Alaska News Nightly: August 16, 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

How Are Alaska’s Schools Doing?

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Last year, half of Alaska’s schools were considered failing under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Next year, every single school – even the state’s blue ribbon ones – would have gotten an “F” grade. So, Alaska decided to join dozens of other states across the country and apply for a waiver. Friday, the state Education Department has unveiled its new system for judging schools, with hopes of providing a better picture of how well the state’s education system is working and where it needs to be improved.

USCG Arctic Strategy Requires More Ice Breakers

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

The number of ships through the Bering Strait grew by more than 100 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

As nations attempt to stake claims for rich Arctic resources, the U.S. currently has little presence there. The Coast Guard has only two ice breakers capable of operating in the region. One of those cutters, the Polar Star, is back in service after a major rebuild.

Anchorage Committee Exploring Possible Olympic Bid

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A committee has been organized in Anchorage to explore the possibility of the city hosting the Olympics in 2026. Mayor Dan Sullivan will lead the Anchorage Olympic Winter Games Exploratory Committee.

More Moisture Finally Forecast For Interior

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The hot dry weather pattern that’s predominated much of this summer is forecast to end.

Fish & Game Asks Hunter To Delay Bird Hunts

Dan Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has asked bird hunters to hold off for up to two weeks. While the season for upland game birds looks promising, a late spring means chicks are small and family groups are sticking together later than usual.

Out North’s Closure A Blow For Anchorage Artists

Sara Bernard, APRN – Anchorage

The Out North Contemporary Art House in Anchorage closed its doors on July 29th after nearly 30 years. The organization’s Board of Directors laid off the six staff members and asked resident art groups to remove their belongings by early September, citing financial concerns. As artists and fans mourn the loss of one of the city’s great art houses, no one seems sure what will happen next.

AK: Home Grown Garlic

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

The Chilkat Valley near Haines in Southeast is known as the Valley of the Eagles. But some residents are trying to bring the valley back to its roots, literally. Agriculture is making a comeback in the area. And longtime resident George Campbell believes he has the largest crop of garlic in the state this year.

300 Villages: Kake

This week, we’re heading to Kake, a community of about 700 people on Kupreanof Island near Petersburg. Ruth Demmert lives in Kake Alaska.