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BC-AK--Alaska News Coverage,ADVISORY, AK

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm •  Published: April 21, 2014
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Alaska at 4:30 p.m.

ADDS: COUNTERFEIT CHARGES; KODIAK DRUG BUST; ALASKA EDITORIALS; LEGISLATURE-INITIATIVES BUMPED; SITKA GROUNDING; OREGON BANK ROBBERY

LEGISLATURE-GOING LONG

JUNEAU — After blowing past midnight on what was supposed to be the last day of session Sunday, Alaska lawmakers planned to plow ahead Monday to resolve their differences on education. The House and Senate each adjourned after 4 a.m. Monday following a day of fits and starts that saw all but two of the major pieces in play — education and the capital budget — pass. Lawmakers decided in the interest of good public policy to try to get some rest and return later in the day to try to wrap things up. That includes Senate debate on House Bill 278, its rewrite of Gov. Sean Parnell's omnibus education bill. By Becky Bohrer. Will be updated from afternoon sessions.

ALASKA BUDGET

JUNEAU — The House Finance Committee advanced a capital budget early Monday. The bill includes $20 million for the Susitna-Watana hydro-project, about half what Gov. Sean Parnell requested for this year and next and twice what the Senate included. Some lawmakers have questioned additional funding for the proposed south-central Alaska mega-project, given the state's pursuing a major gas line project. By Becky Bohrer. May be updated.

COAST GUARD SHOOTINGS

ANCHORAGE — A judge Monday refused to allow five defense witnesses to testify in the trial of the man charged with killing two co-workers at a Kodiak Coast Guard communication station. One rejected Kodiak witness was detained for trying to carry a gun through security at the Anchorage federal building. By Dan Joling. UPCOMING: 500 words by 6 p.m. ADT.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

COUNTERFEIT CHARGES

ANCHORAGE — Three Alaskans have been charged in two separate counterfeiting cases. The U.S. attorney's office says 42-year-old Eugene David Downey Jr. of Anchorage faces four counts of passing counterfeit $50 bills at Anchorage-area stores. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 240 words by 4:45 p.m.

KODIAK DRUG BUST

KODIAK — Kodiak police say a weekend drug bust was the biggest ever in department history, with the drugs having an estimated street value of $2.2 million. Police seized more than a pound-and-a-half of methamphetamine and nearly 2 ounces of heroin, Kodiak radio station KMXT reported. SENT: 335 words.

ALASKA EDITORIALS

Two takes of Alaska editorials have moved.

DOG TICKS

FAIRBANKS — Many people think ticks can't live in Alaska, but a state veterinarian says that's not the case. Some ticks, such as hare ticks, have always survived in the state, but nonnative dog ticks also have been found in Alaska, raising concerns for dogs, wildlife and the risk of spreading diseases to people.

IN BRIEF:

— LEGISLATURE-INITIATIVES BUMPED — It's official: the three initiatives that had been slated to appear on this year's primary ballot have been bumped to November after lawmakers went into extended session Monday.

— SITKA GROUNDING — Two crewmembers from a fishing vessel were able to walk from their grounded vessel to a waiting Coast Guard helicopter for rescue.

— OREGON BANK ROBBERY — Oregon authorities say they have a name and sketchy background information about a man who fatally shot himself after a bank robbery, and they're appealing for help to find his relatives.

— COAST GUARD-MEDEVAC — The Coast Guard was preparing to hoist three crewman from a Liberian-flagged ship after they were injured when a large wave hit the vessel.

— ANCHORAGE INDOOR TENNIS — Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Starr is trying to stop Mayor Dan Sullivan's administration from spending on a new indoor tennis facility.

— OFFICIAL LANGUAGES — The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill symbolically recognizing 20 Alaska Native languages as official languages of the state.

The AP-Anchorage