Alaska News Nightly: September 27, 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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Two Missing In Norton Sound

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

Two people are missing in Norton Sound tonight. The Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers are searching for two overdue boaters who planned to travel from Koyuk to Unalakleet on Monday. They were reported missing Tuesday evening and after two days of searching, there has been no sign of them.

Both the Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers are involved in the aerial search for 41-year-old David Slwooko and 48-year-old Debra Kimoktoak.

Troopers say the couple was traveling in a 17-foot boat with two dogs and enough food to last at least a day.

Troopers say extremely low water and high winds have hampered the search.  The Coast Guard is sending an HC-130 out at first light and a helicopter and cutter will join the search later.

St. George Nearly Runs Out Of Fuel

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

Last winter, Nome made national news when thick sea ice put it at risk of running out of fuel. Now, the island community of St. George has quietly avoided the same fate. But, the problem wasn’t caused by extreme weather but economics.

Uncertainty Surrounds Affordable Health Care Act Implementation

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

“Monumental change” is one way to describe the reform taking place in health care right now as the result of the Affordable Care Act. How that change is impacting Alaska was one focus of the State of Reform Health Policy conference on Thursday in downtown Anchorage. The consensus is that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding a law that will be fully implemented in a little more than a year.

Governor Parnell’s spokesperson Sharon Leighow says the Affordable Care Act is complicated and costly. She says the state hasn’t missed any deadlines for implementing the law.

Dive Surveys Help To Track D. Vex Distribution

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

State officials are learning as much as they can about an invasive species of sea squirt living in Sitka’s Whiting Harbor. It was discovered in 2010 by citizen volunteers. The hope is to eventually wipe it out.

But before that happens, scientists need to know precisely where it is and how much is down there. And the best way to do that is to go underwater and have a look.

Sitka’s Fake Coupons Par Of National Problem

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A nationwide consumer scam has hit Sitka. It involves online sales of counterfeit coupons.

CVRF Villages Launch Campaign To Increase Fishing Allocations

Sophie Evan, KYUK – Bethel

The 20 villages that form the Coastal Villages Region Fund, or CVRF, have started a public campaign aimed at increasing their fishing allocations under the Community Development Quota program.  To change how much fish CVRF can take would require Congress amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. CVRF is hoping there is enough support to make it happen.

Pilot Shares Story With LKSD Students

Mark Arehart, KYUK – Bethel

Several Lower Kuskokwim School District students interested in aviation gathered in Bethel earlier this week to hear one pilot’s story.

Athabascan Elder Richard Frank Passes Away

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Athabascan Elder Richard Frank passed away late last week.  He was born and raised in Old Minto, roughly 60 miles northwest of Fairbanks.  Frank’s daughter Roxanne remembers his outspoken attitude about native land claims issues in Interior Alaska.