Alaska News Nightly: December 28, 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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Senate Passes Disaster Relief Bill

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The Senate passed a disaster relief bill today. Included is money for fishery disasters across the country. Subsistence and commercial fishermen won’t get any money soon, because the House is unlikely to take up the bill.

EPA Administrator To Step Down

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage  & Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced yesterday that she will step down early next year.  The Parnell administration has frequently been at odds with the EPA, and yesterday state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan says he’s hopeful her replacement will be somebody the state can work with.

High Court Orders Redistricting Plan Be Redrawn

The Associated Press

A divided Alaska Supreme Court has ordered the state’s redistricting plan be redrawn for the 2014 elections.

Tug Towing Drill Rig Having Engine Problems

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

Problems continue for Shell Oil’s mobile drilling rigs in Alaska waters. The tug towing the Kulluk, which left Dutch Harbor last Friday, is having engine trouble in 20-foot seas about 50 miles south of Kodiak Island.

Longliners Seek Delegation’s Support For Electronic Monitoring

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A major gear group is pushing back against rules set to take effect this January that will put human observers aboard some smaller fishing boats. The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association has enlisted the help of the state’s congressional delegation to try and delay implementation of the observer program for small boats, and to adopt a more efficient electronic monitoring program instead.

Suit Filed Over Fisheries Observer Program

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A small cruise line with ties to the conservation community in Southeast Alaska has filed a lawsuit over the federal fisheries observer program, saying that too many Chinook and halibut.

Jensen Maritime Honored For Design Of ‘Northern Leader’

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

A huge commercial fishing vessel currently under construction has received an award that recognizes it’s unique and innovative design. The vessel has ties to the Bristol Bay region.

Calista Announces Creation of New Subsidiary

The Associated Press

Calista Corp. says it has created a new subsidiary to provide engineering, energy and environmental consulting services.

Popp Family Meets Long-Lost Sibling

Julia O’Malley, Anchorage Daily News

Last year, everything Bill Popp thought he knew about his family changed. He found out he had a younger sister, who his mom had to give up for adoption. In the first two stories in this series, we heard why that family secret existed and how it was eventually revealed. In this final story, Anchorage Daily News columnist Julia O’Malley describes how the family was reunited again after 50 years.