Alaska News Nightly: February 7, 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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Troopers Investigating Kake Teenager’s Death As A Homicide

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of a 13-year-old girl in the small Southeast community of Kake as a homicide.

Public Turns Out For Eielson Meetings

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Air Force is wrapping up a series of public meetings in Alaska tonight in North Pole.  The scoping sessions are to identify issues to consider in an environmental impact statement for the proposed downsizing of Eielson Air Force Base.  The cost savings of moving an F-16 squadron from Fairbanks to Anchorage have faced a range of opposition and questions at meetings in both communities. KUAC’s Dan Bross reports on a scoping session yesterday in Fairbanks.

Court Hears Arguments In Port MacKenzie Rail Spur Case

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Oral arguments were heard Thursday morning in federal district court in Anchorage on a challenge to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetlands permit. The case centers on whether or not federal agencies have complied with Clean Water Act requirements for wetlands protection measures in approving the proposed Port MacKenzie railroad spur.

Arctic Council To Finalize Oil Spill Preparedness Agreement

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

This coming May, the Arctic Council will meet in Sweden to finalize an international agreement on oil spill preparedness. In the meantime, questions are multiplying about the adequacy of existing oil spill response technology to deal with arctic conditions. And one of the primary tools, dispersants, are coming under attack from the marine conservation organization, Oceana, in a scientific report that was released this week in Anchorage at the Alaska Forum on the Environment.

Cruise Ship Discharge Bill Awaits Public Comment

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A piece of legislation that would roll back discharge regulations on cruise ships could appear on the Senate floor as early as next week. It’s already passed in the House, and today the Senate finance committee invited the public to comment on it.

‘Stand Your Ground’ Bill Resurfaces In Legislature

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

Since 2010, the Alaska state legislature has debated the passage of a “Stand Your Ground” law. Versions of the bill have made their way through committee, passed in the House, and then ultimately stalled in the Senate. Now, the bill is back. Sponsor Mark Neuman, a Republican representative from Big Lake, introduced it to the House Judiciary committee yesterday, and explained that it expands what’s known as the “castle doctrine.” Right now, if a person is in their home or business, that person is justified in using deadly force in self-defense, even if he or she could theoretically retreat.

Lance Mackey Scratches From Yukon Quest

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A Yukon Quest dog on Jake Berkowitz’s team has died. Quest officials say the dog, named General, was being transported to Whitehorse by a race veterinarian at the time of death. A necropsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Also today, a demoralized and disappointed Lance Mackey pulled his dog team into Dawson and scratched from the Yukon Quest.

Five Teams Vying For Top Spot in Yukon Quest

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Hugh Neff and Alan Moore are leading the Quest. But three teams rounding out a group of front runners are confident they can make up the time on the trail.

Cleveland’s New Lava Dome Increases Eruption Risk

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

After a few quiet months, Cleveland Volcano is waking up.

Cleveland’s last recorded eruption was in November. Then, at the end of January, the Alaska Volcano Observatory’s satellites picked up warming temperatures on Cleveland’s surface. And they found a new lava dome growing in the summit crater. It’s 330 feet in diameter — just shy of a football field.