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Alaska News Nightly: September 5, 2013

September 5, 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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Environmental Enforcement Doesn’t Sit Well With Miners, Politicians

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A recent sweep by government agents looking for environmental violations at gold mines in the 40 Mile region, has angered locals and Alaska politicians. The governor’s office has ordered an investigation, and area placer miners are organizing to protest the Environmental Protection Agency lead action.

Hundreds Of Aftershocks Rock Aleutian Chain

Ben Matheson, KUCB – Unalaska

Hundreds of aftershocks are rattling the Aleutian Chain following a 7.0 earthquake near Adak on Friday. Residents are ready for life to go back to normal – but it could be months before the quakes subside.

Oil Tax Referendum To Appear On Ballot

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

It’s official: A controversial tax cut on oil companies will be put to a vote. Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai certified the referendum on the new tax law this Tuesday.

Union Files For Arbitration Over State Office Space

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The state’s largest public employee union and the Parnell administration will enter into arbitration over the issue of office space. An arbitrator has been selected, but the timeframe for the negotiations are still unknown.

Geothermal Test Well Drilling Begins Near Nome

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

Drilling for a geothermal test well began today north of Nome at the Pilgrim Hot Springs. The Alaska Center for Energy and Power estimates two megawatts of sustainable power can be generated from the site. If the estimates are true, Nome residents may soon see the benefits of tapping into the resource.

Weekend Winds Won’t Reach Last Year’s Levels

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

September winds in Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska may increase going into the weekend, but National Weather Service forecaster Christian Cassell says they won’t reach the intensity of last fall’s big storm.

Coal Development Spurs Protest

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Numerous coal development projects are slated for lands in the Matanuska Valley that are owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust.  Some Anchorage and Valley residents are concerned about mercury poisoning linked to coal development, and on Wednesday, they aired their concerns before the board of directors of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.

Budding Local Market For Local Blooms

Julia O’Malley, Anchorage Daily News

The local food market in Alaska is well established. But there’s a quieter movement gaining momentum in Alaska agriculture: flowers. Peonies make up the largest share of flower farming in the state, and they’re exported around the world. And at Anchorage farmers markets zinnias, sunflowers and dahlias have moved in alongside the kale and potatoes. Anchorage Daily News Columnist Julia O’Malley visited a dahlia farmer in Palmer and has this story.

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