Alaska News Nightly: September 3, 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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Jewell Considers Human Safety, Wildlife Trade-Off For Izembek Road

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has a difficult decision ahead of her. She was in King Cove Friday to visit with residents about a road they want to build through the heart of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Residents say the road is necessary to access emergency medical treatment. But a road has never been built through a wilderness area and environmental groups say it would set a bad precedent.

Low St. Lawrence Island Walrus Harvest Spurs Disaster Declaration

Laureli Kineen, KNOM – Nome

Governor Sean Parnell declared an economic disaster for residents on St. Lawrence Island Thursday. An unusually low walrus harvest is currently impacting the more than 1,300 residents that make the island home.

Byron Mallott Jumps Into Governor’s Race

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The field for governor just got more crowded. Byron Mallott says he plans to take on Sean Parnell as a Democrat.

Alaska Backs NRA In Lawsuit Against Feds

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Alaska and 21 other states are supporting the Nation Rifle Association in a lawsuit against the federal government. The case, which is before the Supreme Court, will decide whether a federal ban on selling handguns to anyone under the age of 21 is constitutional.

State Panel Debates Arctic Policy In Unalaska

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission has a big mandate – to figure out what kind of Arctic policy the state should have. They inched toward that goal during a meeting in Unalaska last week.

Greens Creek Mine Looks For More Space

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

The Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island might have to shut down in 2016, unless it can find more room to dispose of its spent ore.

Mike Satre, the manager of government and community relations for the Hecla Mining Company, told the Sitka Chamber of Commerce last week that Greens Creek was undertaking an extensive permitting process to increase the area where it can put the spent ore, known in the industry as “tailings.”

Bethel Hosts National Celebrities

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

Bethel was a hotspot for celebrities last week. A handful showed up at Bethel Regional High School.

John Kelsey Passes Away

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

A key figure in Valdez history has died. John Kelsey wore many hats, but is best known for building Valdez to what it is today. He’s most remembered for bringing economic development to the city in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Kelsey led the way in rebuilding Valdez after it was destroyed by the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake.