Alaska News Nightly: July 24, 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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Lawmakers Ponder Options For More Natural Gas-Powered Cars

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Lawmakers in Washington are considering what it would take to use natural gas in more cars. There’s some potential for using Alaska’s gas, though there are huge barriers.

Wishbone Hill Mining Permits Called Into Question

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The federal Office of Surface Mining has questioned the validity of the Usibelli coal mining permits for the Wishbone Hill mine near Palmer.  In a letter to the state Department of Natural Resources, division of mining, land and water, OSM’s Kenneth Walker states that the federal agency finds “gaps”  in permitting information furnished to OSM by the state.  OSM has requested that the division of mining, land and water conduct a file review on the Wishbone Hill mining permits and to provide OSM with further information.

AVCP Requests Clemency For Cited Kuskokwim Subsistence Fishermen

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The Association of Village Council Presidents is officially asking for clemency for Kuskokwim River subsistence fishermen cited during closures. AVCP represents 56 tribes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Greenpeace Impersonates Shell To Protest Arctic Drilling

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

When Shell secured a court order to keep Greenpeace from protesting near its Arctic drilling expedition, the environmental group decided to strike back — by pretending to be Shell.

Declining Cruise Traffic Has Sitka Considering A Dock

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

In Sitka, declining cruise traffic has city leaders considering the possibility of building a downtown dock. Right now, visitors arriving aboard large vessels are ferried to shore on smaller boats.

Those in favor of the dock hope it will bring more money into the community. Those against the dock are concerned it could overwhelm Sitka’s downtown.

July On Track To Rank Among The Coldest Recorded

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage & Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

This July is on track to be one of the coldest ever in Anchorage. As of today, the average temperature for the month is just 55 degrees, a bit shy of the coldest July on record which came in at 54 point 4 degrees in 1920. The normal average is 58 degrees. David Snider is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Anchorage.  He says the same weather pattern that is heating up the Lower 48 is making it colder than normal over Southcentral Alaska and keeping storms over the area.

New Webcam Streams Video Of Katmai Bears

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

At midnight last night, Katmai National Park and Preserve switched on newly installed webcams around Brooks Camps. And by early afternoon, viewers from all over the world were tuned in to a live-feed of the park’s famous grizzlies over the internet.

Six Alaskans Recognized For Homesteading Efforts

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

A federal commemoration of homesteading in America recognizes six Alaskans, considered the last to participate in the program. The last woman homesteader and her son gained title to land near Big Delta in 1984.

Rep. Young Endorsing Hirono In Her Democratic Primary

Peter Granitz, APRN –

Congressman Don Young is crossing the aisle.

And despite that difference in party, Young is endorsing Hirono in her Democratic primary for the United States Senate.

Hirono is in her third term in the House. She’s a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – so the video released today of her and Young sharing stories of their strong relationship, caught many by surprise.

Hirono is running against former Representative Ed Case in the primary … and that’s as far as Young’s support will go. A spokesman from his office says he will not campaign for her in the general election – when she has to face a Republican.