Alaska News Nightly: February 6, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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Obama Nominates REI Chief Exec To Lead The Department of the Interior

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

President Barack Obama nominated REI chief executive Sally Jewell to lead the Department of the Interior today. It’s a Cabinet position with incredible influence over Alaska. And by virtually every account, the pick surprised everyone.

State Cracking Down On Cruise Industry’s Third-Party Contractors

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

The summer cruise ship season is like Christmas for a lot of coastal retailers, and they depend on the tourist income to stay open. But because the stakes are high, business has the potential to get dirty. For the first time, the State of Alaska is cracking down on third-party contractors that are allegedly treating local stores unfairly.

Plane Crash Near Kalskag Injures Three

Mark Arehart, KYUK – Bethel

A Cessna 172 owned by the Kuspuk School District crashed on the Kuskokwim River on Tuesday. The pilot and both passengers were injured in the crash.

EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Goes Back To The Drawing Board

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The EPA has taken their Bristol Bay watershed assessment back to the drawing board for revisions. When finished, the assessment could become a basis for the EPA to veto the proposed Pebble mine, but a final version of the controversial study now won’t likely be completed until the end of the year.

Anchorage Residents Push For Water Protections In Title 21

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

A group of home owners in Anchorage’s  Rabbit Creek neighborhood are concerned that non-residential development could drain their water supply. They are suggesting an amendment to Title 21, the city’s land-use law as a preventative measure. Members of the Anchorage Assembly are in the final stages of a 10-year review of the law. It’s been  in the news for addressing issues like sidewalks, landscaping and stream setbacks. But according to Rabbit Creek residents, if it goes through without addressing water issues, the municipality could face problems down the road.

Skull Found Along Beach Near Umkumiute

Mark Arehart, KYUK – Bethel

Alaska State Troopers say a human skull was discovered on a beach near Toksook Bay this past September.

The skull has been examined by archaeologist, Steven Street, with the Association of Village Council Presidents.

Street determined it could be from one of the nearby ancient gravesites in the old village of Umkumiute .

Troopers say a Toksook Bay Priest buried the skull on Tuesday.

Toksook Bay is one of three villages on Nelson Island along the Bering Sea.

Paul Johnson Memorial Norton Sound 450 Sled Dog Race Begins

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

The second running of the Paul Johnson Memorial Norton Sound 450 Sled Dog Race began Wednesday at noon. The race follows the historic portage trail from Unalakleet to Kaltag and back and continues on to the finish line in Nome.

Last year – during the inaugural running of the race, the top five teams got stuck in the middle of Norton Bay when they encountered ice ridges that they could not maneuver around. But trail conditions look much better this year.

Yukon Quest Officials Extend Mandatory Dawson Layover By 4 Hours

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Yukon Quest race officials have extended the mandatory 36 hour layover in Dawson City by four hours. It’s the second major change to this year’s race.

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