Alaska News Nightly: February 5, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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King Cove Residents Still Hopeful For Izembek National Wildlife Refuge Road

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service came out against a controversial proposed road through the Izembek National Wildlife refuge today. Residents of the Aleutian community of King Cove are disappointed, but as KUCB’s Stephanie Joyce reports, they’re not giving up on the project.

EPA Plans Final Bristol Bay Assessment This Year

The Associated Press

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue a final report this year on the impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region. That’s according to regional director Dennis McLerran.

EPA last year released a draft watershed assessment, which underwent peer review. Some panelists raised concerns about things like missing data and incomplete information. EPA announced in November that it would address the concerns raised by the panel, first with a revised draft.

McLerran, in prepared remarks to the Alaska Forum on the Environment, says the agency is arranging to have the original experts review the revised assessment and evaluate whether it is responsive to their comments. EPA plans to release the draft to the public for comment concurrently.

Report Predicts Windfall For Alaska If Federal Lands, Water Opened To Drilling

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

A new report from an oil and gas trade association is predicting a windfall for Alaska if the government opened federally owned lands and water to drilling.

Knik Arm Bridge Costs Uncertain

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Two identical bills in the state house and Senate seek the creation of a state fund to supplement toll revenue shortfalls related to the Knik Arm Bridge in the initial years after the bridge is constructed.  That is, if the bridge linking Wasilla and Anchorage ever becomes reality.  There are still serious concerns about the cost of the bridge.

Neff Reaches Yukon Quest Halfway Point First

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The first two teams have arrived at the half-way point along the Yukon Quest trail.  Hugh Neff came in first.  He’ll win 4 ounces of gold if he makes it all the way to Fairbanks. Allen Moore’s team came trotting into the checkpoint chute two hours later. Neff maintains that’s Moore’s is the team to beat.

School Board Passes Preliminary Budget 6-1

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage School Board passed their preliminary budget for next school year yesterday (2/4) after hearing testimony from the public.

Series Of Southeast Quakes Interests Scientists

Shady Grove Oliver, KSTK – Wrangell

Several earthquakes have shaken up Southeast Alaska since last fall.  KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver spoke with an earthquake physicist about why these latest quakes are of particular interest to scientists.

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