Alaska News Nightly: April 29, 2014

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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Gov. Parnell Says He Took Immediate Action On Sexual Assault Allegation

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Governor Sean Parnell is defending his decision to wait four years to request a federal investigation into reports of a sexual assault problem in the Alaska National Guard. Anchorage Daily News columnist Shannyn Moore wrote Sunday that Parnell first learned about misconduct in the Guard in 2010, when he was approached by three guard chaplains. Parnell says he took those charges seriously, but lacked the details to prompt an investigation until February.

He says after the initial concerns were raised, he went to Major General Thomas Katkus to make sure the systems were in place to protect guard members. Then in February, Parnell says he was able to talk with a guard member who provided specifics.

Chamber Comes Out Anti-Begich – That’s The U.S. Chamber

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest Outside group to launch campaign ads in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race. The national business lobby has a 30-second video spot running this week that hits Begich and supports one of his Republican challengers, former Attorney General Dan Sullivan.

Prudhoe Bay Flowline Springs Leak, Sprays Oil

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

A flowline to a well operated by BP at Prudhoe Bay leaked on Monday. Before the spill was under control high winds resulted in a spray of natural gas, crude oil and water that covers an area of tundra larger than 20 football fields.

Breakup Creating Havoc For Ice Dredgers

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

The early break-up of sea ice has left winter gold-dredging operations scrambling to haul equipment back to shore.

How Can We Improve Our Food Security?

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

The reliability of the food supply is not something most communities devote much thought to. Agriculture, transportation, and grocery stores all work pretty well – even in relatively isolated parts of Alaska like Sitka. And depending on where you live, there can be abundant wild foods.

But a recent report called “The Sitka Community Food Assessment” reveals that our food system is vulnerable – especially to the unpredictable costs of fuel.

Lisa Sadleir-Hart coordinated the assessment about what Sitka – and communities like it – can do to become more food-secure.

First Mega Cruise Ship Docks In Ketchikan

Emily Files, KRBD – Ketchikan

About 850,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit Ketchikan this season. And the first mega ship of the year – Holland Cruise Line’s Volendam – docked in the city yesterday.  The cruise started in Japan and Ketchikan was the final stop before the cruise ends in Vancouver.

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