Alaska News Nightly: June 26, 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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Opinions Vary On President’s Plan To Combat Climate Change

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

President Barack Obama is laying out his framework for combating climate change. If successful, it could be a major accomplishment and part of his legacy.

The president is bypassing Congress, and the delegation has mixed reaction.

Galena Residents Gradually Return To Rebuild

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

It’s been nearly a month since an ice choked Yukon River overflowed its banks and flooded Galena.  The ice bergs have melted and the river looks docile, but many people remain displaced by what it did.  Most flood refugees are living outside the village, but more and more are coming back to rebuild their lives.

State Closing Disaster Assistance Shelter As Federal Aid Arrives

Jeremy Scott, KIYU – Jeremy

With Tuesday’s federal disaster declaration for areas affected by last month’s flood, the State of Alaska has effectively decided to close the disaster assistance centers that had been set up this week in Galena and in Circle. The DACs had been established to help people apply in-person for state individual assistance. But, anytime a disaster is declared federally, state funding is nullified.

DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional

Heather Bryant, KTOO – Juneau

The Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. This morning the court issued an opinion saying that DOMA deprives people of equal liberty as protected by the Fifth Amendment.

Fairbanks-Area Officials See Problems With Contamination Response Proposals

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The mayor of North Pole is expressing concern about a proposal by the Fairbanks Borough Mayor to expand the city’s water system into areas where an industrial solvent has contaminated groundwater.  Meanwhile, two state environmental officials say they strongly support another proposal to quickly begin cleanup of sulfolane-contaminated groundwater in the North Pole area.

Cook Inlet Tribal Council Enters Video Game Realm

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

A regional non-profit tribal organization is putting several million dollars into creating video games infused with Alaska Native values and culture. Cook Inlet Tribal Council is hoping to engage, empower, and educate young people… and to make money from what it says is the nation’s first indigenous-owned video game company.

Lawmakers Calculating Costs Of State-Run Health Insurance For Public School Employees

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Lawmakers are now trying to figure out what it would cost to implement a state-run health insurance program for public school employees.

Assembly Nixes Further Sitka Street Closures

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

The City of Sitka canceled plans to create a temporary pedestrian mall along Sitka’s main downtown thoroughfare. A group of community volunteers trying to boost the image of the city’s central business district was trying to close the street for four consecutive Wednesdays, to see if a street mall might appeal to visitors and locals. But the closure annoyed motorists and caused controversy in the Southeast Alaska community.

Mr. Spock Beams (OK, Cruises) Into Ketchikan

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Leonard Nimoy is taking a cruise through Alaska this week. KRBD’s Leila Kheiry caught up with the actor on the downtown dock in Ketchikan and has this report:

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