Alaska News Nightly: July 19, 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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Fairbanks-Area Voters To File Opposition To Latest Redistricting Plan

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Two Fairbanks area voters plan to file opposition to the latest state redistricting plan. Goldstream Valley resident Ron Dearborn and George Riley of Ester have contested redistricting board proposals in court from the start.  Riley says their latest objections primarily focus on the re-alignment of two Fairbanks Senate Districts to make them more geographically and politically aligned.

Volcano Screams Just Before Eruption

Ben Matheson, KDLG – Dillingham

Volcano eruptions are pretty violent.  Lava explodes into the air, ash plumes drop particles on nearby towns, and as a new analysis from Mount Redoubt’s 2009 eruptions shows, volcanoes can also scream right before they erupt.

Man Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder In Fatal Fire

The Associated Press

A 19-year-old Nunam Iqua man is charged in a house fire that killed three people, including a child, in the Southwest Alaska village.

A Bethel grand jury returned a 17 count indictment against Derek Adams yesterday, charging him with six counts of second-degree murder, one count of arson and 10 counts of assault, most in connection to others in the house at the time of the June 28 fire.

The fire killed 8-year-old Cyprian Ignatius, 43-year-old Joseph Ignatius and 25-year-old Edward Murphy.

Authorities say they cannot discuss motive.

Evacuation Watch Lifted For Two Rivers, Pleasant Valley

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Work will continue on the Stuart Creek wildfire east of Fairbanks, despite rainy weather.

Alaska Fire service spokesman Bernie Pinetta says about 5 miles of perimeter still need to be addressed on the 85,000 acre fire’s perimeter to achieve 100 percent containment.

Pinetta says over 500 people are working the blaze that has threatened neighborhoods along Chena Hot Springs Road. Warmer weather is forecast to return early next week, but humidity is expected to stay fairly high.

Pinetta says work on the fire should wrap in the next two weeks.

The remaining evacuation watch for Two Rivers and Pleasant Valley along Chena Hot Springs Road was lifted at noon Friday.

Debate Grows Over Use Of State Agricultural Land

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Matanuska Valley’s Point MacKenzie area once was home to more than a dozen dairy farms, but these days, there is only one milk producer operating there.  And about 14,000 acres of cleared pastureland and hayfields are now catching the eye of those who see development potential in the unused farmland. The debate over what to do with state agricultural land is growing louder, and some are pushing to change the rules that keep the land in farming.

State Sets Record Low For Boating Fatalities

Heather Bryant, KTOO – Juneau

There hasn’t been a single recreational boating fatality in Alaska since the start of the year. That’s a record-breaking streak for Alaska according to Jeff Johnson with the Office of Boating Safety.

AK: Eyes on the Sky

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

For most Americans, local weather information comes from a variety of high-tech instruments. There’s Doppler radar, digital thermometers and barometers, satellite images, weather buoys and more. But in Port Alexander, a small Southeast community, the daily weather report depends on two human beings.

300 Villages: Coffman Cove

Alex Duerre, APRN – Anchorage

This week we’re heading to the Prince of Wales community of Coffman Cove. Misty Fitzpatrick is the city administrator for Coffman Cove.