Alaska News Nightly: October 23, 2007

Alaska Native leaders are in Washington, DC voicing their concerns about oil and gas development on the North Slope. Plus, a look at the road ahead for Juneau’s pioneering Perseverance Theater. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Kohring trial begins
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Today, federal prosecutors told a jury how they plan to prove that former state representative Vic Kohring took bribes from VECO Incorporated CEO Bill Allen and Vice President Rick Smith.

State House searches for oil tax solution
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Minority and Majorities in the State House of Representatives today opened talks on an alternative tax plan that might get enough support to show some success by the end of the special session.

State Democrats launch
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
First, Alaska Democrats set up a website calling on voters to “Drop Don” Young in next year’s congressional elections. And now they’re going after Alaska’s embattled senior Senator with a new website called Unveiled today, the website makes reference to just about every corruption allegation against Senator Ted Stevens that’s either under federal investigation or has been reported on in the news media in recent times.

Pollock quotas dropping
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
A seafood industry publication reports today that Bering Sea pollock quotas will be set lower than previously expected next year. That’s based on early data from this year’s pollock surveys presented at a European seafood industry conference last week. The numbers suggest the pollock stocks are lower than previously thought.

Alaska natives talk oil in DC
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Alaska Natives worried about oil development on and off the North Slope are in Washington, DC this week to voice their concerns to lawmakers and Bush Administration officials.

AFN gears up in Fairbanks
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Conference officially kicks off in downtown Fairbanks on Thursday. In preparation for the event, the Elders and Youth Conference — put on by the First Alaskans Institute — is already underway at the Carlson Center.

Tlingit bones to be returned
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Sitka
Ancient human remains dug out of a Southeast Alaska cave will be reburied where they were found more than a decade ago. Details have yet to be worked out, but the Tlingit groups that allowed the 10,000 year-old bones to be studied will make that decision.

BP makes progress with spill clean up
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
State officials expect the latest pipeline spill at Prudhoe Bay to be completely cleaned up by the end of the week. The idled BP flow line ruptured last week when it shifted during the restart of oil wells shut down due to electrical problems at Flow Stations 1 and 2. About 2000 gallons of Methanol, water, and a small amount of crude oil, spilled.

AIX ordered to shut down
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ordered Anchorage-based Alaska Industrial X-Ray (AIX) to cease its radiography operations. The company performs on-site structural x-rays with a machine housed in a vault to examine welds and other integral structural metals looking for cracks or weaknesses that may cause failure.

Perseverance Theater takes on new challenge
Weld Royal, KTOO – Juneau
Juneau’s Perseverance Theater is premiering a musical by Tony Award-winning writers. The new show is “Yeast Nation.” It may be the highest-profile work ever staged at Perseverance, but it comes at a challenging time for the theater.