Alaska News Nightly: December 30, 2014

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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Walker Continues To Fill Out Cabinet With Administration, Education Commissioners

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Gov. Bill Walker has made his final decision on his administration and education commissioner.

Regional Subsistence Advisory Councils Having Trouble Filling Seats

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Subsistence harvests are managed by federal agencies with input from local residents through regional advisory councils.

Second Boy Reaches Deal in Illegal Brevig Mission Muskox Killings

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

Both boys charged with chasing down a herd of muskox before killing several of the animals just outside of Brevig Mission have now reached a deal with state prosecutors—bringing to a close a case that started back in 2012.

Lance Mackey Enters 2015 Yukon Quest Field

The Associated Press

Four-time Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey signed up Monday for the 1,000-mile race between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and Fairbanks.

UAF Shooting Death Ruled Suicide

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A shooting death at the University of Alaska Fairbanks earlier this month has been ruled a suicide.

North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program Sees Changes in 2015

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

2015 will bring changes for the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer programs.  The National Marine Fisheries Service held outreach meetings in Kodiak and Homer in December. Fishermen and NMFS representatives discussed the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer program.

DEC Commissioner to Rule in 2015 on Groundwater Sulfolane-Cleanup Level

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The dispute over a cleanup standard for sulfolane contaminated groundwater in the community of North Pole will likely continue into the New Year. State regulators are still reviewing toxicity studies to determine a safe cleanup level for the chemical solvent traced to historic spills at a North Pole oil refinery.

Troopers Seek Public’s Help In Locating Missing Wisconsin Man

The Associated Press

Alaska State Troopers are seeking the public’s help in a search for a 72-year-old Wisconsin man who disappeared in August.

Alaska Marine Highway Prices To Rise Next Summer

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

It will cost passengers more to ride the state ferry starting in the summer. That’s when fares for most Alaska Marine Highway will increase by four-and-a-half percent.

Alaska Prepares to Offer Grizzly License Plates

The Associated Press

Alaska is bringing back the bear to license plates. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Alaskans will be able to choose license plates of blue and gold next spring that reflect state flag colors or a new version of plates- last offered in 1976 that feature a grizzly bear.

Humpback History: Soviet Whaling

Rachel Waldholtz, KCAW – Sitka

Like nearly all the great whales, humpbacks were heavily hunted. And one question researchers have grappled with is how many animals there were before the whaling fleets took their toll.

To solve this mystery, it turns out, you have to take a trip back in time, and into the secret history of Soviet whaling.