Alaska News Nightly: August 20, 2012

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

Download Audio

Project Would Electrify Alaska

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Alaskans usually think of energy in the form of oil, gas, coal or various alternative fuels like wind or solar power.   However, a few people are thinking beyond those options and going directly to what Alaskans need – a way to electrify the state.

Kenai King Concerns Prompt Disaster Declaration Request

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

The concerns over this year's low return of king salmon to Cook Inlet have made it to the federal level.  Governor Sean Parnell sent a letter to the Commerce Department last week seeking a federal disaster declaration for Cook Inlet fisheries.

Shell Drill Rig Departs For Arctic

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

As promised, one of Shell Oil’s drill rigs left Unalaska Monday and is now bound for the Arctic.

The Kulluk drill ship departed early Monday afternoon, along with two of Shell’s tugboats, the Guardsman and the Warrior. Alaska marine pilot Richard Entenmann navigated the Kulluk, and he says the crew seemed happy to be heading north.

Sea Ice Withdrawal Expected To Reach Record Levels

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

It is more likely than not that the sea ice withdrawal in the Arctic Ocean will break all records this summer. More than half of some 23 computer models surveyed are now predicting the sea ice will pull back as far as it did in 2007 or farther.

Prop 1 Would Allow Local Option Of Increasing Residential Property Tax Exemptions

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A measure on next week’s primary election ballot would allow the local option of increasing the residential property tax exemption from the current $20,000 to a maximum of $50,000.  If approved, municipal voters would then have to O.K. any change. Local government could also adjust the exemption to reflect increases in the cost of living.

Wildfire Near Fairbanks Grows Over Weekend

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A wildfire that sent smoke over Fairbanks this weekend has grown substantially.  The Alaska Fire Service reports that the Dry Creek Fire, burning about 25 miles south of Fairbanks is now about 14 thousand acres.  That’s up from 3,000 acres Thursday.

Wrangell Assembly Wants To Take Away Many Hospital Board Powers

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The Wrangell Assembly wants to take away many of the powers of the town’s elected hospital board. It’s the latest development in an ongoing battle between the Wrangell Borough and its publicly-funded hospital.

Sightseeing Cruise Strikes Rock, Takes On Water

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Seventy people were rescued by a cruise ship on Sunday morning from a sightseeing tour boat that hit a rock in Glacier Bay National Park.