Alaska News Nightly: March 27, 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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Seismologists, Lawmakers Call For Earthquake Early Warning System

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

In Congress today, a House subcommittee marked the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake with a hearing focused on what scientists have learned from that event that can prepare the nation for the next big temblor or tsunami. Seismologists and several lawmakers said Congress needs to pony up for an earthquake early warning system.

Gov. Parnell Asking For Investigation National Guard Sexual Assaults

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Governor Parnell is asking the federal National Guard Bureau to investigate cases of sexual assault in Alaska’s National Guard. In a press release, Parnell wrote he is “deeply concerned by reports of sexual assaults and other behavior creating a hostile environment and culture within portions of the Alaska National Guard.”

The investigation follows a story from the Anchorage Daily News last October where alleged victims of sexual assault described an extensive problem in Alaska’s National Guard.

Sean Cockerham is a reporter with McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau. He broke that story and is reporting on the investigation. He says he began hearing about problems in the Guard last year:

Choose Respect Campaign Marches Across State

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau Soldotna

Senator Peter Micciche was leading the crowd at Juneau’s Choose Respect march that started on the steps of the State Capitol on Thursday.

Governor Sean Parnell’s Choose Respect campaign is geared towards eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault in the state.

Governor Leads Valdez Choose Respect Rally

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

Governor Parnell led the Choose Respect rally in Valdez today.

With Talk Of Minimum Wage Bill, Initiative Sponsors On Guard

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

This week, the House Majority Caucus released a new poll showing that about 70 percent of Alaskans support a citizen’s initiative to raise the minimum wage. Now, that’s got some legislators talking about making the change themselves. But initiative sponsors are not welcoming the possibility.

Moose Derbies May Be Allowed

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A bill that adds big bull moose derbies to the list of games of chance that can be permitted by the state, passed the House yesterday. Representative Tammie Wilson’s bill would allow a municipality or non-profit organization to be permitted to sell tickets to hunters, and award prizes to those who kill moose with the biggest antlers.

Mat-Su Borough Rejects Ordinance Restricting Cell Tower Construction

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

An ordinance to restrict cell phone tower construction in the Matanuska Susitna Borough was rejected by the Borough’s planning commission last week, in a 5-0 vote. Commissioners said it did not go far enough in regulating the so called “tall ” towers.

Unalaska Gears Up For Statewide Disaster Drill

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

For the most part, Unalaska was shielded from the devastation of the 1964 earthquake. But there’s no telling if it will be next time. That’s why Unalaska and dozens of other communities around the state kicked off a series of emergency drills today.

Jim Stone Recalls 1964 Earthquake Experiences

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Fifty-years ago today, Anchorage resident Jim Stone was about 11-years-old. His father was in the Air Force and the family had moved to Alaska four years earlier. He says he remembers the family dog had been very nervous in the hours before the shaking started. When the quake struck, Jim says his mom was making TV dinners while he and his dad and brother were watching Fireball XL5 on a portable television on a roller stand.

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