Alaska News Nightly: May 28, 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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Galena Flooding Forces Many To Evacuate

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

More than half of Galena’s 400 residents have evacuated as flooding from an ice jam on the Yukon River worsened today. Power has been shut off as a precaution, there is no city water available.

Jeremy Zidek with the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says a dyke that protects the airport has been breached but the runway is still usable. At least two helicopters have been sent to the community. He says no injuries have been reported.

Ed Plumb is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. Plumb has been in Galena for the past few days, taking frequent flights to check the condition of the ice jam at Bishop Rock. He says the river level has fluctuated as the ice moves and compacts.

Educators Worried Summer School Cut Could Hurt English Language Learners

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Normally, students in the Anchorage School District would be starting Summer school in the next week or two. But funding cuts have canceled the program for the first time in recent memory. The cuts will impact struggling students most – especially immigrant, refugee and other students learning English.

Type 2 Diabetes Rates Tripled Nationwide Since 1990

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Type 2 diabetes rates across the nation tripled between 1990 and 2010, and rates among Native Americans are more than twice – almost three times — those of Caucasians. But demonstration projects for American Indians and Alaska Natives show there are ways to prevent or delay onset of the disease.

Anchorage Group Hosting Bone Marrow Registry Drives

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

A group of friends in Anchorage is hosting a series of bone marrow registry drives for a local doctor who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Lukemia in March.

UAF Researcher Contends Wood, Plains Bison Same Subspecies

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Are Wood bison and Plains bison two different subspecies, or are they the same subspecies?  That’s a question that is raising some questions of its own, now that a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher has co-authored a paper that could affect the threatened designation of Alaska’s Wood Bison.

Alaska Cultural Connections: Cultural Exchange

Erik Brainerd & Amber Frysz-Newsome, APRN Contributors

While we’ve been airing our series on culture in Alaska, students across the state have also been taking a crash course in cultural awareness. Part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Rose Urban Rural Exchange Program is to explore the idea of culture: students interview culture bearers in their own communities and write about themselves as culture bearers.  Then they take turns, hosting their sister schools in their home community – and traveling to a new place.  Erik Brainerd and Amber Frysz-Newsome from Begich Middle school in Anchorage have more about their group’s experience as “cultural ambassadors.”