Alaska News Nightly: April 1, 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 ID Victims In Weekend Helicopter Crash

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska State Troopers have released the names of three men killed in a Trooper helicopter crash near Talkeetna over the weekend. In a somber and sometimes emotional press conference on Monday in Anchorage, Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters said that Helo 1’s pilot,  Mel Nading,  Trooper Tage Toll of the Talkeetna post, and a body believed to be that of snowmachiner Carl Ober were aboard.  Masters said the rescue call came in late Saturday night, and at about 10 p.m., the helicopter crew radioed that they had located the missing snowmachiner.

EPA To Release Revised Pebble Mine Watershed Assessment

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The EPA is scheduled to release its revised watershed assessment for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay sometime this spring.

State Senate Passes Crime Bill
Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The State Senate unanimously passed the governor’s crime package on Monday.

Federal Spending Cuts Curb Alaska Volcano Monitoring

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is joining the list of agencies that have announced reductions in response to the massive federal spending cuts known as sequestration. AVO will stop maintaining its seismic networks on some remote volcanoes.

Alaska Volcano Observatory Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Lori Townsend, APRN – Juneau

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is celebrating its 25th anniversary today. It was created in 1988, two years after a large eruption of Augustine volcano near Homer created problems for the Anchorage area and the airport. The next year, in December 1989, Mount Redoubt erupted, sending an ash plume more than 30 thousand feet in the air. When a passenger jet on it’s way to Anchorage encountered the ash, it lost power to all four engines. The airplane plummeted nearly 20,000 feet before the pilots were able to regain control and land safely in Anchorage.

John Power is the scientist in charge of AVO and has been with the agency since its first year. He says that dramatic airline incident highlighted one of the main hazards from volcanic ash.

Jack-Up Rig ‘Endeavor’ Departs Homer Harbor

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

After a seven-month-long stay at the Homer harbor, Buccaneer Energy’s jack-up rig Endeavor left Kachemak Bay Friday morning. As KBBI’s Aaron Selbig reports, the company plans for the rig to drill in the Cosmopolitan Unit near Anchor Point.

Alaska Cultural Connections: Misconceptions

Len Anderson, APRN Contributor

Traveling Outside, many of us encounter questions about Alaska stemming from curiosity and ignorance. Do we live in igloos? Is it always winter and always dark six months of the year?  Is American money accepted?   But rural Alaska residents often feel their urban-dwelling fellow Alaskans have just as many misperceptions about their bush homes.  As part of our on-going series looking at how we define our culture and live our lives as Alaskans, Len Anderson presents these examples.