Alaska News Nightly: September 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.

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Pebble Partnership Moves Forward After Anglo American Pulls Support

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

The giant mining company Anglo American has pulled its support for the proposed Pebble Mine but the other company in the partnership pledges to continue moving the project toward permitting and development.

Northern Dynasty Minerals Stock Closes At All-Time Low

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

The financial markets reacted to the news that Anglo American had left the Pebble Partnership by driving the price of the sole remaining partner’s stock to an all-time low.

At the close of trading today, Northern Dynasty Minerals was selling for about a $1.50 a share. A year ago it was at $5. At the close of trading last week it was at $2.22.

On an average day, about 173,000 shares of Northern Dynasty are traded.  Today it was 4 million.

Northern Dynasty is owned by the Vancouver mining firm Hunter Dickinson, Incorporated, which has a number of mineral projects around the world.

Declining Work-Ready High School Grad Numbers Sparks Education Reform Talk

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A high school diploma is supposed to be a sign of readiness for the next step, whether that’s getting a job or going to college. But in Alaska, it turns out that most of the high school graduates who enter the state university system aren’t ready for the work. The latest remediation numbers are getting attention from lawmakers seeking education reform. And those numbers are already shaping state policy.

Fairbanks Behavioral Health Center To Reorganize

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Some mental health workers in Fairbanks are losing their jobs. The financially troubled Fairbanks Community Behavioral Health Center is making the cuts after analysis of a $1.2 million debt, and what it’s going to take to keep operating.

Man Charged With Shooting, Killing 2-Year-Old Son

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

A man in the village of Tununak has been charged in the shooting death of his 2-year-old son.

Kotzebue Child Killed By Loose Dog

The Associated Press

A second terrible death of a child happened over the weekend in Kotzebue.

Public Safety Commissioner Resigning

The Associated Press

Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters is resigning.

Masters has held his current position since 2008. Masters said in his resignation letter that he plans to return to the private sector. His resignation will be effective Oct. 15.

Washington Company To Study Hydro Idea At Thomas Bay

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

Another company out of Washington just won permission to study the potential development of a new hydro-electric plant at a mountain-top lake within the Petersburg Borough. The federal government has awarded a preliminary permit for the Cascade Creek Project to Hydro Development LLC.

Initiative Repealing Labor Law Could Be Headed For Ballot Box

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Supporters of a ballot measure that would repeal a controversial labor ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly earlier this year have gathered the signatures needed to put the issue before voters.

APU Program Grooming Future Alaska Native Corporation Executives

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska Native corporations and Alaska Pacific University are teaming up on a program that will foster the next generation of Native leaders in the state.   Executives representing seven Alaska Native corporations met this past weekend with APU faculty for the start of the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program, which has been approved by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education.

DEC Seeking Innovative Rural Water, Sewer System Ideas

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is hoping a new challenge will help put an end to the honey bucket in rural Alaska. Over 6,000 homes in the bush don’t have running water and sewer service. And the state and federal government can’t afford to install expensive centralized systems that are difficult to maintain in those small villages. So the state wants to encourage innovators to form teams to design a new type of system that could work.

Bill Griffith, with DEC, came up with the idea for the challenge: