Alaska News Nightly: November 26, 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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Researchers Describe “Jaw-Dropping” Whale Survey Near Point Hope

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

2012 was a remarkable year for the federal government’s annual aerial whale survey in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Observers spotted several species that had rarely or never been documented in the more than 30 years the survey has been running. Researchers say the unusual sightings may be part of the “new normal” that has taken over the Arctic Ocean as global warming fuels sea ice retreat.

‘Fairbanks Four’ Supporters Looking Beyond Recent Court Ruling

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Supporters of four men imprisoned for the 1997 murder of a Fairbanks teen are looking beyond a recent favorable court ruling.  Eugene Vent, George Frese, Kevin Pease and Marvin Roberts are serving multi-decade prison sentences for killing John Hartman. There was no physical evidence tying the men to the beating attack, and the case has long drawn questions about whether justice was served. The latest ruling involves an appeal by one of the convicted men.

Man Arrested In Dillingham On Outstanding Warrant

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

Derek Michael Stephens, 30, was arrested Friday afternoon in King Salmon on an outstanding warrant involving four counts of sexual exploitation of a child from the state of Idaho. Bristol Bay Borough Chief of Police Rodney Enevoldsen says authorities in Idaho made his department aware of the Warrant and the interest in Stephens in August, but until last week there had been no plans to extradite.

Search For Man Missing In Brooks Range Called Off

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The official search for a man missing in the Brooks Range has been called off.

Thirty one year old Thomas Seibold had been staying at a cabin on the Ambler River since September.  He’d planned to hike 25 miles to the village of Kobuk for a flight out on Nov. 11, but never arrived. A two-week aerial search followed, but Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says there’s been no sign of Seibold.

Responders Remove Fuel From Grounded Tug

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska
After a week of harsh weather, responders were finally able to remove fuel from a tug that grounded off the Alaska Peninsula.

The Polar Wind was carrying about 20,000 gallons of diesel when it — and the barge it was towing — ended up on the rocks. About 6,000 gallons were lost after the accident, but there have been no reports of oiled animals.

According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the weather quieted down Friday, and a salvage team was able to lighter almost all of the remaining fuel over the weekend. The team also recovered 1.5 million pounds of frozen seafood.

Now that the response team is wrapping up their oil spill mitigation efforts, they’re hoping the weather stays calm enough for them to start salvaging the vessels.

Quitting Tobacco For Good Health, Cleaner Communities

Jessica Cochran, Kids These Days

Statewide, Alaska’s tobacco use rate hovers around 20 percent; it’s gone down significantly over the last decade or so, and is only slightly above the national average.  But among Alaska Natives the rate is much higher – in some places, more than double.  And often kids begin using tobacco at young ages. Jessica Cochran has more, in the next installment of our series “Being Young in Rural Alaska” from the producers of Kids These Days.

Unalaska Residents Find Good Black Friday Deals

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

More shoppers than ever before attended Black Friday sales this year – but not in Unalaska, where there are no big box stores or shopping malls. Still, residents managed to find great deals the morning after Thanksgiving.

Pamyua Double Album: A Soundscape Of Identity

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Pamyua has a new album. The group, made up of three Yup’ik men and one Inuit woman from Greenland have been performing together since the 90s. Their new double album ‘Side A Side B’ offers traditional songs on one side mirrored by modern versions on the other.

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