Alaska News Nightly: July 10, 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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Palin Hints At Potential Senate Run

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

With Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former candidate Joe Miller in the race, the Republican Senate primary is already being watched closely. Now, it’s gotten an extra dose of national attention with former Gov. and once-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin saying she could be persuaded to run against incumbent Democrat Mark Begich. But while the news made a splash Outside, Republicans in the state still haven’t heard from her.

LGBT Protections Advance In Senate

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It’s the first gay-rights bill to emerge since the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional last month. Both of Alaska’s senators will support the bill.

Investigation Continues For Soldotna Crash

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The third and final NTSB press conference on the plane crash in Soldotna was held late Wednesday afternoon in Anchorage.

NTSB Board member Earl Weener says a preliminary report will be issued in about a week. The full report will likely take a year before it is concluded.

The plane crashed on takeoff Sunday morning just off the Soldotna runway, killing all 10 people on board.

Weener says investigators are looking at a wide range of concerns. They now have the approximate body weights of the nine passengers and the pilot. They also have the invoices for the amount and type of supplies the plane was carrying and will compile an estimate of the total weight onboard.

Weener says the investigators are trying to determine the position of the controls at the time of impact. They do not believe wind shear was a problem. The aircraft was in a stall position with the right wing and nose down.

The plane’s condition was known to be excellent. Investigators are gathering information on what the plane’s activities had been during the 72 hours prior to Sunday’s crash.

Army Backs Away From Stuart Creek 2 Fire Statements

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The Army says Fort Wainwright Garrison commander Colonel Ron Johnson might have been overstating it when he told residents of Pleasant Valley and Two Rivers last Saturday night that artillery training exercises had started the Stuart Creek Two wildfire.

Study Attempts To Pinpoint Salmon As They Hit Rivers

Shaylon Cochranm KDLL – Kenai

King salmon runs to the rivers of Cook Inlet are down again this year. After last year’s disastrous fishing season, the Parnell administration launched a 5-year, $30 million effort to find out more about salmon life cycles in the ocean. One of the studies under way is trying to figure out where kings and reds are hanging out in the water just before they return to the rivers.

Kwik’pak Fisheries Traceability Program Ahead Of The Curve

Kyle Clayton, KYUK – Bethel

Kwik’pak Fisheries Yukon River salmon buyers across the country can validate their purchases and track their fish from the river to the shelf thanks to a traceability program that serves as a worldwide model.

M/V Tustumena Repairs Hit Additional Roadblock

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

For the fourth time this summer, the M/V Tustumena’s return to service has been pushed back. The Alaska Department of Transportation is now saying that the ferry won’t be ready to sail until the end of August.

Russian Fire Bomb Washes Up Near Chignik

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

A Coast Guard helicopter dropped an elite team of explosives experts near Chignik last week. Their mission: to detonate a suspicious bomb that washed up on a remote beach.

On paper, it was a standard assignment for the Army’s explosive ordnance disposal team. But as KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, the case still managed to turn up some surprises.

Man Becomes Oldest Climber To Summit Denali

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

2013 has been a historic year on Denali. On the same day that a group of descendants of the original summit team made it to the peak, an Alaskan man completed his record-breaking ascent.