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Alaska News Nightly: June 25, 2014

June 25, 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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City of Bethel Investigation Reveals Improper Contracts and Perks

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

The Bethel City Council has released a redacted version of its investigation into city contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues.  The investigation led to the firing of Bethel’s city manager in May.

NOAA Considers State’s Petition To Delist Humpback

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will look into whether to take the Central North Pacific humpback whale off the Endangered Species list.

The State of Alaska submitted a petition to remove the whale from the list at the end of February. NOAA announced today it has enough information to warrant further research. This is the second petition NOAA has received to take endangered protections away from the humpback whale.

Pavlof Volcano Downgraded To Lowest Alert Level

Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has downgraded Pavlof to the lowest alert level. Volcanologist Tina Neal says the volcano isn’t producing new lava flows. And it hasn’t released much ash since early this month.

Questions Remain Despite Successful Missile Defense Test

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists is calling the Ground Based Midcourse Missile Defense System, less than proven, despite Sunday’s successful test over the Pacific Ocean.

National Parks Prohibiting UAVs

Aaron Berner, KUAC – Fairbanks

A new National Park Service policy prohibits the use of unmanned aircraft. It’s intended to give the agency time to assess the risks and benefits of allowing UAV’s in Parks.

Alaska’s STD Rates Increase

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The state’s Department of Health is reporting an increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Alaska. In 2013, Gonorrhea and syphilis infections were up more than 50 percent from 2012. Alaska was ranked first in the nation for Chlamydia infections in 2013. And in just the first five months of this year, 23 new cases of HIV have been diagnosed and reported. That’s one less than last year’s total.

State Scores Well On Long-Term Care Report Card

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Alaska ranked 5th in the nation in a recent state scorecard on long-term services for older adults, the disabled, and family caregivers. However, local experts say gaps in the system can cause big problems.

Salmon Signs Appear And Disappear In Bethel

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Brightly colored wooden fish signs have been posted along Bethel roads this summer. The signs, with conservation messages, come in a year of king salmon closures never seen before on the Kuskokwim River. But just as quickly as the signs went up, they’ve been disappearing.

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