Alaska News Nightly: April 2, 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.

Download Audio

Court Says Feds Can Take Land Into Trust For Alaska Native Tribes

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A decision this week from the U.S. District court for the District of Columbia has big implications for Alaska tribes. In the case of Akiachak Native Community v. Salazar, the court affirmed the ability of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Alaska tribes. The ruling also states that Alaska tribes have the right to be treated the same as all other federally recognized tribes.

House Passes In-State Gasline Bill

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

In a late-night vote on Monday, the Alaska House passed legislation meant to advance the construction of a small-diameter pipeline. It would transport natural gas from the North Slope to Southcentral for Alaskan consumption and, potentially, for export.

Rep. Kawasaki Rebuked For Making Faces, Playing On Cell Phone During Speech

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

This afternoon legislators from the Interior called a news conference to rebuke Fairbanks Democrat Scott Kawasaki for making faces and playing with his cell phone during Speaker Mike Chenault’s speech during the in-state gasline debate. Earlier today, the press secretary passed out images of Kawaski breaking the legislature’s rules of decorum and encouraging reporters to cover the breach before ultimately announcing that the behavior warranted a news conference.

Bill Would Make Hazing Students A Misdemeanor

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

High school hazing would be outlawed under a bill introduced by state Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.

Mat-Su Schools Anticipating Staff Cuts

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Matanska Susitna Borough’s  School District is anticipating  staff reductions in the coming school year.  District teacher contracts are in negotiation, and no proposals have been submitted yet, but the school district’s current financial outlook could result in 45 positions being eliminated.

New Research Shows Changes In Alaska’s Labor Force

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

New research shows some significant changes in the makeup of the labor force in Alaska. The research also sheds some light on who chooses to work.

Cause Of FV Katmai Sinking Likely To Remain A Mystery

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

A brand new fishing vessel headed for Alaska to join the Kodiak fleet in 1972 never reached its destination, and its fate has been a mystery for over 40 years. That is, until it was discovered sitting on the sea floor under 9,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico.

Michigan Mechanics Plan To Revive Crashed B-25 Bomber

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

An airplane that crashed 44 years ago near Fairbanks may fly again.  The B-25 bomber was being used for firefighting when it belly landed on a Tanana River sandbar in June 1969.  No one died in the crash, but the hulk of the World War 2 bomber was damaged and never removed.  As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, a pair of aircraft mechanics from Michigan are planning a rescue attempt.

Air Force To Save $3.5 Million By Cancelling Red Flag Exercise

The Associated Press

The Air Force says a decision to cancel this month’s Red Flag Alaska military exercises will save about $3.5 million.

Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bender says that figure is the average cost for the two-week military exercises based out of Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage.

It has not yet been determined if the next Red Flag Alaska exercise scheduled for August will be canceled because of government-wide budget cuts that began in March.