Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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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Sen. Sullivan Says VA Must Own Up to ‘Alaska Crisis’

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.

A new Veterans Affairs program aimed at reducing long wait times for health care has had the opposite effect for scores of Alaska vets. At a congressional hearing Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said the Veterans Choice program is undermining older systems that helped Alaskans use their VA benefits to get treatment outside the VA.

Rep. Young – A Lonely GOP Voice for Puerto Rico Statehood

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.

Alaska Congressman Don Young took some flack for holding a fundraiser in Puerto Rico last week, just days before chairing a subcommittee hearing on statehood for the U.S. territory.

Surveyors Climb Denali To Settle Dispute Over Its Height

Francesca Fenzi, KNOM – Nome

A dispute over the height of North America’s tallest mountain may be resolved this week, as surveyors climb to the top of Mount McKinley.

5.8-Magnitude Quake Rattles Mainland Alaska

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was felt across much of much of mainland Alaska this afternoon.

Juneau Police Chief Calls Secondhand Goods Ordinance ‘Extremely Successful’

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

The crime rate in Juneau went down in 2014, according to an annual report released by the local police department.

HIV Testing Events Open Access For Those Unsure

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

About 15 percent of people who are infected with HIV don’t know their status.

Wildfire Hinders Salmon Harvest on the Yukon

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

King and chum salmon are still slowly building a run up the Yukon this summer—and fishermen are contending with everything from gear restrictions to wildland fires in their efforts to fill their racks.

KSM Mine Targets Richer Ore While Seeking Investors

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A Canadian mining company says it’s found richer deposits of gold and copper ore at its controversial KSM project.

Bloom Boom: Juneau Farmer Joins Alaska Peony Rush

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

About 50 commercial peony farmers are located in the Interior. And now a southeast grower is about to give the cash crop a shot. The flowers are supposed to be the next big boom in Alaska exports.