Alaska News Nightly: August 13, 2007

A jury in Anchorage found Michael Lawson guilty today of second degree murder in the 2003 death of Bethany Correira. Plus, scientists come up empty-handed on a two-week mission to find endangered Right Whales in the eastern North Pacific. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Lawson guilty of second degree murder
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
A jury this afternoon found Michael Lawson guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of Bethany Correira back in 2003. They also found him guilty of tampering with evidence. Correira was 21 years old at the time of her death. She had just moved to Anchorage from Talkeetna and was living in an apartment managed by her killer.

Researchers unable to find endangered North Pacific right whales
Johanna Eurich, KDLG – Dillingham
They’ve been two weeks looking, but today scientists aboard the NOAA research vessel headed back to Dutch Harbor with no right whales to show for their efforts.

Elim residents considering risks of uranium mining project
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
Residents of Elim on the southern Seward Peninsula last week heard from a Native American activist about the legacy of uranium mining in the Lower 48.

Bering Sea under submarine examination for first time
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
Some of the deepest, darkest reaches of the Bering sea are now being viewed by the human eyes for the very first time. Marine scientists are trying to map some of Alaska’s coral gardens.

Trans-Alaska pipeline upgrades continue — slowly and with difficulty
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company is in the process of overhauling another pump station as part of its Strategic Reconfiguration project. Pump Station 3, in the Brooks Range, is the current focus of the modernization and automation project. Alyeska spokesman Mike Heatwole says workers have nearly finished installing new electronic pumps and automated controls.

Students aren’t returning to Sheldon Jackson College, but the fish are
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
By now most everyone in Alaska has heard that the state’s oldest educational institution has closed — everyone but the fish. Tens of thousands of pink and chum salmon are now choking the inlet stream of the Sheldon Jackson College hatchery with coho soon to follow. The hatchery program manager and his assistant hope volunteers will step into the shoes of missing students and help keep the 32-year-old salmon program going.

Black bears hanging out with tourists at Mendenhall Glacier
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The sockeye are running in Steep Creek, near Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Black bears and tourists are also thronging to the creek, and the bears may not be there just for the salmon feast. They may also be drawn to the busloads of tourists.