Alaska News Nightly: August 3, 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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DNR Backing Wishbone Hill Permits

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The state Department of Natural Resources is backing the validity of permits issued to Usibelli Coal for its Wishbone Hill project. The state is taking a strong stand against the federal Office of Surface Management, while upholding the primacy of Alaska over its coal mining program and permitting decisions.

Man Dead After Trooper Involved Shooting

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

An early morning shooting involving an Alaska State Trooper left one man dead and shut down the Glenn Highway for hours Friday morning.

According to Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen,  the action began in Wasilla around 4 a.m., when a traffic violation was spotted by a Trooper.

Spike strips placed near the Glenn turnoff punctured one of the car’s tires. The male driver left the vehicle and ran into the northbound lane.

The man was pronounced dead around 4:20 a.m.

No Troopers were injured in the incident. Wasilla and Anchorage police assisted in the case.  The name of the Trooper in the shooting is being withheld for 72 hours in accordance with Trooper policy.  The name of the victim has not been released yet.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation has assumed responsibility for the case.

New ASD Superintendent Focusing On Basics

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

This week Anchorage School District Superintendent Jim Browder released the latest student test scores and introduced a multi-year, district wide plan to boost them. Scores over the last five years shows overall achievement remains relatively flat. Browder says the new plan will focus on strengthening the basics.

Looks Like Gray Whale Baby Boom Under Way

The Associated Press

Scientists tracking marine mammals in the Chukchi Sea report a record number of gray whales calves in July.

The federal Alaska Fisheries Science Center says, 57 cow and calf pairs were recorded.

The Eastern North Pacific population of gray whales is estimated between 18,000 and 21,000.

The animals make seasonal trips from the Chukchi Sea to Mexico. All the cow-calf pairs were all found within 30 nautical miles of the Alaska coast between Barrow and Point Lay.

State Starts 10-Year Review Of Community Development Quota Groups

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The state’s first-ever review of community development quota groups, or CDQ groups, is underway. The CDQ groups were created in 1992 to bring impoverished Western Alaska communities into the lucrative Bering Sea fisheries. Today, the six nonprofit corporations split roughly ten percent of various fish quotas and collectively own more than $700 million in assets.

Band Emulates Eastern European Gypsy Music

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

The G String Orchestra is comprised of four young musicians, wearing tight jeans and sporting black tattoos covering their arms, necks, hands, and some of their faces.

They first starting playing as a band when they met in Homer three summers ago and they perform music that an audience may not expect to hear – Eastern European Gypsy music.

AK: Beer

David Waldron, APRN – Anchorage

It’s no secret that Alaskans love their beer, and in Anchorage it’s showing now more than ever. Established local breweries are constantly expanding and new smaller operations are always popping up. David Waldron recently tracked the adventure of one such brewery.

300 Villages: Halibut Cove

This week, we’re visiting Halibut Cove, a community located just a short water taxi ride across Kachemak Bay from Homer. Clem Tillion is one of the founders of Halibut cove.