Alaska News Nightly: September 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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Technical Issues Plague Shell Drilling Plans

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Shell will not drill for oil this summer as originally planned. The company will drill several top-hole wells this year, but technical failures are preventing them from drilling down thousands of feet to oil rich levels.

Legislature Preparing For Possible Military Closures

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Legislators on Monday started looking at what might be in the state’s future when Congress decides it’s time to reorganize the nation’s military. The Joint Armed Services Committee also heard some ideas to avoid concerns over any possible negative results from the next federal Base Realignment and Closure – or BRAC – commission.

Interior Cleaning Up After Wind Storm

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The same storm that left relatively little damage in Anchorage hit parts of the Interior hard. Golden Valley Electric Association crews have been working since early this morning repairing power lines damaged by wind felled trees.

Weekend Storm Causes Flood In Southcentral

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The weekend’s predicted big windstorm in the Anchorage area, didn’t hit as hard as the storm two weeks earlier, but heavy rainfall from Talkeetna to Seward has caused many Southcentral creeks to overflow their banks, and has raised concerns of flooding.

Era Resumes Limited Service

The Associated Press

Era Aviation has resumed some limited service in Alaska after the commuter airline grounded 12 airplanes over the weekend.

Airline spokesman Steve Smith says flights this morning were being routed by dispatchers to provide service to those most affected by the weekend grounding.

The planes were grounded after Federal Aviation Administration officers determined cockpit voice recorders were out-of-date and needed to be upgraded. Era says high winds also affected some flights.

Some passengers were put up in Anchorage hotels and others were put on other carriers to continue their flights. Era serves a number of Alaska communities.

The federal investigation stems from an incident this month when an Era plane traveling from Anchorage to Homer dropped 5,000 feet before pilots regained control.

Fairbanks Youth Homeless Shelter Project Delayed

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A youth homeless shelter project in Fairbanks has been delayed. The organization Fairbanks Youth Advocates is working to turn a donated downtown apartment building into a place to provide short term housing and meals for homeless kids.

Valdez Holds First Alaska LNG Summit

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

Liquefied natural gas was on the minds of energy business executives, community leaders, and state lawmakers as they met at the first-ever Alaska LNG Summit in Valdez last week. The two-day summit gave the City an opportunity to show why such a line needs to go through Valdez.

Seafood Summit Wraps Up In Hong Kong

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The 10th annual Seafood Summit wrapped up last week in Hong Kong, Alaskan freelance reporter and publisher of the newsletter Laws of the Sea, Bob Tkacz was there. Tkacz says he spent four days touring aquaculture facilities, both for fin fish and shrimp. He says as demand grows from India, China, Brazil and other countries, wild fish stocks will not be enough.

Tkacz says the operations he visited were clean and professional and the quality was good. He says, some of the problems of sea lice, antibiotic use and waste handling still exit in some operations but he says sustainability was the key word at the summit and large, international buyers are pushing for a more business directed, sustainable approach with seafood aquaculture farm operations.

Avalanche Professionals Meet In Anchorage

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Avalanche professionals from around the world are meeting in Anchorage this week for the International Snow Science Workshop. The meeting is a chance for self described “snow geeks” to trade the latest information on avalanche science.

Fairbanks Approves Chena Hot Springs Resort Land Exchange

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly last week approved a land exchange with Chena Hot Springs Resort.  Owner Bernie Karl can now move ahead on two projects he says he’s had in the works for at least 12 years.