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Alaska News Nightly: August 17, 2012

August 17, 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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Alaska To Receive $20 Million From DoT

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Department of Transportation says it has found hundreds of millions dollars which went unspent over three years. Alaska will receive $20 million of previously allocated money for transportation projects.

Gov. Parnell Requests Federal Disaster Declaration For Kenai Kings

The Associated Press

Gov. Sean Parnell is seeking a federal disaster declaration for king salmon fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet.

Alaska Sea Party, Vote No on 2 Trade Charges of Campaign Disclosure Violations

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

The groups sparring over a ballot measure to restore the Alaska Coastal Management Program traded barbs Friday, accusing each other of campaign disclosure violations.

Sunken Seine Boat Will Remain On The Bottom

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

The fishing vessel Evening Star will stay at the bottom of Slocum Arm.

That’s the word from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation about the vessel that sank in the western Chichagof Island waters earlier this month.

The 50-foot Evening Star, home-ported in Sitka, capsized while seining on August 2nd. It was initially in shallow waters but slipped to a depth of nearly 400 feet.

A report from the DEC says the vessel released the majority of its fuel when it sank into deeper waters. The boat had about 1,000 gallons of diesel on board, in addition to some lube oil and a hydraulic oil tank. The release of the oil products resulted in a sheen nearly a mile and a half long. It has since dissipated.

No impacts to fish or wildlife were reported.

The state further says crews have retrieved oil containment booms above the wreck, and from the mouth of nearby salmon streams.

Nome Travelers Stuck Due To Runway Closure

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

A runway closure in Nome has passengers stuck for days, waiting to fly in or out of the Seward Peninsula community.

Man Pleads Guilty To Disposing Hazardous Waste

The Associated Press

An Anchorage man has pleaded guilty to illegally disposing of more than 204,000 pounds of hazardous waste.

William Duran Vizzerra Jr. entered his plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 14.

The Department of Justice says in a release that he was president of Precision Pavement Markings, Inc., a road and parking lot painting and striping business that operated from a storage lot.

Authorities say he stored hazardous waste, including paint and toluene used to flush nozzles and paint sprayers. But he abandoned more than 200,000 pounds of waste. It cost the lot owner more than $380,000 to clean and dispose of the waste.

Vizzerra’s public defender declined comment.

Storms Cause Flooding In Northwest Alaska

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A series of storms have swollen Northwest Alaska rivers and streams in the Brooks Range, which in turn have caused flooding downstream. The Kivalina and Noatak areas are getting the worst of it, according to Harry Lind a National Weather Service station manager in Kotzebue.

Longtime Alaska Wolf Biologist Passes Away

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Longtime Alaska wolf biologist Tom Meier has died.  The National Park Service reports that the 61 year old Meir, who worked at Denali National Park, was found dead in his home Tuesday. No cause of death has been released.

AK: Underground

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

North America’s only Permafrost Research tunnel is pretty nondescript from the outside. But a small brown building built into a hillside by the Army Corps of Engineers in the late 1960’s is actually the gateway to nearly 40-thousand years-worth of geology, ice and history.   Few Alaskans know it exists, but that might change this weekend when, the Corps hosts the first ever Permafrost Tunnel Open House.  KUAC’s Emily Schwing donned a hard hat and joined a tour to find what’s behind that refrigerator door.

300 Villages: Kenny Lake

Now it’s time for 300 villages. This week, we’re off to the community of Kenny Lake in the Copper River Valley to celebrate the annual Kenny Lake Fair which promises “moose-chevious fun,” where we talk with Kim Morse at the Kenny Lake Fair.

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