Alaska News Nightly: May 16, 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.

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State Files Fairbanks 4 Response

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state has filed a response to petitions for post conviction relief for the Fairbanks four.  The four men, George Frese, Kevin Pease, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent were convicted of the 1997 beating death of John Hartman, but continue to profess their innocence.   Last fall the Alaska Innocence Project filed new information in the case that points to others being responsible for the killing. The state response indicates it so far is not convinced, but it has requested an evidentiary hearing.

Ravn Outlines Safety Improvements As NTSB Pushes For Investigation

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

The National Transportation Safety Board took the unusual step last month of asking the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the Ravn family of companies. A report says Hageland failed to achieve safety outcomes, and launched flights without proper oversight.   The company’s CEO says the report does not reflect the changes Ravn has made in recent months.

Trial Program Aims To Increase Number Of Insured Alaska Natives

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

A tribal health organization in Southeast Alaska is encouraging members to enroll for health insurance. Through a new program, some Alaska Natives will have an opportunity to get it at no cost.

Special Exhibit Offers Hands-On Glimpse Of University’s New Research Vessel

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A new exhibit opens at the University of Alaska Museum of the North over the weekend. The year-long installation is called “Arctic Odyssey: Voyages of the R/V Sikuliaq.”  It offers a first-hand look the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ state-of-the-art new research vessel, slated to sail in Arctic waters next year.

AK: Rusty Blackbirds

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

That’s the call of the rusty blackbird, a ubiquitous species that has caught the attention of the Audubon Society.  The reason:  numbers of the birds are plummeting, and causes of the decline are not well understood. The rusty blackbirds breed in Alaska’s wetlands. And Audubon is asking Alaskans to help count the birds to get a handle on what’s happening to the species.

300 Villages: Point Lay

Jolene Almendarez, APRN Intern

This week, we’re headed to Point Lay on the Chukchi Sea. Dorothy Henry lives in Point Lay.