Alaska News Nightly: October 21, 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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Army Claims Responsibility For Stuart Creek 2 Wildfire

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Monday, the U.S. Army Alaska claimed released the results of two investigations into the cause of the Stuart Creek 2 Wildfire that burned more than 87,000 acres and threatened a small mushing community just outside Fairbanks this summer. Investigations conclude that artillery training caused the fire. As a result, the army will change its training procedures.

Alaska Chamber Makes Medicaid Expansion A Priority

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce has adopted Medicaid expansion as one of its top state legislative priorities. Governor Parnell has expressed reservations about accepting federal funding to allow more Alaskans to qualify for Medicaid. But supporters of the expansion hope the endorsement from the influential Chamber will convince the Governor and Republican lawmakers that it’s good for the state.

Point Thomson Development Moving Ahead

Anne Hillman, APRN – Anchorage

Soon after Alaska became a state, nearly 50 years ago, Exxon Mobil began buying leases at Pt. Thomson on the eastern side of the North Slope. Now, after a seven year legal battle with the state, they are starting to develop the area.

Fast Ferries Getting New Engines

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

The fast ferry Fairweather is now in a Seattle shipyard. When it returns to Alaska next spring, it will feature a completely new power plant. The deteriorating engines that were the subject of the state’s long-running lawsuit with the engine manufacturer will be swapped out. Then, its sister ship Chenega will go through an identical refit.

Dillingham Assistant Wrestling Coach Arrested For Having Sexual Relations With Student

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

A 23-year old assistant wrestling coach and part time substitute teacher at Dillingham High School has been arrested for engaging in sexual relations with a 15-year old female student.

Shishmaref Residents To Decide On Alcohol Ban

Kyle Hopkins & Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News

Tuesday, the Seward Peninsula community of Shishmaref will vote on whether or not to allow alcohol sales in the village of 600. Alcohol has been banned there for 30 years.

Kwethluk Turns On Water, Sewer Service

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

In 1995, Governor Tony Knowles set a goal to put the honey bucket in the museum within a decade. That exhibit is one step closer to reality in Kwethluk, a community of 700 located 15 miles upriver of Bethel. Residents are starting receive water and sewer service in their homes.

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