Alaska News Nightly: July 2, 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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Stuart Creek Fire East Of Eielson Triples In Size

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Stuart Creek Fire burning on military land east of Eielson Air Force Base has tripled in size over the last three days. An evacuation watch has been issued for people living along a 16-mile stretch of Chena Hot Springs Road because of the wildfire.

Gabrielle Giffords Visits Alaska On ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ Tour

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, spent Tuesday in Anchorage, the second stop on their seven-state “Rights and Responsibilities ” Tour. The two are trying to gather support for their push to require expanded background checks for gun buyers, but Alaska’s Congressional delegation is not on board.

Efforts To Boom Off Sunken Tender ‘Lone Star’ Are Unsuccessful

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

Efforts to boom off the overturned fishing tender near the mouth of the Igushik River proved unsuccessful Monday night. The next plan of attack is to use divers to plug the vents on the vessel’s fuel tanks.

Gara Considers Run For Governor

The Associated Press

State Rep. Les Gara hasn’t ruled out a possible run for governor next year.

The  Anchorage Democrat says two important conditions exist for him in deciding whether to run. One is that he would have to talk it over with his wife. The other has to do with any other Democrats in the race.

Smaller Gold Operations Gain Interest Around Yakutat

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

An Oklahoma company’s plan to mine gold from a large area around Yakutat is dead and buried. But there’s still interest in smaller operations near the northern Southeast community.

Unusually High Percentage Of Climbers Summiting Denali

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

An unusually high percentage of climbers are topping out on North America’s highest peak this summer. In a normal year only about half the climbers attempting Denali reach the peak, but right now the summit rate is 73 percent. It’s the highest success rate recorded on the mountain since 1977. Park officials attribute the streak to relatively good weather during the busiest part of the climbing season.

Aviator Visits Unalaska On Around-The-World Trip

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

Over the weekend, 21-year-old Jack Wiegand became the youngest person to fly solo around the world. Before making it back to California though, he stopped in Unalaska.

Recovery Process Continues On ‘Sandbar Mitchell’

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A Michigan based team in Fairbanks is recovering and restoring what’s left of an historic aircraft known as “Sandbar Mitchell.” Before starting their work, the group placed a plaque at the site of the plane crash that occurred on a Tanana River sandbar near Fairbanks 44 years ago. It remembers the Mitchell B-25 bomber that went down while in service as a fire fighting air tanker on June 27th 1969.

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