Alaska News Nightly: April 30, 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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Eagle Residents Prepare As Breakup Draws Near

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The flood potential this spring has residents of Eagle on edge. The tiny Upper Yukon River community survived a devastating flood back in 2009.  When a massive ice jam broke free that spring, a deluge of water wiped out the community’s historic riverfront and leveled the Athabascan village.  Some residents are preparing for another major flood this spring.

Energy Providers Gather To Discuss Costs

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Rural Alaska power costs are unsustainable.  And this week, energy providers are gathering in Anchorage to find ways to help bring down those costs.   The goal of the Alaska Rural Energy Conference is to create a forum to share ideas aimed at finding solutions for one of the biggest problems facing the state.

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Welcomes U.S. Energy Bounty

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister says he welcomes the United States’ newfound energy bounty. He’s not worried the Kingdom will lose dominance of the oil industry.

Anchorage Denies AO37 Referendum, Next Stop, Court

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The city of Anchorage has rejected a second version of an application to hold a referendum to repeal a new ordinance that limits unions. And, as KSKA’s Daysha Eaton reports, it looks like whether the referendum goes forward will be decided in court.

New Film Covers Former Governor Wally Hickel

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The colorful and often controversial former Governor, the late Wally Hickel is the subject of a new film entitled, “Alaska, the World and Wally Hickel.” Consulting producer Paul Brown says the film covers everything from Hickel’s resolve to rebuild downtown Anchorage after the devastating 1964 earthquake, to his firing by President Richard Nixon when he served as Interior Secretary and disagreed with Nixon over the war in Vietnam. The former Governor was around 78 years old when Brown met him. He says Hickel was still youthful in his vision.

Fairbanks Utility Applies To State For Service Area

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks public gas utility has applied to the state for a service area.  It’s an initial step for the entity created by the North Star Borough assembly last fall.

Alaska Cultural Connections: Whaling

Anne Hillman, APRN Contributor

The spring whaling season is underway on Alaska’s North Slope.  The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission reports St Lawrence Island whaling crews are having success with four bowheads landed by Savoonga hunters and two for Gambell. Whalers on the mainland coast are ready and waiting.

Barrow elder Walter Akpik isn’t participating in the hunt this year, but he’s likely following it closely.  Last summer, he spoke with reporter Anne Hillman for part of our series on Alaska culture, and described just what it takes to land a whale.