Alaska News Nightly: August 26, 2013

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EPA Administrator Visits Portage Glacier

The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency is making a field trip to Alaska this week.  Gina McCarthy says this trip is not about regulation, but about learning and tribal consultation.  She’ll be going to Fairbanks and Bristol Bay, but she started her trip at the site of a receding glacier.

Poll Shows Wide Fears Of Pebble Mine

Hays Research Group asked 388 likely primary voters their opinions of a possible 2014 ballot initiative that would prohibit the Pebble Mine. More than 60% said they favor the measure. Some two-thirds of that group strongly support it.

Arctic Councils Test The Waters In Unalaska

Legislators, scientists, and industry stakeholders are flocking to Unalaska this week to work out a plan for exploring the Arctic and they want input from locals. The United States Arctic Research Commission convened at Unalaska’s Grand Aleutian Hotel today. The independent agency is made up of eight commissioners with diverse backgrounds in fisheries, science, and education.

Tribal Summit On Suicide Problem Wraps Up In Anchorage

Suicide prevention was the focus of about 100 tribal representatives attending the 13th Alaska Tribal Leaders Summit in Anchorage Thursday and Friday. Alaska has the nation’s second highest suicide rate. In rural Alaska, suicide rates are four times the national average, and involve disproportionately high numbers of young Alaska Native men.

Wrangell Residents Want New Hospital

Wrangell Medical Center has faced a number of issues over the past few years. Finances, personnel turnover, and design changes stalled the plans for building a new hospital. But now, the plans are back on the table. And the hospital and its board of directors think the project is heading in the right direction.

Wasilla Woman Indicted For Fraud

A Wasilla woman is under federal indictment for fraud in connection with Valley Dairy, Inc., which did business as the now-defunct Matanuska Creamery. Karen Olson, who managed the Matanuska Creamery in Palmer, has been charged with defrauding the state of Alaska and with making false statements to the federal Department of Agriculture.

Cancelation Of Celebrity Cruises Will Impact Local Businesses

This week, Royal Caribbean, parent company of Celebrity Cruises, announced that the M/V Millennium will not be making its last round of sailings in Alaska. The cruise ship, which is more than 80 feet longer than the Titanic, was forced to return to Ketchikan while sailing to Seward due to a propulsion issue, and is now on its way to dry-dock in the Bahamas. The passengers who had their cruise cut short have been offered full refunds and credit for a future cruise by Celebrity.

Paddleboarders Find Unique Way To Experience Juneau

A group of people from all over the U.S. traveled to the capital city this week for one reason – stand up paddle boarding. Jan and Jeff Lipscomb, Carol Fontius, and Bob Stafford went to Auke Lake for their first Alaska stand up paddle board experience.