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Alaska News Nightly: July 6, 2012

July 6, 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 Gets First Federal Waiver For ‘No Child Left Behind’

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The Federal Department of Education has given Alaska a waiver for one of the requirements created by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Researchers Find Surprising Plastic Pollution Levels In Pacific Northwest

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

Researchers in British Columbia using migratory sea birds from Alaska have found surprising levels of plastic pollution off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

Dive Team Recovers Body From Matanuska Lake Canoe Accident, Searching For Second

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

One body has been recovered from a Matanuska Susitna Borough lake after a canoe accident. Dive teams from the Borough’s Emergency Services division recovered the body, as yet unidentified, after people noticed an overturned canoe on Matanuska Lake around 10 a.m. Friday.  Stefan Hinman, Borough spokesman, said the dive team is looking for a second body, but could offer little more information.

Hinman said the lake is about 100 feet deep in the area the divers are working.

State Park rangers say the canoe had been rented about an hour before it was spotted overturned in the water

Two adult males were in the canoe.  Their identities are being withheld until next of kin are notified.

Search Efforts Intensify For Missing Mt. Marathon Runner

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The search for missing Mount Marathon runner Michael LeMaitre has intensified, but with no results yet.  LeMaitre, a 66-year-old-Anchorage man, ran the annual July 4 race in Seward, and was seen near the top of the mountain Wednesday, but not since.

Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, assisted by rescue dogs and helicopters, began a search in the early hours of Thursday.   Rain and fog has hampered their efforts.

Friday between 30 and 40 people are looking for LeMaitre, according to Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. She says today searchers are focused on the east side of the mountain.

LeMaitre had never run the Mt. Marathon race before, according to his family.

Weather on the mountain has improved since Thursday, Ipsen said.

Shell’s Oil Response Barge Awaiting USCG Approval Before Heading North

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Shell’s oil response barge is stuck in Bellingham, waiting for approval from the Coast Guard before it can begin its trip to the Alaskan Arctic. Federal inspectors want the company to make improvements to ensure the ship can withstand the harsh Arctic environment. Shell had hoped to be transiting through the Bering Sea by now with its fleet of ships.

Kim Murphy is an LA Times reporter who broke the story. She’s based in Seattle. Murphy says a lot of small issues are holding up the barge’s certification.

Greenpeace Campaign Against Arctic Drilling Facing Less Resistance In Unalaska

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

The last time Greenpeace was in Unalaska, they didn’t get a warm welcome. The local fishing industry shunned the group in part because of campaigns against trawling in the Bering Sea. But when the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza came into port this week to prepare for a campaign against Arctic drilling, opposition to the group wasn’t as fierce.

AK: A Tribute

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The famous late singer-songwriter John Denver loved the outdoors. Denver got a taste of Alaska’s wilderness on a visit to the state in the 70s. One of his stops was to the McCarthy-Kennecott area. Thirty years later, residents there pay tribute to that visit with a concert.  KCHU’s Tony Gorman traveled to McCarthy to attend the fifth and final John Denver Tribute Concert and has this story.

300 Villages: Nikolaevsk

Now its time for 300 villages. This week, we’re visiting the Russian Old Believer village Nikolaevsk, on the Kenai Peninsula with Nina from the village of Nikolaevsk.

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