Alaska News Nightly: May 31, 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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Athabascan Elder Katie John Passes Away

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage & Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The Athabascan elder who was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that strengthened Native subsistence fishing rights in Alaska has died.

Katie John passed away early Friday morning at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. She was 97-years-old.

Potential Challengers Eye Begich’s Senate Seat

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The next U.S. Senate race in Alaska is still eighteen months away. A number of Republicans have already jumped into the race or are publicly mulling taking on Senator Mark Begich in November 2014.

Judge Calls On Redistricting Board To Start Work

The Associated Press

A state court judge says the Alaska Redistricting Board should immediately begin redrawing the state’s political boundaries.

Mat-Su Fire Destorys Cabin

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A fire in the Matauska Susitna Borough has spread to 45 acres and destroyed one cabin in its path.

Lawsuit Over Beluga Population Counts Settled In Court

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

A lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service has been settled in District Court in Anchorage. Native and environmental groups took issue with some of the math the agency used in calculating how many Cook Inlet Beluga whales would be affected by seismic testing for oil and gas.

Field Work On Gas Line Expected To Start Next Week

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Field work on a pipeline capable of moving half a billion cubic feet of gas daily is expected to start next week. In an update to legislators yesterday, Frank Richards with the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation explained that they’re in the process of trying to figure out the safest places to lay down the pipe, which should stretch down from the North Slope to Southcentral Alaska.

AK: Making Music

Ariel Van Cleave, KBBI – Homer

In a small white house at the end of gravel road near Anchor Point, Ray DeMeo has been making instruments in an attached workshop for nearly a decade. He carefully crafts violins, violas and mandolins, mostly from local wood, some of it found in his own backyard.

300 Villages: Gulkana          

Now it’s time for 300 villages. This week, we’re heading to Gulkana on the Richardson Highway north of Glennallen. Angela Vermillion is tribal administrator for the Gulkana Village Council.