Alaska News Nightly: June 25, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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Adak To Support Offshore Oil And Gas Development

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

Oil and gas development in the Arctic could bring some major changes to the city of Adak. An agreement announced last week paves the way for development of the former military base as a support hub for offshore oil drilling.

17 New Forest Fires Reported Sunday

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Lightning was active across the Central and Southern Interior region of the state this weekend, with more than 2000 strikes on Saturday alone.  The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reported 17 new fires Sunday.

Crews Work To Quell Allakaket Blaze

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Alaska Fires Service says a fire burning near the village of Allakaket is 43 percent contained.  The blaze covers more than 2700 acres.  Fire Service Public Information Officer Nan Floyd says it’s tentative, but crews hope to have the blaze fully contained by the end of the week.

Crews are pushing to get the fire under control as others around the state start to demand more resources.  Allakaket locals have been helping to fight the blaze since it started at the local dump last week.

USAV Monterrey Towed To Seward

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

The U.S. Army vessel Monterrey left Kodiak for Seward yesterday. Army Reserve Major Annemarie Daneker says the 174-foot landing craft is now under the supervision of the Naval Sea Systems Command, and all but two of the Monterrey’s crew have flown home.

The Monterrey hit a charted hazard off the City of Kodiak on June 8th and was intentionally beached on Puffin Island in front of town. About 8,000- to 12,000-gallons of diesel fuel spilled from two ruptured tanks on the ship, but no damage to the environment or harm to wildlife was reported.

The stay in Seward is expected to last 30- to 45-days, where repairs to the hull will be made.

The Monterrey’s 350 tons of cargo – construction equipment destined to help relocate the Western Alaska village of Newtok – will be loaded on the landing craft “Malvern Hill” out of Tacoma.

The Associated Press reports that construction of buildings at the new village site of Mertarvik, scheduled for this summer, has been cancelled.

Public Safety No Longer Controls Alcohol

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The Legislature has decided that regulating alcohol should no longer be the job of the Department of Public Safety.   The Alcohol Beverage Control Board was transferred to the Department of Commerce in a bill Governor Sean Parnell signed earlier this month.

Project Healing Waters, BBNC Sponsor Injured Veteran, Soldier Fishing Excursion

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

Project Healing Waters and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation sponsored eight recovering veterans and injured service personnel for a week of fishing at the Mission Lodge on Lake Aleknagik. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger was along as they fished for king salmon on the Nushagak River.

Dunbar Going For Gold In Eugene

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

A Kodiak High School alum will be vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team tonight. Trevor Dunbar, an all-American sophomore at the University of Oregon, will compete in the 5,000 meter preliminary this evening.

Dunbar was the 25th qualifier for the 25 places, and had been “on the bubble” until Saturday.

The Anchorage Daily News reports Dunbar is in a field that includes Galen Rupp, who won Friday night’s 10,000 meters, and Alan Webb, who holds the American record in the mile.

Dunbar will compete in the first of two heats, which begin at 6 p.m. Alaska time. They will be broadcast live on the NBC Sport Channel.

Two other Alaskans are competing this week in Eugene: Jordan Clarke, a shot-putter from Anchorage qualified Saturday for the finals by finishing 8th in the preliminaries, and Janay DeLoach, who went to Eielson High in Fairbanks is a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team in the long jump.

Conference Attendees Defend Small Business Administration Program

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Conference attendees in Anchorage last week defended a controversial Small Business Administration program. About 280 people attended a National 8(a) Association conference in Anchorage to learn more about the program that helps small businesses compete for federal contracts, but has come under increasing Congressional scrutiny in recent years.

Communities Celebrate Final Whaling Festivals

Anne Hillman, APRN Contributor

This week communities on the North Slope are celebrating their final whaling festivals, or Nalukatuq. Each of the captains who successfully catches a whale either during spring or fall whaling hosts a giant gathering for distributing the meat.