Dome (Album Mix)

Soul II Soul

04:39

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Love (Clean)

Ray J Hey ft Tyga & French Montana

03:54

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Zhane – Request Line Instrumental Ripp

Zhane

03:59

You’re A Special Part Of My Life

Emotions

03:54

STS Sweep – California Love 2007

01:41

OG Bobby Johnson (Remix) (Intro Outro) (Clean)

Que ft Snoop Dogg, AsAP Ferg & Pusha T

07:24

www.franchiserecordpool.com

For The Rest Of My Life (Part 2) (Radio Edit)

Robin Thicke ft Tamar Braxton

04:56

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Religious Love

R. Kelly

04:12

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Sugar Hill (Instrumental)

AZ

05:38

www.franchiserecordpool.com

One in a Million

Aaliyah

04:30

One In A Million You

Larry Graham

04:13

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (Mega Kutz)

Marvin Gaye

04:31

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (Intro Outro)

Marvin Gaye

05:32

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Bad Decisions (Clean)

Trey Songz

04:35

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Rock With Me

Melissa Young

05:02

Sugashack

America

STS SWeep

01:22

LoveZone 2010 Theme – Love Rock the Best 2010 Jet Fades end

02:17

Rock Wit’cha (Extended)

Bobby Brown

05:36

Natural High

Bloodstone

04:02

Shout Factory/TJL

La-La (Means I Love You)

The Delfonics

03:23

Yearning For Your Love

Gap Band

04:04

Mercury

It Feels So Good To Be Loved So Bad

Manhattans

04:01

I Do Love You

Midnight Players

02:51

Share My Life (Radio Edit)

Kem

04:20

Don’t Ask My Neighbors

The Emotions

04:27

Columbia/Legacy

Don’t Ask My Neighbors

Nancy Wilson

04:44

I’ll Try Something New

A Taste Of Honey

04:13

The Closer I Get To You

For Lovers Only

05:11

Motown

I’m So Proud

Main Ingredient

03:37

Candy Kisses (Full)

Amanda Perez

04:14

I Try

Angela Bofill

05:38

4 Minutes

Avant

04:01

STS Sweep 2014

Liz Old Skool

00:51

Let’s stay together

Tina Turner

03:40

How Come How Long (Laws & Craigie Remix)

Babyface

06:31

www.franchiserecordpool.com

How Come How Long (Natty & Slaps Remix)

Babyface

05:11

www.franchiserecordpool.com

Patrice – What You Won’t Do For Love (with lyrics)

Patrice

04:51

By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Isaac Hayes

07:07

Stax

Anything

Jaheim

04:48

If I Were Your Woman II

Gladys Knight

03:28

Daddy Home

Jermaine Jackson

03:06

Got To Be There

Michael Jackson

03:25

With A Child Heart

Michael Jackson

03:33

Dear Lover

Teena Marie

05:42

I Could Never Love Another

Temptations

03:44

STS Full Landing – June 1 2004

06:31

Former Good Faith Services owners, employee charged with Medicaid fraud

Wed, 2014-04-30 14:52
Former Good Faith Services owners, employee charged with Medicaid fraud Three people previously associated with a personal care attendant agency in Anchorage that had its privilege to submit Medicaid payments suspended after investigators discovered systemic fraud, have been charged with misdemeanor medical assistance fraud.April 30, 2014

Four men rescued uninjured after Skilak Glacier crash

Wed, 2014-04-30 13:53
Four men rescued uninjured after Skilak Glacier crash Four men -- including three from the Kenai Peninsula community of Soldotna -- were rescued from the toe of Skilak Glacier after their plane crashed late Tuesday night.April 30, 2014

Legislation discriminates against aboriginal offenders: defence

Wed, 2014-04-30 13:45
The battle over sentencing and judicial discretion came home for Yukoners on Tuesday, as the Crown tried to overturn a lower court judge’s decision that seeks to soften a key plank of Ottawa’s tough-on-crime agenda, with potentially nationwide implications.

Dock appears stable after successful refloating

Wed, 2014-04-30 13:43
The Skagway ferry dock was re-floated Tuesday morning.

Shift in health care delivery culture urged

Wed, 2014-04-30 13:39
The development of six regional collaborative care centres is a key component of the clinical services plan released Monday.

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