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Alaska News Nightly: May 17, 2013

May 17, 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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Interior Rivers Begin To Break Up

Emily Schwing & Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Break up is starting to happen on Interior rivers. The Yukon River ice began moving early this morning at Eagle. It jammed and caused some flooding of low lying homes and roads. Six homes and a handful of sheds have been hit by truck size chunks of ice. At least three homes have been picked up and moved off of their foundations. 15 miles downriver from Eagle a cabin and a summer home have been completely destroyed, sandwiched between enormous chunks of ice. The water levels receded quickly this morning and the immediate threat to homes appears to be over.

It’s the second largest flood on record after the devastating 2009 river break up. And the National Weather Service is worried snow melt in the mountains could increase the flooding potential again in the coming days.

National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb says additional problems are expected as the break up front progresses downstream.

Plumb says colder air moving across the region will slow break up over the weekend, but an expected warm up into the 60’s next week could cause rapid melting and raise the potential for ice jams and flooding. There’s been ice jam flooding on the Tanana River at Salcha, pushing water into a flood prone neighborhood along the Old Richardson Highway.

State To Ask For $750,000 For Marine Debris Cleanup

The Associated Press

West Coast states affected by debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan are about to receive an initial quarter million dollars each from a $5 million gift from Japan for cleanup.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is distributing the money and will allocate the remainder on an as-needed basis.

The pool of funds has taken a hit, with NOAA using half a million dollars to remove a dock that washed ashore on a remote beach on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

The state of Alaska is preparing to ask for up to $750,000 in additional funds to help with clean up this summer. Unlike in other states, many of the beaches targeted for cleanup in the state are remote or difficult to access and there is a narrow window in which to conduct cleanup operations.

Wisconsin Man Hopes To Change Petition Rules

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

There are a lot of rules if you want to gather signatures to get something on the ballot. You have to be at least 18. You can’t share your petition booklet with other people. And you have to be a resident of the state of Alaska. Now, a man from Wisconsin wants that last part of the law struck down, and he’s taking his case to court.

Cybercrimes Increase In Alaska And Nationwide

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

A new report from the FBI’s “Internet Crime Complaint Center” shows an increase in the number of cybercrimes in Alaska.

Feds Oppose Smaller Sealaska Land Bill

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A new, smaller Sealaska land-selection measure faces opposition from the federal government. The legislation would transfer 3,600 acres of the Tongass National Forest to the Southeast-based regional Native corporation.

Anchorage Residents Partake In Bike To Work Day

Evan Erickson & Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Bike to Work Day in Anchorage was soggy and cold this morning. But that didn’t stop hundreds of hearty Alaskans from participating.

Those who did hit the trail were rewarded with several “treat” stations at key bike commuter spots around the city. APRN intern Evan Erickson staked out a spot at the popular “bacon station” at the intersection of the Seward Highway and the Chester Creek Trail.

AK: Exploding History

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

It’s been more than 70 years since Unalaska came under attack during World War II. But you don’t have to look hard to find the remnants. The community is littered with old gunnery installations, battered quonset huts, and bunkers — some of which are being preserved for posterity.

300 Villages: Tuluksak

This week, we’re going to Tuluksak, a community of almost 400 people near the Kuskokwim River. George Lamont is a resident of Tuluksak.

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