Alaska News Nightly: June 10, 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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Sullivan Calls On Begich To Sign Pledge Discouraging Outside Influence

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan is calling on incumbent Mark Begich to sign a pledge to discourage outside groups from running political ads in the race. The pledge would impose a financial penalty on a campaign that benefits from Outside spending. Begich campaign isn’t buying it.

Mallott, Walker Criticize Gov. Parnell For Skipping Debates

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Anchorage

Since April, gubernatorial challengers Byron Mallott and Bill Walker have gone after incumbent Sean Parnell for skipping debates. They hit that point again on Monday, at a candidate forum hosted by the National Congress of American Indians.

HAARP Demolition Reportedly ‘Put On Hold’

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Gakona High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program may have been saved in the nick of time. According to Alan LeMaster, who runs a lodge at Gakona Junction, five room  reservations made by U.S. Air Force officials for this week have been canceled, he says, because demolition of the research facility has been “put on hold.” LeMaster told APRN that leaders of  the demolition project told him that a “cease and desist” order has been issued for  the scheduled demolition.

FAA Approves BP’s North Slope Drone Use

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

For the first time in Alaska, and the United States, a company is flying drones over land for commercial purposes. BP is using Unmanned Aerial Systems to inspect roads, gravel pads, and pipelines on the North Slope. It’s the first time the Federal Aviation Administration has approved drones for this type of use.

Land Trust For Alaska Tribes Is A Popular Concept

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

At a wide ranging press conference during day three of the NCAI gathering in Anchorage today, BIA Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn said the concept of taking land into trust for Alaska tribes is a popular one.

National Archives Departure Impacts Broad Community

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The National Archives in Anchorage is closing its doors to researchers in less than two weeks, despite impassioned pleas by historians and researchers. But they aren’t the only ones who use the stacks of historical records.

AIDEA Briefs Federal Commission On Ambler Road

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

The state says it will cost as much as $400 million to build a controversial proposed mining road to Ambler. But some opponents of the road think that figure is too low.

Utah Official Advocates For Land Transfer In Alaska

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska is not alone in its conflicts with the federal government over land management. Leaders in some Lower 48 western states want Alaska to join an effort to gain control of federal lands within their borders.

Wells Fargo Donates Land To Eklutna

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Wells Fargo is donating sacred land to the village of Eklutna.

Sitka Wood Carver Tommy Joseph Comes To The Anchorage Museum

Joaquin Palomino, APRN Intern

Tlingit wood carver Tommy Joseph was in Anchorage last week to repair a totem pole that will become part of the Anchorage Museum’s collection.