Alaska News Nightly: May 15, 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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Great Bear Undecided On 2013 Drilling Season

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

A few years ago, executives from start up oil company Great Bear Petroleum told Alaska legislators they’d drill some two hundred North Slope wells per year for fifteen years.

Activity Increases At Pavlof Volcano

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

Pavlof Volcano put on a light show for residents of several communities on the Alaska Peninsula on Tuesday night. Activity at the volcano has increased, and it’s spewing ash up to 20,000 feet.

Interior Rabies Cases Prompt Animals Vaccinations

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The recent detection of two cases of rabies in wolves trapped south of the Brooks Range has prompted concern about whether the deadly disease has re-emerged in the interior.  Many pet owners in Fairbanks are getting their animals vaccinated as a precaution.

Marine Highway Dropping Discounts To Save Money

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Say so long to summer drivers riding the ferry for free. Wave goodbye to the winter roundtrip discount. And printed schedules? Those are on their way out too. The changes are some of the ways the Alaska Marine Highway plans to address a $3.5-million spending cut mandated by the Legislature.

Atka Searches For Funds To Replace Aging Health Clinic

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The remote village of Atka, in the western Aleutians, is home to just 71 people. But that’s about to change. The local processing plant wants to quadruple its workforce – and with that, the city of Atka is ramping up a campaign to replace its dilapidated clinic.

Officials Close Kotzebue-Area Subsistence Musk Ox Hunt

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

State wildlife officials have closed a subsistence musk ox hunt near Kotzebue because of evidence of wanton waste of the animals.   Area biologists say five cow musk oxen from the Cape Thompson herd were killed sometime during January or February of this year.

According to Jim Dau a biologist with the state office in Kotzebue,  wildlife officials were tipped off to the killings when two musk oxen bodies were spotted by census takers last month.

On further investigation, Wildlife Troopers found 5 more cow moose bodies that had apparently been shot, and left unsalvaged.

Dau says the illegal harvests exceeded the harvest quota for the unit. The hunt was scheduled to open July 1. The closure does not affect a similar musk ox hunt on the Seward Peninsula.

State Keeping Close Eye On Mat-Su Flood Conditions

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

State officials are keeping an eye on anticipated flood conditions in the Interior of the state, but in the Matanuska Susitna Borough flooding is already starting. Borough officials say the ground is saturated with rain from last fall’s heavy storms, and that, coupled with the lack of snow this winter is causing conditions that give melting ice runoff nowhere to go.

Fisherman Recovers Over Half Of Group’s Lost Canoe Paddles

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

A Petersburg fisherman has recovered more than half of the hand-carved cedar paddles that were lost by the One People Canoe Society late last month.

Female Alaska Native Rapper Finding Worldwide Success

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

There are not great numbers of female rappers and Alaska Native female rappers probably number in the single digits. But one such artist is finding great success in the state and around the world as a woman with a passion for raising awareness of the struggles of Native people.