Alaska News Nightly: June 30, 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.

Download Audio

Proposed Army Cutbacks Could Impact Alaska Bases

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The U.S. Army is looking at greater cutbacks than previously considered, and there could be Alaska impacts.  Ft. Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson are among posts nationwide being considered for reductions as part of the Army’s “2020 Force Structure Realignment.”

Donlin Gold and the Kuskokwim Corporation Sign Long-Term Land-Use Deal

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Donlin Gold and the Kuskokwim Corporation have signed a surface rights agreement for the proposed gold mine located 120 miles upriver of Bethel. The deal gives the native corporation rights to some construction contracts and sets financial terms for decades to come.

ANTHC Wins $153 Million Settlement

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

153 million dollars is the huge new settlement for back contract support costs due the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium from the Indian Health Service. The settlement clears up a 15-year backlog of underpayments and was announced on Friday.

Spring Creek Prison Death Ruled Homicide

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The death of an inmate at Seward’s Spring Creek maximum security prison has been ruled a homicide.   In the early hours of Sunday, 29 -year -old Elihu Gillespie was found unresponsive in his cell, and taken to Providence Seward Medical Care Center.   Gillespie was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Human Remains Discovered On Adak

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

State troopers believe that a set of human remains found on Adak this month are those of a long-lost camper.

High Court Throws Out Petition Case

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a challenge to Alaska’s signature-gathering laws because of a lack of standing.

With HIV Cases On The Rise, Alaskans Consider New Tool For Prevention

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

Twenty-four people in Alaska have been diagnosed with HIV since January. Normally, that’s the total number of new diagnoses for an entire year, not just six months. Now Alaskans have a new way to help prevent HIV infections. The Center for Disease Control recently released new guidelines for a daily pill that can prevent new infections. But, it’s a valuable tool, not a cure-all.

Large Dredge Unlikely In Grantley Harbor This Season

Anna Rose McArthur, KNOM – Nome

A massive dredge looking to work the waters near two communities in western Alaska is sparking concerns from subsistence users—and brought the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to villages west of Nome last week, to talk to residents about their concerns.

Public Comment Begins For Sea Lion Protections

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is opening public comment on a plan to relax Steller sea lion protections and allow more commercial fishing in the western Aleutian Islands.

Legislation Opens Doors For Medevac Providers

Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

A piece of state legislation passed this spring opened the door for more competition among medevac providers in the state, and one company has taken advantage of that opportunity.

Breaking New Ground With Mendenhall Valley Library

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The city of Juneau held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Mendenhall Valley Library at Dimond Park last week. This means the Juneau Public Libraries branch now located inside a mall will soon be its own stand-alone building. About 50 people attended the event, including many who had a role in making the project happen.