Alaska News Nightly: December 27, 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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Coast Guard Finds Safety Violations On Shell Rig

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Shell’s Noble Discoverer drill rig has had several high-profile mishaps in 2012. Now, the Coast Guard says it found even more problems with the rig during an emergency inspection in Seward.

No Deal In Sight To Avert Federal Spending Cuts

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The nation is just five days away from the New Year. And as we’ve hearing for more than the past 12 months, the New Year will bring tax increases and federal spending cuts.

Unemployment Benefits Will End If No Stop-Gap Measure Reached

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

If Congress doesn’t pass a stop gap measure that includes it, federal emergency unemployment compensation will end for thousands of jobless Alaskans on Monday. President Obama would like to see federal unemployment benefits as part of a stop-gap measure to avert the so called fiscal cliff.

Top of the World 350 Kicks Off in Tok

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Some well known names in the Alaska mushing world are heading toward Eagle today as the inaugural running of the Top of the World 350 kicked off in Tok. Lance Mackey, Gerry Willomitzer and Dan Kaduce are among the 22 mushers racing toward the Yukon river community near the Canadian border. The race is in honor of Eagle elder Issac Juneby who passed away last summer. Shyanne Beatty is Juneby’s niece. She’s helping with the organization of the race and spoke to me today from the Tok Dog Musher’s association headquarters. She says mushers came from across the state.

Law Enforcement Looking For Leads On Mailbox Theft

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward for information about a man who allegedly stole mail collection boxes in Anchorage over the Christmas holiday.

Army Identifies JBER Soldier Found Dead In Barracks

The Associated Press

A soldier who was found dead in his barracks at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage on Christmas morning has been identified.

25-year-old Pfc. Grant W. Wise was from Fairport, N.Y. He was found dead of a gunshot wound in another soldier’s barracks room.

Wise joined the Army in October 2011 and was assigned as an infantryman with the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) at JBER in September.

The death is being investigated.

Anchorage Family’s 50-Year-Old Secret Revealed

Julia O’Malley, Anchorage Daily News

This is the time for big family gatherings. And for Bill Popp’s family in Anchorage, those celebrations will be even sweeter this year. Last fall, Popp found out he had a younger sister, who his mom had given up for adoption in 1961. Yesterday, we heard how that family secret was revealed after 50 years. Today, Julia O’Malley tells part two of the story – why Bill’s mom Mary Lou had to put the baby up for adoption.

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