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Alaska News Nightly: March 22, 2013

March 22, 2013 - 4:26 pm

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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Shell Executive Stepping Down

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The executive in charge of Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling program is stepping down.

David Lawrence was Shell’s vice president for North American exploration. He’s been with the company for almost 30 years. Now, a spokesman says he’s leaving “by mutual consent.”

Shell won’t say whether Lawrence’s departure has anything to do with the 2012 drilling season. But it’s only been a week since the Department of the Interior released its review of Shell’s Arctic program. Interior’s investigators said Shell wasn’t fully prepared for the logistical challenges it faced in the Arctic.

Lawrence made headlines a year ago when he told a Dow Jones reporter that drilling in the Arctic would be “relatively easy.” He said the oil Shell is pursuing in the Alaskan Arctic is located in shallow, low-pressure areas that were simpler to access than other deposits.

A Shell spokesman declined to comment on Lawrence’s departure.

Murkowski Clarifies VAWA Dispute

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act had many applauding its new protections for LGBT victims and illegal immigrants.

All three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation supported the bill.

One of the reauthorization’s new, more controversial provisions – granting tribal courts jurisdiction over non natives for domestic violence crimes committed in Indian Country – has reopened a long-simmering debate about tribal power in Alaska.

Bill Would Require Longer Probationary Period For Teachers

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A bill that would require a longer probationary period for teachers has attracted opposition from labor organizations.

Honeman Tries to Slow Labor Overhaul Down

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Anchorage Assembly member Paul Honeman is trying to slow down the process to pass a controversial Anchorage ordinance that would limit unions. He introduced a resolution at a work session at city hall Friday.

U.S. Arctic Research Commission Meets In Bethel

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The U.S. Arctic Research Commission is in Bethel for their 100th meeting. The Commission is an independent federal agency that helps plan arctic research goals on the national level

Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat Students Dance For Their Village Since 100 + Years

Sophie Evan, KYUK – Bethel

Dozens of dance groups will be performing this weekend in Bethel at the annual Cama-I Dance Festival.  One of them will be a student group from the village of Quinhagak. The students had to receive special permission from their elders to Dance, after it was banned in the village for decades.

AK: John Muir

Shady Grove Oliver, KTSK – Wrangell

Muir is one of the most renowned naturalists of the last two centuries. President Theodore Roosevelt turned to Muir when planning America’s first National Parks. In the late 1800s, Muir decided to journey to the far north. And the first stop on his great Alaskan expedition was Wrangell Island in the Inside Passage. KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver traces the history of Muir in Wrangell from his first steps on the island to his continued influence today.

300 Villages: Juneau

This week we’re heading to a city- the capitol city to be more specific: Juneau. Ricardo Worl is CEO for Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority.

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