Alaska News Nightly: July 24, 2007

Governor Palin makes a stop in Kuwait to visit troops and spill responders in Prince William Sound are removing remaining fuel from the grounded fishing vessel Nordic Viking, 25 air miles from Valdez. Plus, an unusual walrus hunt in Noorvik — 36 miles upriver from the ocean. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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‘Nordic Viking’ spill cleanup progressing in Prince William Sound
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Spill responders in Prince William Sound are removing the remaining fuel from a grounded fishing boat. The move is in anticipation of getting the Nordic Viking off the rock where it ran aground Saturday, 25 air miles south of Valdez. A few miles of fuel sheen have coated the waters near the grounding site; beach and animal contamination are feared — but wouldn’t be surprising given the size of the spill.

Palin visits Alaskan troops in Kuwait
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)
Governor Palin today visited with a National Guard unit from Alaska serving in Kuwait. In a press conference with Alaska reporters, the governor said she had spent “an amazing day with the 297th infantry battalion and other National Guard troops.”

Roadside bomb in Iraq takes another Fort Richardson soldier
Associated Press (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)
Army officials say a 21-year-old Fort Richardson paratrooper from California has died in Iraq. Sergeant Shawn G. Adams of Dixon, California, died Sunday when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle near Owaset. Adams was an infantryman who joined the Army in August 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in April 2005. Two other paratroopers were injured in the incident, one seriously. They were taken to a military hospital in Iraq. Adams was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. Both injured paratroopers are assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

array1.jpgHAARP project points military science experiment at the sky
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
It’s taken over 15 years, but the Military’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) station has finally been completed in Alaska’s Copper River Valley. A dedication ceremony was held earlier this summer for the facility near Gakona. The completion milestone is ushering in a new level of ionospheric study by scientists and renewed concern from conspiracy theorists.

Wandering walrus a pleasant surprise in Noorvik
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
A successful walrus hunt in northwest Alaska does not normally attract a lot of attention outside the appreciative village. But that wasn’t the case last week in Noorvik. A wayward walrus traveled nearly 40 miles up the freshwater Kobuk river to the western Alaska village.

‘Pegasus’ drops explosives overboard north of Juneau
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)
A 60-foot landing craft called Pegasus — with 47,000 pounds of explosives on board — capsized and ran aground today off Sunshine Cove, about 20 miles north of Juneau. Coast Guard Petty Officer Brandon Cervantes says the accident caused two containers of explosives to fall into the sea. The vessel is now sitting off Sunshine Cove in 50 feet of water, mostly underwater but with the bow sticking above the surface.

Boutique fish processors starting up on Bristol Bay
Johanna Eurich, KDLG – Dillingham
Moving from catching to processing your own fish for market can be a daunting task. Today we meet two processors in Bristol Bay just getting started.

Pre-statehood Russian Orthodox Cemetery in Sitka restored by volunteer
Brian Pollack, KCAW – Sitka
Twenty years ago the Russian Orthodox Cemetery in Sitka was completely overgrown and nearly forgotten. Now, thanks to Bob Sam, it is a place where residents and tourists can mingle with a potent past.