Alaska News Nightly: June 13, 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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Begich Painted As Soft On VA Scandal

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Outside political groups are plugging Alaskan airwaves with ads about Sen. Mark Begich. One recent line of attack highlights the scandal at the VA, claiming Begich isn’t helping veterans.

Air Force Considering Transfer Of HAARP Facility To UAF

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Air Force has paused a plan to demolish the HAARP facility, as it re-considers options for transferring its ionospheric research infrastructure near Gakona to another entity.

Health Care Broker Enroll Alaska Scales Back

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Enroll Alaska is scaling back its business in the state. The division of Northrim Bank launched last year with plans to help tens of thousands Alaskans sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The company ended up with disappointing results and is now rethinking its strategy.

As Pollock Season Begins, Bycatch Debate Looms

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska & Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

As the Bering Sea’s largest fishery opened this week, pollock fishermen were looking forward to a strong season. But they were also under fire from rural users, who believe industry’s catching too many salmon.

Kuskokwim Fishermen Push for an Opportunity to Fish

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

At yesterday’s Yupiit Nation fish forum in Bethel, long-term planning for tribal fishery co-management took a backseat to the anxiety and uncertainly surrounding the current king salmon restrictions.

Emergency Order Limits Kasilof King Fishing Hours

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued an emergency order restricting personal use setnetting on the Kasilof River yesterday. But managers are seeing some promising signs for king runs on the Kenai, Susitna and Deshka Rivers.

AK: Gold Miner

Molly Rettig, APRN Contributor

Gold is in Clutch Lounsbury’s blood. His grandparents took the Valdez Trail up to Fairbanks during the Gold Rush, and Clutch was on a cat before he could walk. He’s searched in creeks, canyons, and underground. He’s sluice boxed, dredged, and hard rock mined all over the Interior and the Arctic. Today he lives in Ester above an 800-foot mine shaft in the hillside.

300 Villages: Girdwood

Sean Carpenter

This week, we’re heading to Girdwood, which was originally founded as a camp for placer gold miners. Kirsti Ryan describes her hometown.