Alaska News Nightly: September 19, 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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Thousands Of Dinosaur Tracks Discovered Along Yukon River

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A trip down the Yukon River this summer yielded big results for one University of Alaska paleontologist.

Pat Druckenmiller is the Curator of Earth Science at the Museum of the North.  He and colleagues floated nearly 500 miles of the Yukon River, where they collected one ton of fossilized dinosaur tracks.  It was all shipped by barge from Kaltag to Fairbanks, where it now awaits further investigation.

Alaska Personnel Board Makes Same-Sex Partners ‘Family’

The Associated Press

The Alaska State Personnel Board has voted to include the same-sex partners of state employees in the definition of “immediate family” for purposes of leave.

Badly Beaten Anchorage Teen Identified

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Police have released the name of a young man who was found beaten and unconscious in an abandoned building in Downtown Anchorage Monday night. The victim has been identified as 18-year-old James Clinton of Anchorage.

Juneau Airport Officials Practice On Fake Airplane Crash

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

An Alaska Airlines jet with 64 people onboard simulated what would happen if a plane crashed on approach to Juneau International Airport.

The event took place on Saturday. Everyone on the plane survived and many ate lunch with the emergency responders who came to rescue them.

The fake crash was part of a live drill, involving airport officials, first responders, and nearly 75 volunteer victims.

Filmmakers Search For Long-Missing Russian Plane

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

In the summer of 1937 A Russian plane flying from Moscow to Fairbanks crashed in the Arctic. A headline that day in the Anchorage Daily Times blared – “Soviet Fliers Stranded in Arctic; Distress Call Heard in Anchorage.” The aircraft and the six Russians on board have never been found. Efforts through the years to locate the plane have taken Alaskan pilot Ron Sheardown and Russian filmmakers and relatives of the crew to the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. Sheardown has been flying in the arctic for 60 years. He says they have reason to believe three Inupiaq hunters at Oliktok Point, northwest of Prudhoe Bay, may have seen the plane go down on Aug. 13, 1937 in between Spy and Thesis Island.

Alaskan Hotel To Get TV Makeover

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The oldest operating hotel in Alaska will get a makeover – on TV.

The Travel Channel’s reality show Hotel Impossible will be in the capital city next week to film an episode on the Alaskan Hotel.

New Tourism Concept Highlights Unique Appeal Of Less Traveled Areas

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska’s visitors spent $3.7 billion here during 2011 and 12, according to a state report.

Although the financial benefits of tourism are undeniable, there can be a downside; commercialization of scenic areas and overcrowding are two drawbacks. But one man wants to change how communities are affected by tourism. The concept of Geotourism focuses on enhancing the character of a unique place.