Alaska News Nightly: September 27, 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.

Download Audio

Denali Commission’s Inspector General Advocates For Dissolving Organization

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The federal co chair of Alaska’s Denali Commission was taken by surprise early this morning when a Washington Post reporter called for reaction to a letter sent to Congress that advocated for dissolving the commission. It was surprising because the letter came from an employee, Mike Marsh – the commission’s Inspector General.

I spoke with commission co-chair Joel Niemeyer is his office in downtown Anchorage this afternoon. He said Marsh’s letter is damaging to the organization.

Newly-Enforced FAA Policies Cause Problems For Alaska Airports

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska occasionally gets caught in federal rules that may work in Ohio, but not in Ozinkie. One such national policy that has been confounding airport managers and pilots may be close to at least a temporary fix for Alaska. The Federal Aviation Administration has begun enforcing a 37-year-old policy that defines the clearance area for airport approaches. Obstacles in that glide path entering or leaving an airport must be dealt with, or the FAA says those airports will be closed to night or instrument flying.

Oil, Gas Exploration May Increase In Chukchi Sea

Anne Hillman, APRN –

More areas of the Chukchi Sea may open up for oil and gas exploration in 2016, but the decision has not been made yet. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is calling for comments on a proposed lease sale in the area. But this time they are doing things differently.

State, Fairbanks Review New Fairbanks 4 Evidence

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The State Department of law says it’s just beginning to review post conviction relief applications filed on behalf of the “Fairbanks 4.” The applications center on sworn statements from two individuals tying the 1997 murder of John Hartman to people other than the men jailed for the crime. The state and local criminal justice officials are proceeding cautiously.

Secure Rural Schools Program Extension Approved

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

Congress has passed a one-year extension of a program that pays out millions of dollars to communities in Alaska near national forest land, like Petersburg. The extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act of 2000 was approved by the house and senate this week.

ACLU Concerned Over Online Health Information Exchanges

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska is raising concerns about health information exchanges online in Alaska. The regional data bases allow doctors to access medical records, but ACLU of Alaska interim executive director Joshua Decker says people have no choice about whether their information is included.

AK: Baby Boost

Shady Grove Oliver, KSTK – Wrangell

As in many small towns in Alaska, no babies are delivered in Wrangell’s hospital. Expectant mothers have to leave town to give birth. When they return, there aren’t many services to help them adjust to life with a little one. Except for Hannah’s Place, a non-profit that provides free courses for expecting couples and new parents. In exchange for taking the classes, parents have access to a “free” store that has nearly everything an infant needs.

300 Villages: Venetie

This week, we’re heading to the Interior community of Venetie on the Chandalar River. Eddie Frank is the Tribal Administrator in Venetie.