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A House subcommittee has removed items related to Medicaid expansion from the Alaska health department's budget, despite objections of minority Democrats, with the committee's Republicans repeating calls for Gov. Bill Walker to introduce a bill on expansion rather than have expansion-related items sprinkled throughout the operating budget.
Becky Bohrer
A two-year, $400,000 study aims to determine if posters warning women against drinking while pregnant work better when stuck on pregnancy test dispensers or simply framed on the wall.
Tegan Hanlon
A House committee Thursday approved a plan to cut the Legislature’s spending by 1.7 percent, well short of the reductions proposed by Gov. Bill Walker to state agency budgets under his control.
Nathaniel Herz
A cargo ship has been permitted to leave Dutch Harbor after posting a $500,000 bond and agreeing to leave some its crew behind Thursday following a two-week detention for an environmental crimes investigation by the Coast Guard.
Tegan Hanlon
If Scott Faeo and partner Eric Quam hold their lead, the 31-year-old will join his father John as an Iron Dog champion. It would be the first father-son championship duo in race history. AdventureMike Campbell
Is it time to revisit late Governor Wally Hickel's plan to pump water through a pipeline from Alaska to California? Or is that still a little too crazy?Alaska NewsMegan Edge
"Plane" and simple: Airline competition drives prices down to the West Coast.TravelScott McMurren
The southern Seward Peninsula was under a winter storm warning expected to usher in blizzard conditions and deliver up to a foot of snow to White Mountain and Golovin, with less-severe conditions farther east, according to the National Weather Service.  SportsMike Campbell

News & Politics

Republican lawmakers challenge governor on Medicaid expansion

The Republican-controlled House is poised to strip funding to expand the Medicaid health insurance program from Gov. Bill Walker’s budget, the first shot in what’s expected to be a contentious debate over one of Walker’s central campaign planks.Nathaniel Herz

Have a news tip? Let us know at newstips@alaskadispatch.com

Culture

Anchorage artist Mariano Gonzales’ solo show involves innovation, technology -- and controversy

The police were called in to check out Mariano Gonzales' solo art show, his first at the Anchorage Museum in 25 years, before it was allowed to open. The longtime Alaska artist is no stranger to controversy and innovation.Mike Dunham

Arctic

Application for Russia’s Arctic shelf claim out for bid

The government is seeking to hire experts to flesh out Russia's claim to more Arctic territory and present a convincing case to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer

Nation/World

  • Oil and gas companies hoping to drill in the Atlantic Ocean will have to contend with a new federal proposal to declare waters off the Carolinas and Georgia as critical for endangered whales.

  • President Barack Obama’s administration has proposed banning the manufacture and sale of one of the most popular bullets used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, a move that has enraged gun rights advocates and caused a run on the ammunition at gun shops across the country.

We Alaskans

Getting up close and personal with Alaska's coastline

By some measures, Alaska has more than 49,000 miles of coastline, more than the Lower 48 states combined. The closer you look, the longer the shore gets. With ShoreZone, it's almost possible to zoom in until every barnacle and pebble stands out in sharp relief.Erin McKittrick