Alaska News Nightly: February 14, 2014

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

John Kerry Creating Arctic Ambassador Position

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is creating a new Arctic ambassador position.

In a letter to Sen. Mark Begich, Kerry says he will appoint a person of high stature to serve as “Special Representative for the Arctic Region” in order to elevate U.S. attention on the far North.

Both Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski have pressed the administration to create the role. Begich says most of the Arctic countries already have ambassador-level diplomats pressing their national interests at the Arctic Council.  Earlier this week, Sen. Murkowski criticized the Administration’s approach to the Arctic. In a letter to President Obama, she called a recent White House implementation plan “unambitious” and said its emphasis on research seems aimed at conservation to the exclusion of resource development.

She says today’s news is a step in the right direction but she nonetheless calls the Administration’s efforts to seize Arctic opportunities “lackluster” and  “a national embarrassment.”

Fuel Spilled In Dalton Highway Tanker Truck Rollover

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A tanker truck rollover on the Dalton Highway near Deadhorse resulted in a substantial fuel spill. More than 2,100 gallons of diesel leaked from the tanker following Tuesday’s accident near mile 309 of the Haul Road.

Former Alaska Territorial Governor Mike Stepovich Dies

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau & Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Former territorial governor Mike Stepovich died early this morning, after being injured in a fall. Stepovich served as governor in the late 1950s and was a major advocate for Alaska statehood. He was 94 when he died. Stepovich was born into a Fairbanks mining family.

Alaska Edition host and Anchorage Daily News columnist Michael Carey was a teenager when Stepovich was Governor. He says Stepovich was a strikingly handsome man who was Governor at at critical time in Alaska history.

Legislators Get Answers For Interior LNG Questions

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Legislators got an update on the partially state financed North Slope to Fairbanks natural gas trucking project this week. The state is working with private company MWH to build a $185 million gas processing plant on the North Slope to feed tanker trucks that will move LNG to Fairbanks. The goal of the Interior Energy Project is to deliver first gas by late 2015, at a consumer cost equivalent of about half the price of fuel oil, but many questions remain about how the project will play out.

APD Policies Now Online

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

After 10 high profile officer-involved shootings over two years, the Anchorage Police Department has made their use-of-force policy public. Police Chief Mark Mew made the announcement Thursday night in response to a recommendation from the Anchorage Community Relation’s Task Force.

Former Juneau Olympian Reflects On Experiences

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

For the first time in Olympic alpine skiing history, two gold medals have been awarded in an event.

Swiss skier Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze, of Slovenia, tied for the women’s downhill at the Sochi Olympics. Each woman skied the course in 1:41.57.  The bronze went to Lara Gut of Switzerland.

The Olympics continue through February 23rd on NBC television and online.

A former downhill Olympian – Juneau’s Hilary Lindh – has been watching the games and recalling some of her experiences.

AK: Cooking

Ariel Van Cleave, KBBI – Homer

Homer’s youth resource and enrichment co-op, known locally as “The R.E.C. Room,” is giving teens a taste of what it’s like to work in a commercial kitchen. The after school program has been holding FORK Club Cooking Classes for the last few months providing kids tips on using healthy, local ingredients. It falls in line with the program’s core mission of empowering teens through health education. Organizers hope the classes will be a gateway to a job, or at least a way to help put dinner on the table for their families.

300 Villages: Little Tutka Bay

This week we’re heading to Little Tutka Bay, a small community across the Kachemak Bay from Homer, with some amazing scuba diving. Rick Harness owns a tourism business called Seaside Adventure in Little Tutka Bay.