Alaska News Nightly: August 29, 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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Syria Strikes Could Catapult Oil Prices Even Higher

Syria does not produce much oil. It’s allies do, though, said Ed Hirs, an energy economist at the University of Houston.

DOJ Won’t Interfere With Marijuana Legalization 
By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Obama Administration has decided not to go after states with marijuana-friendly laws. The Department of Justice announced today (Thursday) that it won’t sue states like Alaska that allow medical marijuana.

Anchorage Teacher’s Get Tiny Raise, Part-Timers Lose Benefits

Anchorage teachers have a new contract. It gives them a small raise that doesn’t keep up with the cost of living and eliminates benefits for part-time educators.

Alaska Fire Crews Heading South

More Alaska crews are heading south to help battle wildfires in the western lower 48, including the Rim Fire near Yosemite, California. Alaska Fire Service spokesman Mel Slater is tracking the state and federal fire fighter deployments.

Unalaskans Question Funding For Arctic Research

A lot more scientific research is needed if the United States wants to beef up its presence in the Arctic. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission met in Unalaska this week to figure out what work takes priority. But as KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, locals were mostly concerned with how the government plans to pay for it all.

Talkeetna Struggling With Sewer / Water Debt

Talkeetna is currently struggling with a growing debt from its water and sewer system. It’s one example of a problem that is rapidly spreading through the state, where small communities can’t pay the operating and maintenance costs of systems more than twenty years ago with federal funds.

Critical Sitka Weather Buoy Back In Service

The Cape Edgecumbe weather buoy, which records observations and reports them on a website from a station off-shore from Sitka, is back in service.

Reduced Ferry Service Puts Strain On Kodiak Athletics

For almost a year the ferry Tustumena has been out of service for repairs, leaving much of Southwest Alaska accessible only by air. The Kennicott picked up additional sailings between Kodiak and Homer, but the impacts from reduced ferry service were still felt throughout the island. Now, as summer quickly fades into fall, classes are resuming at Kodiak High School and young athletes are starting to feel the impact as well.

Accessible Playgrounds In Juneau A Work In Progress

It’s recess at Glacier Valley Elementary School. A dozen kids run straight to a piece of playground equipment that looks like a three dimensional spider web. They climb onto the webbing where they hover ten feet off the ground. Elsewhere in the playground, students crawl up ladders, go down slides, pump their legs on swings.