Alaska News Nightly: July 23, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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Environmental Groups Urge EPA To Block Shell’s Clean Air Act Waiver Request

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Environmentalists are urging the EPA to block Shell’s request for a waiver from the Clean Air Act for its Discoverer vessel.  Groups have collected hundreds of thousands of signatures opposing the compliance order.

Protestors Gather At Anchorage EPA Office

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Protesters also gathered at the EPA office in downtown Anchorage. Fewer than a dozen people showed up in light rain.  They held up anti-drilling signs and hoped for encouragement from passing motorists.

Oil Spill Containment Barge Holds Up Shell’s Arctic Plans

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

The Coast Guard is relaxing certification standards for Shell’s oil spill containment barge. The company convinced regulators the Arctic Challenger should be considered a mobile unit. Among other things, that means its mooring system only needs to be able to weather a 10-year storm, as opposed to the more rigorous 100-year standard for fixed platforms.

Man Mauled By Brown Bear In Eagle River

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

A man was mauled by a brown bear Sunday in Eagle River. He sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. It was the fourth bear attack in Anchorage this year, one of the highest numbers ever. And the city is on its way to reaching a new record.

Study Says Polar Bear Species Older Than Previously Thought

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A new genetic study of polar bears out form the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday shows the species is older than previously thought.  The study also suggests that intermingling with brown bears could have been in partial response to previous changes in earth’s climate.

Bethel Subsistence Fishermen Get 100 Free Nets

Sophie Evan, KYUK – Bethel

The Community Development Quota (CDQ) program for 20 villages along the Bering Sea recently handed out 100 free nets in Bethel. For most of the summer, subsistence fishermen on the Kuskokwim River have been restricted to smaller nets to protect Chinook salmon. Coastal Villages Region Fund says the nets were gone within an hour, but the nets didn’t change hands without some controversy.

Susitna Watana Dam Studies Put Forward

Lorien Nettleton, KTNA – Talkeetna

Studies related to the proposed Susitna Watana hydroelectric dam were put forward last week by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Wrangell Milling Industry Supplying Instrument Makers Around The World

Anne Hillman, KSTK – Wrangell

Wrangell’s milling industry is taking a new turn toward niche markets. Ron Franz of Whale Bay Woods is cutting and selling music wood for instrument makers around the world. He spoke with KSTK’s Anne Hillman about what makes Wrangell’s Sitka spruce sing so sweetly.

Sitka Resident Using Facebook To Catch A Thief

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – Sitka

You may use Facebook to share photos from your summer vacation or goof off at work. But Sitka resident Rick Armstrong has found a different use for the social network – he’s using Facebook to try to catch a thief.

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