Alaska News Nightly: August 12, 2013

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Man Charged In Deaths Of 2 Anchorage Teens

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Anchorage Police have charged 31-year-old Stacey Allen Graham after he crashed, killing two teenage girls Friday evening.

APD spokeswoman Dani Myren says it happened around 6:45 near Abbot Road and 88th Street.

“The pickup truck was coming from Dimond Boulevard and approaching the Abbott curve when it apparently lost control and swerved onto the bike path located to the West side of Abbot Road, just north of 88th street where the two girls were walking,” Myren said. “The truck struck the two girls before colliding with a large business sign.”

“The truck ended up on its side.”

15-year-old Brooke McPheters and 15-year-old Jordyn Durr were pronounced dead at the scene.

The roof of Graham’s vehicle was removed in order to extract him from the vehicle. He was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Preliminary alcohol tests indicate Graham had about 3 times the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.

He has been charged with Operating Under the Influence and two counts of Murder 2. The girls were reportedly walking home from Dimond Center after shopping for back-to-school items.

Begich Sees Galena Flood Damage

Jeremy Scott, KIYU – Galena

Alaska Senator Mark Begich and Washington Senator Maria Cantwell got a firsthand view of Galena’s flood damage.

The U.S. Senators toured the town on Friday as they continue to push for a federal appropriation for disaster areas that rely heavily on seafood for economy and sustenance.

Audit Finds Botched Oversight, Bad Cost Estimates In Port Of Anchorage Project

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A new audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General, finds the Port of Anchorage expansion project had botched oversight and bad cost estimates. Lisa Demer is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She has reported extensively on the port expansion and the troubles surrounding cost and design.

State Officials Gather For ‘Federal Overreach’ Summit

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

This week, Alaska lawmakers and government officials are meeting in Anchorage to discuss what they see as “federal overreach.”

Caribou Creek Fire Adds To Complex Wildfire Season

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A new wildfire near Fairbanks is adding to a complex late wildfire season in the Interior. The Caribou Creek fire is burning about 36 miles northeast of Harding Lake, about 20 miles east of the 85,000 acre Stuart Creek Fire.

In Unalaska, Crossed Wires Trip Up Air Travelers

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

For the past nine years, Alaska Airlines and Peninsula Airways have partnered to provide regular passenger air service to Unalaska. That service has been plagued by delays, and has also suffered from the airlines’ failure to communicate – with passengers, and even internally, with each other.

KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal sat down with representatives from both Alaska Airlines and Peninsula Airways, to find out why it’s so hard to fly to Unalaska.

Kivalina Finally Begins Filling Water Tanks Again

The Associated Press

A remote village in northern Alaska has finally begun to fill its water storage tanks again, after spending last winter with dwindling reserves.

Crews at the Kivalina water plant began pumping water round-the-clock on Friday.

The Inupiat Eskimo community of 400 fell into its water crisis after the local water-supply pipeline was damaged by late-summer storms last year before its water tanks could be filled.

Kivalina is located 83 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Dillingham All-Tide Dock Partially Reopened

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

The large all-tide dock in Dillingham has been partially reopened after been closed last Thursday due to damage.

New Teachers Learn About Native Culture Before School Starts

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Teachers headed to the Northwest Arctic Borough School District spent some time learning Inupiaq language, crafts and culture at a traditional fish camp this summer in preparation for their new jobs. The camp is one of two in the state that’s aimed at improving cultural understanding among incoming teachers and to help with teacher retention. And it seems to be working.