Alaska News Nightly: August 7, 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.

Download Audio

AHFC Head Dan Fauske Steps Down

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation executive director Dan Fauske is stepping down. AHFC’s board announced Wednesday that Fauske resigned his post. In a statement released to the press, AHFC’s board chair Frank Roppel says the resignation was not unexpected, and has been accepted.

Pebble Waits, Frustration Grows

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The EPA is expected to release its final watershed assessment of the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay by the end of the year.

Some in Alaska’s Congressional delegation are urging the Pebble Partnership to submit its application.

And the longer the company waits, the more frustrated the delegation gets – the very people who could help shepherd the process.

Low Numbers Prompts Restrictions On Nelchina Caribou Hunts

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order that will restrict hunters to harvesting Nelchina caribou bulls for most of the upcoming season in Game Management Unit 13. The low number of cows was a factor into the decision.

Tension Rises Over Mat-Su Mayor’s Communication With Redistricting Board

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly member is criticizing the Borough mayor’s communication with the state Redistricting Board. The matter made sparks fly at Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting.

State Issues Best Interest Finding On LNG Gas Line Right-Of-Way Application

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state has issued a best interest finding on a right of way lease application for a gas line to feed a North Slope LNG plant. The Department of Natural Resources Commissioner’s analysis and proposed decision is for Spectrum Energy’s 1,100 foot gas line. The public can weigh in on the lease proposal until Sept. 3.

Wildfires Growing  In Interior’s Dry, Windy Weather

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Hot dry windy weather has caused growth of three big Interior wildfires. The Crater Lake fire, near the Yukon Flats village of Venetie, swelled by more than 850 acres. The human caused fire has burned more than 1,500 acres since it started on Sunday. Water scooping planes are working the blaze, with 104 firefighters deployed on the ground.  An Alaska interagency Coordination center update says the fire suppression strategy has switched from extinguishing the fire to halting it`s progress to the east, saying the fire is burning in a bowl with squirrely winds and negligible features for anchoring and safely inserting crews.

Alaska Airlines Flights Delayed By Computer Breakdown

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Flights to and from Alaska were among those affected by a recent international computer system breakdown.

Polar Star Visits Juneau

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

The Arctic ice cap reached a new low a year ago. In just six months, 4.5 million square miles of Arctic Ocean ice melted, according to a 2012 report by the United Nations.

While that may be hard to imagine, the commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star says Arctic ice was the lowest he’s ever seen in all his ice breaking trips to the region.

After three years in a shipyard and a $90 million makeover, the Coast Guard’s heavy ice breaker just returned from trials in the Beaufort Sea and made a brief stop in Juneau.

‘Alaska Tracks’ Shares Tales Hunters, Trappers and Fishermen

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A new book explores the life many come to Alaska for, but few live out. Alaska Tracks shares the tales of hunters, fishermen and trappers.