Alaska News Nightly: May 29, 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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Committee Moves Bill Updating Magnuson-Stevens Act

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee today moved a bill to update the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary fisheries law in federal waters. Alaska Congressman Don Young amended the bill to allow subsistence fishermen a voice on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Kuskokwim Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Comes Together In Bethel

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Tribal representatives took the first steps on Wednesday towards establishing the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The group intends to push for co-management of salmon stocks and more direct involvement for tribal fisherman.

Begich Speaks On VA Care In Alaska

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Amid national outrage over the Veterans’ Administration’s handling of medical services for veterans and congressional calls for the resignation of VA secretary General Erik Shenseki, Senator Mark Begich today stopped short of calling for a resignation, but Begich said officials from the top down will be held accountable when Shenseki’s report comes out.

Rain Helping Firefighters Maintain Containment Lines

Shady Oliver, KBBI – Homer

The Funny River fire continues to burn the central Kenai Peninsula this week. Light rains have helped firefighters maintain their containment lines.

The fire is estimated at around 193,000 acres with 46 percent containment.

All evacuation advisories were lifted this week and the Skilak Lake campground and boat launch reopened today.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Funny River Residents Meet After Evacuation Order Lifted

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

Funny River residents met Wednesday night at the local community center for the first time since the evacuation orders were lifted. Fire management officials were there to update them on continuing operations and to help the community move forward.

Alaska Zoo Caring For Orphaned Wolf Pups

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

It will take time to determine the full impact to wildlife from the massive fire on the Kenai Peninsula but thanks to the acts of a group of fire fighter medics and wildlife biologists, a group of orphaned wolf cubs is safe.

2-Year State Predator Control Program Claims 153 Interior Bears

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game shot 64 black and brown bears from helicopters in the Western Interior in May. That brings the total number of bears shot during a two-year effort to 153. The Board of Game approved the program following requests from Kuskokwim River-area hunters, who were concerned about a declining moose population.

Secretary of Defense Visits JBER

Monica Gokey, KSKA – Anchorage

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stopped by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Wednesday at the outset of a 12-day tour abroad. Hagel talked with Army and Air Force personnel about the changes ahead as the U.S. transitions out of 13 years of war.