Alaska News Nightly: April 22, 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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Air Traffic Controller Furloughs Begin

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska travelers aren’t experiencing the delays lower 48 travelers are because of air traffic controller furloughs. Sunday marked the first day of the furloughs which are part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s plan to cut 5 percent from their budget as a result of sequestration.

Alaska Film Subsidy Draws Legislative Scrutiny

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

If you watched the season premiere of Deadliest Catch last week, you might have noticed a line in the credits acknowledging the Alaska Film Office’s contribution to the show.

It wasn’t just a reference to the fact that the show is filmed in Alaska — the note was included because the state actually subsidizes the popular reality television series through its film tax credit program. A bill getting rid of the program stalled in the legislature this year. But lawmakers are planning to push it during next year’s session.

Two Deaths In Kodiak Harbors Under Investigation

Briana Gibbs, KMXT – Kodiak

Two bodies were found on separate fishing vessels in two Kodiak harbors on Friday. Police Chief T.C. Kamai says there were no signs of trauma on either body, leading some to speculate they may be drug related, but Kamai said that can’t be confirmed until a toxicology screening is complete.

The men who died are 44-year-old David Babarovich, and Thaddeus Zdobylak, Jr., 41.

Kamai says both bodies have been sent to the state medical examiner’s office for a full autopsy. He says preliminary causes of death could be released within a few days.

Kamai says nothing leads him to believe the deaths were related, and at this time the police department is approaching them as two separate investigations.

Pitkas Point Man Dies In Snowmachine Crash

Mark Arehart, KYUK – Bethel

Alaska State Troopers report a Pitkas Point man died over the weekend in a snowmachine accident.

Bethel Residents Hold Rally For Subsistence Rights

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

A group of about 40 people held a rally in Bethel this morning for subsistence rights. They gathered in the parking lot of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office. Most of them were Yup’ik, from Bethel and nearby villages.

Alaska Cultural Connections: Dying In Rural Alaska

Anne Hillman, APRN Contributor

The difficulties of living in rural Alaska are well-known – limited access to health care, expensive goods, slow Internet. But what about the difficulties of dying there? Rural communities are known for supporting family members after the death of a loved one.  As part of our series looking at culture in Alaska, Anne Hillman went to Pilot Station near Bethel and learned how one community helps its residents face the challenge of dealing with death in remote places.

Decision Day For Sitka’s School District Budget

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

School districts across the state are struggling with budget cuts. In Sitka, the School Board is taking public testimony tonight on next year’s budget. The board is planning to spend more than two-thirds of its savings to help patch a deficit. But it still has nearly $400,000 to make up. And layoffs are likely.

Family Makes Progress On 800-Mile Trek Around Cook Inlet

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

The Higman-McKittrick family from Seldovia is making progress on its 800-mile journey around Cook Inlet. The family stopped by KBBI’s studios in Homer last week and visited with Aaron Selbig.