Alaska News Nightly: Monday, August 17, 2015

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Shell Gets Final Approval To Drill Into Oil-Bearing Rock in the Chukchi

John Ryan, KUCB – Unalaska

The Interior Department gave final approval to Shell Oil to drill into oil-bearing rocks at the company’s “Burger J” drilling site. The company has until late September to complete this summer’s exploratory drilling.

24 Apache Choppers To Nest At Ft. Wainwright

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The first U.S. Army apache helicopters to be based in Alaska are scheduled to arrive at Fort Wainwright this week. They’re part of a new unit that will include 24 helicopters and 400 soldiers.

Legislators Plot Their Next Move As Medicaid Rollout Looms

Associated Press

A legislative committee plans to meet Tuesday to discuss whether or not to challenge Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to expand Medicaid in Alaska.

Bethel Preschool Trashed by Vandals

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Vandals in Bethel smashed school district car windows and trashed preschool classrooms over the weekend.

VA Sec. Visits Point Hope, Kotzebue; Bush Vets Share The Woes of Accessing Remote Care

Emily Russell, KNOM – Nome

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald, traveled to Point Hope and Kotzebue to address their concerns. Remote access to care and information are among the most common problem facing veterans in Alaska.

Staffing the Grill & State: Walker’s First Governor’s Picnic

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

Bill Walker hosted his first Governor’s Picnic in Juneau on Friday at the University of Alaska Southeast.

2015 Dungeness Season: Lackluster Against 2014’s Harvest, But Still Average

Joe Sykes, KFSK – Petersburg

Southeast’s Dungeness summer crab season ended on Saturday. There aren’t any preliminary numbers yet but it’s looking as if this year hasn’t got close to the bumper season crab fishermen had last summer.

Roasting Twinkies And Other Wisdom From Kid Camp In the Togiak

Molly Dischner, KDLG – Dillingham

The Togiak National Wildlife Refuge encompasses almost five million acres in southwestern Alaska. Each year, refuge staff organizes a high school science camp, conducted via float trip, to show area students a little sliver of the refuge in their backyard. Earlier this month, six students from Dillingham and Twin Hills floated the Pungokepuk River.

Dispatch From the Couch: Google Trekker Lets You ‘Hike’ the Chilkoot Trail

Greta Mart, KHNS – Haines

A century ago, to hike to the Klondike gold fields via the Chilkoot Trail meant a grueling trek carrying a required one ton of supplies–enough to last a year. Soon armchair hikers can breeze along the 33-mile trail virtually, in a few minutes, using Google’s Street View.