Alaska News Nightly: May 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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Fish And Game Institutes New Razor Clam Harvesting Regulations

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, Clam diggers on the Kenai Peninsula will have to keep in mind a new set of rules for harvesting razor clams. For the first time in a decade, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is reducing the bag limit for razor clams from 60 per day all the way down to 25.

Man In Charge Of Kulluk During Tow Testifies At Hearing

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

Wednesday, the man who was in charge of the Shell drilling rig Kulluk when it went aground New Year’s Eve testified at a Coast Guard hearing that he had never done a winter tow in Alaska before, but he thought they were prepared for the weather ahead when they left Dutch Harbor ten days earlier, to cross the Gulf of Alaska.

Alaskan Officials Rip On NPR-A

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The state of Alaska, North Slope Borough, and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation continue to pressure the federal government over its management of the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.

The Alaskan officials testified before a mostly-friendly House Committee about a bill that would reevaluate NPR-A.

Ice Jam Above Fort Yukon Loosens

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A massive ice jam 12 miles upriver from Fort Yukon partially let loose early this morning.

Fairbanks Green Up Likely Latest On Record

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Another sign of this year’s slow arrival of spring: green up will likely be the latest in Fairbanks recorded history.

Assembly Postpones Public Testimony Decision

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Tuesday night, the Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously to postpone indefinitely an ordinance that would have changed the way that public hearings are conducted.

JBER Soldier Competes In Best Warrior Competition

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier is competing this week in the Pacific Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition in Hawaii. The week-long competition began Saturday and will end with the awards ceremony on Thursday.

Cloud Covers Making Pavlof Observation Difficult

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Heavy cloud cover over the Alaska Peninsula is making it tough for scientists to monitor Pavlof Volcano. The Alaska Volcano Observary hasn’t been able to get a clear picture of the peak by satellite for almost two days.

According to pilot reports today, the volcano is still erupting, but the ash plume has dropped from 20,000 feet to 10,000 feet or less and is blowing out to sea.

That’s good news for regional airlines, which canceled flights to southwest Alaska this week over concerns that the ash would damage their planes. PenAir President Danny Seybert says the airline restored all of its routes today and started adding some extra planes to work off a backlog of more than 300 passengers.

KABATA Wants Independent Source To Review State Audit

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority, or KABATA, wants an independent source to review findings of  a state audit of revenue projections that almost swamped the Knik Arm Bridge project in the waning hours of this year’s legislative session.

State To Appeal Dismissal Of Roadless Rule Lawsuit

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The Parnell administration says it will appeal the dismissal of its lawsuit over the roadless rule in the Tongass National Forest.

Meanwhile, faced with no participation by the state government, and limited participation by environmental groups, the Tongass Futures Roundtable group has decided to shut down.  The organization was formed  to resolve Southeast Alaska forest-issue conflicts.