Alaska News Nightly: July 5, 2007

This is the complete story list and audio from today’s Alaska News Nightly, as broadcast on APRN stations statewide. Individual stories are available separately and you can subscribe to automatic updates via podcasts, e-mail updates and RSS feeds anytime.

Defense rested today, closing arguments tomorrow in Anderson corruption trial
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The corruption trial of former lawmaker Tom Anderson is close to wrapping up. Closing arguments will be heard tomorrow morning after a quick ending to the defense case.

Ted Stevens receives moral support amidst VECO investigation
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens says he has received “overwhelming support” in the face of an FBI investigation into his relationship with recently indicted VECO executives.

NTSB finds small cruise ship safety problems; recommends inspections
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued urgent recommendations today in the wake of the wreck of the Empress of the North. The agency is calling upon the Coast Guard to inspect evacuation slides and life rafts like those used on the paddle-wheel cruise ship after it ran aground in March.

Brown bear shot in Anchorage neighborhood
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage police had to shoot a young brown bear last night in the Mountain View section of town. The 3-year-old male had been spotted throughout the area for days, ranging from neighborhoods in Spenard up to Government Hill.

State corrections scales back Mat-Su prison plan
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Matanuska-Susitna Borough
The state is reducing the scope of a prison plan that would have placed the largest correctional facility in Alaska in the Matanuska Valley.

Bristol Bay red salmon market shifting from Japan to the U.S.
Johanna Eurich, KDLG – Dillingham
For decades Japan has dominated the market for Bristol Bay salmon. Most of the reds were either canned or frozen whole with their heads and guts removed while a much smaller portion was flown out fresh. But in the last five years, more of the salmon from the Bay is being sold in vacuum-packed frozen fillets to the domestic market.

So, could you scale a 20-foot greased pole for $50?
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Of all the games at Napakiak’s annual Fritz J. Willie Memorial Outdoor Celebration the greased pole is probably the most challenging. The contest pits humans against a thoroughly-lubed vertical pole. Taped 20 feet high, a liberal slathering of Crisco separates a $50 bill from would-be possessors.

Governor Palin stays up late with Craig Ferguson
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin made local headlines last week when she vetoed $230 million from the state budget, but she also got some national attention for a different reason. Palin appeared, via video, on “The Late, Late Show” with Craig Ferguson on CBS… making her late-night television debut to offer the show’s host “honorary Alaskan citizenship.”