Alaska News Nightly: June 22, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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State Challenges Federal Voting Rights Requirements

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The   Department of Law has weighed in on a suit in federal court aimed at stopping the Division of Elections from preparing for future elections until all challenges to the new Redistricting Plan are settled.  The Division is currently waiting to take the final steps on this year’s elections until the U.S. Justice Department approves  the state plan under the federal Voting Rights Act.

Matanuska River Threatening Waterfront Properties

The Associated Press

The Matanuska River is swollen and threatening riverfront properties.

The river is surging with snowmelt brought on by 70-degree temperatures this week.

Borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan says people who are using the river for recreational purposes should stay off it.

The river is expected to crest this weekend.

Susitna Drainage King Fishing Closing Next Week

The Associated Press

Alaska officials say fishing for king salmon will be banned on the Susitna River drainage beginning next week because of poor runs.

Ken Marsh with the state Department of Fish and Game says the ban will take effect at 6 a.m. Monday in an effort to meet minimum spawning goals.

The state has posted king salmon restrictions from the Yukon River to southeast Alaska to allow enough fish to make it to their spawning areas.

Marsh says the new king restrictions in the Susitna River and its tributaries will also bar fishermen from catch-and-release fishing.

Officials Monitoring Subsistence Closures

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The poor King run and subsistence closures in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Rivers have State and Federal officials monitoring the situation from afar.

Army Relocating Units To Fort Wainwright

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Army announced the final phase of a relocation of two aviation units to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma Washington on Thursday.   The move includes a Company based at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

Mayor’s Marathon Taking Place This Weekend

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

The 39th Mayor’s Marathon held near summer solstice every year attracts thousands of visitors to Anchorage. This Saturday the organizers of the road race expect 4,300 runners to tackle the course through Anchorage, including one man with an extraordinary story.

Human Waste Adds Up To Stinky Problem on Denali

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

About 1500 climbers attempt to summit Denali each summer. And as they make their way up North America’s highest peak, a lot of the human waste they produce gets thrown into the mountain’s glacial crevasses. According to a new study, the waste from previous generations of climbers will begin reemerging farther down the glacier a few decades from now. And that reality threatens to transform the pristine quality of the National Park’s wilderness area.

AK: A Cold Case

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, APRN Contributor

Thirteen years ago, eight year old Durga Owens was found shot to death near his family’s remote homestead off the Steese Highway north of Fairbanks. No one has ever been charged with the murder.  AK first started looking into the story of Durga’s murder five years ago. Over the past year,  Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock discovered that investigators are still reluctant to share any information about the case.

This story was made possible by a grant from the fund for investigative journalism.

300 Villages: Venetie

This week, we’re going to Venetie, an Interior community above the Arctic Circle. Eddie Frank is the tribal administrator for Venetie.