Alaska News Nightly: May 7, 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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Arctic May Not Be That Busy, Report Says

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

As the ice retreats in the Arctic, many people predict more ships will be drawn through the Bering Straits to take advantage of a shortcut between Asia and Europe. But, a recent government report suggests less ice may not mean more ships.

Coast Guard Says Its Increased Arctic Presence Will Have ‘No Significant’ Environmental Impact

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

The U.S. Coast Guard has operated in the Arctic for more than a century, but as the maritime agency plans for an increased presence in the region, its taking stock of what its environmental impact will be in the Arctic in the years to come.

Emergency Personnel Battle Unalaska Warehouse Fire

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

While the rest of the state is gearing up for wildfire season, Unalaska’s emergency responders spent Wednesday fighting an industrial fire inside a local longshore warehouse. The building appears to be a total loss.

Honor Flag Lands In Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A commercial airliner delivered the United States Honor Flag to Fairbanks yesterday. The flag, which flew at Ground Zero in New York following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and has since traveled around the country to honor fallen law enforcement officers and fire fighters, was brought to Fairbanks to pay tribute to Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Patrick “Scott” Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich, who were killed in Tanana last week.

Troopers Maintaining Presence In Tanana

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska State Troopers are maintaining a presence in the village of Tanana. Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says Troopers do not have a post in the village and the assignment of officers there is temporary.

Agencies Emphasize Fire Prevention Awareness

Jolene Almendarez, APRN – Anchorage

The sunshine and warmer weather are bringing more Alaskans out to enjoy parks and trails. But that increase in recreation can also mean more accidental fires. Four agencies joined forces at a media event Tuesday to get the word out about fire prevention.

NAACP Demands Apology Over Sullivan Comments

The Associated Press & APRN Staff

The Anchorage NAACP and the Anchorage Central Labor Council have called on lieutenant governor candidate Dan Sullivan to apologize for comments likening required payment of union dues to slavery.

Sullivan, who currently serves as Anchorage mayor, made the comments during a candidate forum Monday.

The slavery comparison came up when Sullivan was asked about right-to-work legislation, in which employees are not required to join a union to get or keep a job.

Sullivan told The Associated Press today that there are many forms of slavery, and he was talking about “economic slavery.”

While he originally said he did not believe an apology was necessary, he later sent a statement saying that he apologized “if the use of the word offended anyone.”

Borough School Honors Redington, Sr.

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Ground was broken Tuesday for the first new school to be constructed in more than a decade in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The new Joe Redington, Sr. school is located near the original homestead of the father of the Iditarod.

Minecraft In The Classroom: When Learning Looks Like Gaming

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The popular video game Minecraft has made its way into Juneau high school classrooms.

A graduate education course at the University of Alaska Southeast showed teachers how to implement the game in their classes.

KTOO’s Lisa Phu went to a high school algebra class to hear what students have to say about Minecraft – not as a game but – as a learning tool.

Anchorage Schools Celebrate Bike To School Day

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

Fifty schools participated in Bike to School Day in Anchorage on Wednesday. KSKA’s Anne Hillman talked to students from Lake Otis Elementary about why they hopped on their bikes instead of into vehicles, and what they learned along the way.