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Alaska News Nightly: November 20, 2013

November 20, 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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Stebbins Resident Weather Western Alaska Storms

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

While the communities of Kotlik and Unalakleet have received attention from state-wide media and government following a large storm a week and a half ago, residents in Stebbins feel they have been ignored.  During the storm, rushing water surged through homes and roads in Stebbins. Drying racks, smoke-houses, boats, steam houses, and several homes were damaged or destroyed. Flood waters poured in so rapidly that many residents were stranded in their homes until they could be rescued by a bulldozer.

Tlingit Code Talkers Receive Recognition

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Navajo code talkers were recognized more than a decade ago for their service in World War II. They used their Native language as a code that the enemy was never able to crack. But until recently, no one knew that Tlingits from Southeast Alaska also served as code talkers. They got their due Wednesday when Congress awarded a gold medal to the Tlingit and Haida Central Council. Much of their story remains a mystery.

ConocoPhillips Adding New Drill Rig To Kuparak Oil Field

Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska

ConocoPhillips announced Wednesday they are adding a drill rig to the Kuparak oil field on the North Slope. This is the second rig they’ve added since the new oil tax cut bill was signed into law this year. The drill rig they installed in May is producing 1,600 barrels of oil per day.

Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Revises Hydro Fracking Regs

Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has revised their proposed hydraulic fracking regulations again. Some of the new rules were aimed at giving the public more information about the chemicals used in the controversial oil and gas extraction method. But in the latest version, companies are allowed to withhold some information from the public in order to protect their trade secrets. If the regulations are approved, companies could mark some formulas confidential and only the AOGCC would see them. If the public wanted the information they would have to seek a court order.

Alaska’s Insurance Director Resigns

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

The state’s insurance director is resigning. Bret Kolb is leaving to become development director at Victory Ministries of Alaska, a bible camp and conference center based in Palmer. He has been on the job at the Division of Insurance for 18 months, during a time of incredible upheaval in the health insurance industry, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Tennis Decision Postponed, Assembly Questions Funding

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage Assembly heard final testimony Tuesday on what has become a controversial proposal to build a rec center in the city with indoor tennis courts. The Assembly never asked for money for the project and accusations flew about how the tennis appropriation came about.

Snow, Freezing Rain Headed To Anchorage

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Anchorage residents will get relief tomorrow from the clear and cold weather that has set in over the last few days, but the transition could be messy.

Feds Finailze Otter Use Guidelines

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

The federal government has finalized new guidelines on the use of sea otters by Alaska Natives. The change is aimed at better-defining a requirement that hides must be “significantly altered” in order to be considered authentic native handicrafts or clothing that can be sold to non-natives.

State Gets More Time For Fairbanks Air Quality Improvement Plan

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state of Alaska has more time to develop a plan to improve Fairbanks air quality. An Environmental Protection Agency deadline that passed last year is now Dec. 31, 2014. The new timeline also comes with more stringent requirements related to addressing Fairbanks wintertime fine particulate pollution.

UAF Celebrates Ted Stevens’ Birthday With New Mapping Exhibit

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

An event at University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library Monday celebrated what would have been the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ 90th birthday. The commemoration also marked the opening of a new map exhibit in the library that houses Steven’s collection of Senate papers.

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