Alaska News Nightly: March 19, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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Ethics Committee To Investigate Rep. Young

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. House Committee on Ethics is creating a subcommittee to investigate whether Congressman Don Young violated code of conduct. The subcommittee will probe Young’s expenses and travel costs.

Oil Tax Overhaul Goes To Senate Floor

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Legislation that would overhaul the state’s oil tax system has been moving its way through the Senate. Tuesday, the bill made it to the floor. While there wasn’t a formal debate on the bill, Democrats in the minority took advantage of the procedural motions to raise questions about how the changes would affect the state treasury.

CEO: SEARHC Hit Hard By Federal Spending Cut

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

A healthcare organization with thousands of patients in Southeast Alaska expects a massive hit to its budget. The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or SEARHC for short, says it’s the result of federal spending cuts known as “sequestration.”

Board of Fisheries Meets In Anchorage

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The state Board of Fisheries started its meeting in Anchorage Tuesday.   Board members heard Alaska Fish and Game staff reports, as well as one from the Upper Cook Inlet Task Force.  The task force was formed last year to consider options in making changes to how late run Kenai River king salmon are managed.  Changes in those rules would influence Upper Cook Inlet salmon fishing regulations. Fish Board members Tom Klubertson and Vince Webster co- chaired the task force.  Klubertson told the Board poor Chinook runs last year forced fisheries managers to severely curtail all types of fisheries to try to make Chinook escapement goals.

Draft Otter Handicraft Rules Face Scrutiny

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The federal government has a new proposal for defining handicrafts made out of sea otter pelts. But it’s not what some crafts-makers expected.

Pacific Producer May Remain Aground For Another Week

Brianna Gibbs, KMXT – Kodiak

A fish processing vessel went aground near the Ouzinkie on Friday. The169-foot “Pacific Producer,” out of Seattle, hit bottom between Kodiak and Spruce Island with sixteen aboard. Ten were rescued and taken to Kodiak, while the rest hope to re-float the vessel at high tide.

Kulluk Loaded Onto Transport Vessel

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

Preparations are officially underway for the Kulluk drill rig’s trip to Asia.

Polar Bear Cub Gets Temporary Home In Anchorage Zoo

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

An orphaned three-month old polar bear cub found near Point Lay is getting a temporary home at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage.

Browder’s Retirement Official, Graff Takes Helm At ASD

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage School Board said good bye to Jim Browder and swore in a new Superintendent at their meeting Monday night.

Northern Dynasty Responds To Allegation Make By Senator Cantwell

Mike Mason, KDLG – KDLG – Dillingham

Northern Dynasty Minerals, a partner in the Pebble mine project in the Bristol Bay area, has responded to the allegations made earlier this week by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell that the company was misleading federal officials.