Alaska News Nightly: June 26, 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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Flooding Closes Portion of Denali Park Road

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

The National Park Service has closed the Denali Park Road past Eielson Visitors Center at Mile 66 due to flooding and significant rockfall.

The Park Service says torrential rain fell in the park overnight and the Denali Backcountry Lodge, located at the end of the road, has been evacuated due to flooding. National Park spokeswoman Kris Fister says all guests are accounted for and are currently at another lodge on higher ground. She says those guests, along with other visitors and employees trapped in the park’s interior cannot be transported by bus or airplane due to high water on the road and the airstrip.

The park is making contingency plans to evacuate guests by helicopter.

Senate Bill Includes $6 Million For New Icebreaker

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

A bill moving through the U.S. Senate has $6 million for a new Coast Guard icebreaker. That would make three years in a row of small appropriations for the ship, projected to cost nearly a billion dollars. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is on a mission to get Congress and the Administration to make Arctic issues a bigger priority.

How will Sealaska Solve its Money Problems?

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Sealaska holds its annual shareholders’ meeting Saturday near Seattle. A new CEO will take over, as will a new board chairman or woman. And, at least one new board member will be seated.

All will face the challenges of a new economic reality. The Juneau-based regional Native corporation has been losing money and plans for recovery are uncertain.

Housing Tops Juneau’s Economic Concerns

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. on Tuesday released a report that highlights “severe shortcomings” in the state’s housing stock when it comes to things like cost, energy efficiency and overcrowding.

Nenana Bridge Will Provide Access To Agricultural Land

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A bridge being built across the Nenana River will open up access to long sought after state agricultural lands.

Eaglet Rescued in the Aleutians, Recuperating in Anchorage

Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

A lost baby eagle from Unalaska is making a new start in Anchorage. The eaglet will get a second chance at life in the wild.

Behind the Scenes of Alaska’s Film Industry

Joaquin Palomino, APRN Intern

Over the past few years Hollywood has taken a keen interest in Alaska.  Big budget films are being shot here, and it seems like new Alaskan reality TV programs pop up every week.  The bustling industry isn’t growing on its own. The state spends a lot of money courting out of state productions. While it’s a boon for the economy, some think the resources would be better spent elsewhere.

Online Program Hopes To Revive Eyak Language

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The Eyak Language is being revived through an online learning program that was launched this week. The program is the first of its kind for the language since the death of the last Native-born Eyak speaker five years ago.

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