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Alaska News Nightly: August 7, 2012

August 7, 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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Matanuska Maid Building Burns Down

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Palmer firemen were hosing down hotspots on the rubble of the old Matanuska Maid Dairy building late Tuesday, after an early morning fire demolished the antique structure in downtown Palmer’s historic district. City public safety director John Owen says the fire call came in at 3:30 a.m.

EPA Holding Meetings on Bristol Bay Mine in Anchorage

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Scientists are gathered at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage this week for a three-day meeting on the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, which reviews possible mining impacts on Salmon in Bristol Bay. The 12 scientists nominated to the panel faced a crowd of stakeholders Monday in the Tikahtnu Ballroom.

New Assistant Secretary for Energy Devoted to Solving Military Energy Problem

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

The Department of Defense spends $20 billion on fuel for the military every year. It accounts for 2.5 percent of the defense budget. Now the department has created a new position – The Assistant Secretary for Energy – devoted to solving the military’s energy problem. The new appointee, Sharon Burke, spent a few days touring Alaska this week, hoping the state could supply a fresh perspective.

Fuglvog Crewmember, IFQ Holder Convicted For Falsely Reporting Catches

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

An Anchorage jury has returned with a mixed verdict for a fisherman accused of false reporting of black cod or sablefish catches from the Gulf of Alaska. The man was a fishing companion of Arne, the disgraced former Highliner of the Year who was also convicted of a similar charge.

Processor’s Trawl Fish Purchase Raises Sitka Ire

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

A Sitka-based seafood processor is taking heat from locals after purchasing trawl-caught fish.

Silver Bay Seafoods bought rockfish from two trawlers delivering to the company’s plant in Sitka. Southeast waters are closed to trawling, and while nobody is disputing the legality of the catch, representatives of various fishing interests say the purchase undermines the ban.

In the face of that reaction, the company apologized for not giving that viewpoint more consideration. But the CEO also says they had the best interests of their company and the community in mind.

Former UAF Shooter Takes Bronze In London

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Former University of Alaska Fairbanks shooter Matt Emmons won a medal at the Olympics Monday.  The 31-year-old New Jersey native, who trains in Colorado, placed 3rd in the men’s three position rifle event behind shooters from Italy and South Korea.

Fairbanks Considers Wood Drying Kilns To Reduce Smoke Emissions

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough is considering wood drying kilns to reduce smoke emissions from wood stoves and boilers.  Dry wood burns cleaner and provides more heat.  Borough Air Quality Manager Jim Connor says the current vision is to tap state and federal grant money to contract for the construction and operation of six kilns at three locations in the borough to serve local wood burners.

Connor says the borough plans to subsidize the cost of drying wood, which is estimated at about $50 a cord. Commercially available wood kilns can dry between 5 and 10 cords in 24 hours.

Connor says the borough knows of no other community that’s tried a similar approach, and anticipates a small pilot program this winter as the borough figures out how to best incentivize the private sector to take up the idea.

Experimental Learning Course Offers Southeast Living Perspective

Anne Hillman, KSTK – Wrangell

A new experiential learning course is giving college students from across the country a different perspective on living in Southeast Alaska, largely from the vantage point of a kayak. The students earn college credit on the six week course. KSTK’s Anne Hillman spoke with the first group of students from the Tatoosh School.

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