Alaska News Nightly: December 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 and on Twitter @aprn.

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Big Money Expected In Oil Tax Battle

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Two years ago, oil companies spent over a million dollars to defeat an initiative that would have revived Alaska’s coastal management program. They’re on track to spend even more this election cycle to protect the new tax system they lobbied for. Contributions to a group committed to that goal are already rolling in.

GCI Buys 3 Southeast TV Stations, With Big Ambitions

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – Sitka

Earlier this year, the telecom giant GCI moved into a new line of business, buying three television stations in Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage.  It turns out those purchases were just the beginning. This month, GCI announced plans to buy three more TV stations in Southeast Alaska. If approved, the deal could mark a new era in Alaska media.

Bridge Could Be Viable Replacement For Flood-Prone Chester Creek Culvert

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Residents who live along Chester Creek near Valley of the Moon Park in Anchorage have been requesting a fix for a flooding culvert for years. This week at the Anchorage Assembly meeting city officials said they’re working to replace the culvert with a bridge. But residents worry it won’t come quick enough.

Savoonga Get Extra Bowhead Strike To Supplement Food Stores

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

The St. Lawrence Island community of Savoonga has received an additional bowhead strike from the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. The allotment permits the community to go after one more whale this season. The community harvested two bowheads already this month. But with its current economic disaster and lack of walrus meat, Savoonga hopes another whale will bolster food stores this winter.

St. Lawrence Island Receives Big Food Donation

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A number of businesses in Anchorage donated food to St. Lawrence island in time for the Christmas holiday.

AK: Robotics

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Five rural Alaska schools squared off this month in a virtual engineering competition run by Lego and GCI. It was a big learning experience for everyone – but especially, for the squad from Unalaska. They were competing for the first time and brought some unique strengths to the table.

300 Villages: Chevak

Now it’s time for 300 villages. This week, we’re heading to the community of Chevak in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. James Tall lives in Chevak.