Alaska News Nightly: July 15, 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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Coast Guard Opens Forward Operating Location In Kotzebue

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

The U.S. Coast Guard opened its forward operating location in Kotzebue last week as part of Arctic Shield 2013.

Worry About Whale Watching Comes From Within The Industry

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Is the North Pacific humpback whale no longer endangered? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will decide soon whether to pursue taking the whale off the Endangered Species list.

A group of Hawaiian fishermen submitted a petition to de-list humpbacks in April and the agency will determine if it has enough credible information for further review.

Removing the North Pacific humpback from the Endangered Species list would require NOAA to revisit an important regulation specific to watching humpback whales in Alaska waters.

The rapid growth of Juneau’s whale watching industry may be causing some vessels to overlook regulations and guidelines.

Redistricting Board Adopts Final Plan

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

In a half-hour meeting Sunday afternoon, the Alaska Redistricting Board unanimously agreed on a new electoral map. The process of drawing the state’s political boundaries has been going on for nearly three years. Along the way, board members described it as a “struggle,” Democrats characterized it as gerrymandering by a Republican-dominated group, and the courts deemed it unconstitutional.

Hundreds Gather To Remember Pilot Killed In Soldotna Crash

Ariel Van Cleave, KBBI – Homer

Hundreds of people gathered at the Rediske Air hangar in Nikiski on Saturday afternoon to remember and celebrate the life of Walter Rediske. He was killed in the July 7th plane crash at the Soldotna Airport. He was 42-years-old.

Will A  Marine Shipping Merger Pit David Against Goliath?

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

A state antitrust lawyer says a proposed merger may pit the commercial shipping equivalents of David against Goliath in Southeast Alaska.

The plan, announced in April, involves three shipping companies: Seattle-based Alaska Marine Lines, Seattle-based Northland Services, and Sitka-based Samson Tug and Barge.

Author Revives Aleutian History Through ‘Lost Ledgers’

Audrey Carlsen, KUCB – Unalaska

Two years ago, historian Pennelope Goforth discovered six ledgers from the Alaska Commercial Company gathering dust in a friend’s basement. Now, she’s using the “Lost Ledgers” to bring a distant chapter of Aleutian history to life.

New Book Delves Into Life Of ‘Papa Pilgrim’

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

A new book by longtime Alaska journalist Tom Kizzia hits bookstores Tuesday. “Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier” details the story of Robert Allen Hale – better known to Alaskans as “Papa Pilgrim” – who for years terrorized his family in the remote mountains of Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park.