Alaska News Nightly: August 22, 2012

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Nome Gold Miners To Undergo Mercury Testing

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

Mercury testing in gold miners in Nome is going to take place next week. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services will conduct the voluntary screenings that were prompted from concerns that miners in Nome may be exposed to harmful levels of mercury fumes.

Proposal Would Have Fairbanks Borough Build Natural Gas Distribution Network

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough would take on utility powers and build a natural gas distribution network under a proposal being pushed by a group of local leaders.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report On Deadly Delta-Area Helicopter Crash

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

A preliminary report on an Aug. 7 fatal helicopter crash at a remote site near the Pogo gold mine states that a log that was dislodged from the helipad may have played a role in the accident.

Harry Crawford Challenges Senator Bettye Davis

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Former State Representative Harry Crawford is running for State Senate in District M against Senator Bettye Davis, who has served for more than a decade. Crawford says he better represents the new District M, which was reformed during redistricting and he's going door-to-door in hopes of winning the seat in Tuesday's primary election.

State Finalizes Petersburg Borough Plan

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

The state has finalized its approval of a Petersburg Borough plan. In a teleconferenced meeting Wednesday morning, Alaska’s Local Boundary Commission or LBC passed its written decision on the matter.

Menard, Dunleavy Compete For Senate Seat D

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Two Republicans with ties to the Matanuska Susitna Borough School Board are vying for the Senate D candidate's slot in next week's primary. While both see education funding as a priority, the two have distinct views on the state's fiscal policies.

Hovercraft Comes To Akutan

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

The hovercraft that will link the village of Akutan with its new airport made the trip down from Cold Bay last week. The hovercraft has a long and storied history operating in the Aleutians, but it’s the only connection between the new runway and the community of 1,000 people.

Popular Fairbanks Trail Reopens

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A popular Fairbanks area hiking trail, recently closed due to bear trouble, has reopened.  The Granite Tors Trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area has been the location of four human bear encounters this summer, the latest of which saw a bear tear a hole in a camper’s tent.  No one has been hurt, but bear spray, rocks and gun shots have been used to scare the animals off.

Ocean Health Index Unveiled

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

A handful of organizations have teamed up to create a unique way of accessing the health of the world's oceans.

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