Alaska News Nightly: August 30, 2007

Class action plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the oil giant’s latest appeal. Plus, U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings visited more schools across the state today. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Oil spill plaintiffs ask Supreme Court to dismiss ExxonMobil’s latest appeal
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Attorneys for class action plaintiffs in a long-standing lawsuit stemming from the 1989 Prince William Sound oil spill say they have petitioned the United States Supreme Court to dismiss ExxonMobil’s latest appeal in the case.

Education Secretary visits Shishmaref, Nome and Anchorage on eve of NCLB reauthorization
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome and David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings wrapped up her tour of Alaska today with visits to schools in Nome and Anchorage. Yesterday, she was in Bethel and Shishmaref. Spellings is in the state to promote the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, which many Alaska schools have found difficult to achieve.

Alaska Democrats outline preferred oil tax structure
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
State House Democrats today described what changes to the state’s oil tax structure they can support in a special session expected to begin in mid-October.

Greenpeace sails to Amchitka 36 years after controversial nuclear bomb test
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
In 1971, a group of Canadian environmental and peace activists attempted to sail to Alaska’s Amchitka Island in protest of the American government’s plans to conduct an underground nuclear test on the island. They failed to get anywhere near the island before the bomb was set off, but the mission did lead to the creation of the international environmental group Greenpeace. This week, 36 years after the organization’s maiden voyage, a Greenpeace ship reached Amchitka for the first time and visited the site of the nuclear test.

Kenai voters considering erosion control project slated for early October ballot
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
Many communities in Alaska are confronting the problem of erosion and the city of Kenai is no exception. Voters there will go to the polls in early October to decide the fate of a $2 million bond question intended to spur a bluff erosion control project along the Kenai river.

State ferry ‘Kennicott’ stuck in Kodiak awaiting rudder repairs
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A broken rudder part will keep the Alaska Marine Highway ferry “Kennicott” out of service for more than a week. As of this afternoon, the ship remained in Kodiak.

Army Corps of Engineers: No Agent Orange found buried outside Tok
Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
The search for Agent Orange at a site near Tok has not turned up the toxic substance. This week the Army Corps of Engineers oversaw a dig project to check out what were suspected to be barrels of Agent Orange.

Sitka seeking recovery of Sheldon Jackson utility payments — with 12% interest rate
Melissa Marconi-Wentzel, KCAW – Sitka
The City of Sitka is looking to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid utility bills from Sheldon Jackson College.

Anchorage Schools’ suspension/expulsion report shows decline in fighting
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The Anchorage School District has issued its suspension and expulsion report for the fourth quarter of the 2006-2007 school year, along with a category by category comparison for the last three years.