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Alaska News Nightly: June 19, 2014

June 19, 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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Former Haines Police Dispatcher Speaks Out On Alleged Harasser

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Governor Sean Parnell wants his staff to examine the hiring process for state employees after APRN reported a former police officer hired with the ferry system has a checkered past. Several people who talked about Joel’s job performance for a previous story did not want to share their identity, including a former Haines Police Dispatcher who alleges Joel harassed her on the job. Now she is speaking out.

U.S. Senators Work to Allow Foreign Students Back in Fish Plants

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

In Congress today, a bill that would allow foreign students to work in Alaska fish processing plants cleared a major committee. The provision is part of a spending bill now headed to the Senate floor. Both Alaska senators say they pressed for the return of the J-1 visa program to help meet demand for seasonal seafood processors. But, the program is controversial.

Remains of 17 Servicemen Identified from 1952 Crash

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The remains of 17 service members who died in a 1952 plane crash near Mount Gannett have been identified by the Department of Defense. An Alaska National Guard Blackhawk helicopter crew discovered the crash site two summers ago on Colony Glacier during a training exercise. A team went back to the site to recover what they could later that month. The identified remains will be returned to families all over the country and given burials with full military honors.

Army Changes Training Procedures In Wake Of Stuart Creek 2 Fire

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

It’s been one year since the Stuart Creek 2 Wildfire was reported burning in the Yukon Training area northeast of Fairbanks.  The blaze, ignited during an army artillery training exercise, burned more than 87,000 acres. Later, military officials conducted multiple investigations to find out why Army leaders signed off on the use of high explosive ammunition at a time when the National Weather Service had issued Red Flag Warnings. In response, training procedures have been rewritten.

New Oil Tax Proponents Argue In Favor Of Law

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A handful of leading advocates for the new oil tax regime made the case for keeping the law Wednesday night. The forum was hosted by the Anchorage Young Republicans, and panelists included economist Scott Goldsmith and State Sen. Cathy Giessel. They argued that if voters repealed the new tax law in August, the oil companies could abandon development of a natural gas pipeline.

ADF&G Shuts Down Little Su Kings for the Season

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Days after lifting restrictions on one river in the Susitna drainage, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is shutting down king salmon fishing entirely on another. A Fish and Game emergency order will close fishing for Kings at 12:01 am on Friday on the Little Susitna River south of the Parks Highway bridge.

Learning Language Through Alutiiq Culture and Tradition

Brianna Gibbs, KMXT – Kodiak

The Alutiiq Museum held a language immersion retreat this week in Kodiak. More than 30 participants gathered to learn traditional games and practice their language skills with speakers of all different generations.

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