Alaska News Nightly: January 31, 2014

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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Alaska Paratrooper Collapses, Dies After Jump

The Associated Press

An Alaska-based paratrooper has died after collapsing following a jump.

U.S. Army Alaska officials say in a release that the soldier died Thursday night at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

The statement says there is no indication the soldier had a hard landing or that there was equipment failure during the parachute jump he completed prior to collapsing.

The Army says the soldier’s parachute had been packed away, and he was wearing his rucksack when the drop zone safety officer reached him.

He was rushed to the Anchorage hospital and underwent emergency surgery, but was pronounced dead just after 8 p.m.

Desperate Renters Face Bugs, Damage

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Big Timber Motel in Anchorage has been in the news recently because of health and safety concerns- everything from fire code violations to an infestation of bedbugs. But it’s not the only low income housing in Anchorage with problems. And city officials say it’s difficult to address the issue.

Alaskans Unhappy With Postal Service Changes

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

An increase in complaints from Alaskans about the U.S. Postal Service prompted Sen. Mark Begich to write the Postmaster General this week, demanding answers.

Begich Reports Bringing In About $850K In 4Q

The Associated Press

U.S. Senator Mark Begich reported bringing in nearly $850,000 toward his re-election effort during the final quarter of 2013.

Begich’s campaign, in a filing with the Federal Election Commission, reported ending the year with $2.8 million on hand.

The contributions from October through December include nearly $530,000 from individuals and about $280,000 from political committees.

Two of Begich’s Republican rivals had released fundraising totals for the quarter but had not yet released their reports. Mead Treadwell’s campaign reported raising more than $228,000, while Dan Sullivan reported bringing in more than $1.2 million.

Bill Rejecting Governor, Commissioner Pay Raises Likely To Get Senate Vote

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A bill that would reject pay raises for the governor and his commissioners is on track to get a vote in the Senate.

With New Gasline Terms, TransCanada Role Evolves

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The gasline deal that was brokered earlier this month had signatures from more than half a dozen parties. But one party to the agreement confused some lawmakers, like Senator Hollis French.

Prosecutors Dismiss Case Against Former Dillingham High School Assistant Wrestling Coach

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

State prosecutors today dismissed the case against a former Dillingham High School assistant wrestling coach who had been accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old female student.

AK: Magic

Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

For more than 20 years, people all over the world have been playing the strategic fantasy card game “Magic: the Gathering.” But the game has only recently found its way to Unalaska, where the island’s teenage boys have been going through a serious Magic phase for the past few months.

For the city’s recreation staff, that means a chance to offer a Lower 48-style experience: an official Magic tournament, which they hosted earlier this month.

300 Villages: Lake Minchumina

This week we’re heading to the tiny community of  Lake Minchumina in Interior Alaska. Charles Draper maintains the local runway and he volunteers at the village’s library.