Alaska News Nightly: July 13, 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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2-1-1 Snapshot Highlights Need for Affordable Housing

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Rent and housing prices are high in Alaska. And that’s putting a squeeze on lower income families in the state. The United Way’s social service help line- 2-1-1- is logging an increasing number of calls about affordable housing. But the outlook for providing cheaper options for families, especially in the Anchorage area, is bleak.

Goose Creek Prison Prepares For 30 New Inmates

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

The newly built Goose Creek Prison is beginning preparations to house inmates. For the last few weeks, about 30 low-security prisoners from Point Mac Correctional Farm have been in and out of the facility, testing plumbing, cooking facilities and cleaning.

Congress Reignites Tax Debate

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Weeks before it takes more than a month off to campaign, Congress is reigniting the debate over taxes. Lawmakers are taking votes to bolster campaign talking points.

Delegation Seeks Federal Disaster Declaration To Address Subsistence Needs

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The Chinook salmon runs are turning out to be poor on both the Yukon and Kuskowkim Rivers this season. Alaska’s Congressional Delegation is seeking a federal disaster declaration to address subsistence needs in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Low Counts May Keep Yukon Fish Wheels Out Of The Water

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

High water and lots of debris aren’t the only things keeping fish wheels out of the Yukon River this summer.  Rural Alaskans depend on subsistence to fill their freezers and root cellars for the winter.  Local subsistence fishermen would normally put their fish wheels in the Yukon River this time of year, but an historically low run of King salmon may keep fish wheels out of the water until chum salmon start running up the Yukon in September.  KUAC’s Emily Schwing was in Eagle last week, where she sat down with local fishermen.

Budget Move Sends Less Money To The Federal Government

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The Department of Health and Social Services saved more than a million dollars last month when it paid a $1.7-million fine due the federal government for failing to provide adequate security for medical record that were stolen. Commissioner Bill Streur say the state faced a three and a half million dollar fine – but federal officials offered to settle for half that amount if the payment would come immediately. Streur said he had to look hard to come up with the money – since it had not been included for that purpose in this year’s budget. He says the money came from Reserves that would have been reported in next year’s budget.

AK: Independence

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

The Fourth of July in Alaska is all barbecues, parades, and – depending on how south you are — fireworks. But for one man in Unalaska, Independence Day came a week later. Koang Deng, a South Sudanese refugee, observed the first anniversary of his homeland’s independence by celebrating vicariously through relatives half a world away.

300 Villages: Akhiok

This week, we’re visiting Akhiok, a tiny Aluet Community on the southern tip of Kodiak Island. That was David Eluska Senior, Tribal Administrator for the villages of Akhiok.