Alaska News Nightly: October 26, 2007

The federal corruption trial of Vic Kohring continues as VECO founder Bill Allen takes the stand and describes handing Kohring several cash payments. Plus, Alaska Federation of Natives delegates consider ways to boost rural economies in the state. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Kohring trial ends first week with VECO’s Bill Allen on the stand
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Week one of the corruption trial of former legislator Vic Kohring has come to an end. Today concluded with VECO’s former chairman Bill Allen on the stand being cross-examined by the defense.

Proposed Galena nuclear design goes before the NRC
Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena
The nuclear reactor that could one day power Galena was in the spotlight this week at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission near Washington, DC. Toshiba and its American subsidiary Westinghouse met with nuclear regulators to summarize the work they have done so far on their innovative “4-S” nuclear reactor design, and to announce plans to turn in a formal license application in about a year.

U.S. Coast Guard making initial moves into Arctic waters
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
A Coast Guard C-130 left Air Station Kodiak earlier this week for a flight to the North Pole. After collecting Coast Guard dignitaries and network news people, the plane stopped overnight in Barrow before flying the 1,200 miles to the North Pole. The United States, like Canada and Russia, is increasing its presence in the high arctic as receding ice opens up possibilities for shipping, fishing and oil and gas exploration. Rear Admiral Arthur Brooks, the commander of the 17th Coast Guard District in Alaska, said as soon as he took over a year and a half ago, he realized he would have to develop a plan for a Coast Guard presence in the Arctic Ocean, given the increase in ship traffic.

AFN 2007 – Day Two
Lori Townsend, APRN – Fairbanks
APRN’s Lori Townsend checks in from Fairbanks with independent journalist Nellie Moore, covering the days events at the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) convention in Fairbanks. AFN visitors included U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and congressman Don Young and topics included rural economic development.

Anchorage School Board protests statewide reading course for teachers
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development wants all public school teachers to take a mandatory reading course. This week the Anchorage School Board joined the Anchorage Education Association in opposing the requirement.

Whale researchers roam Southeast waters in 1950’s-era craft
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
For 17 years researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have boarded the John N. Cobb in Juneau and set out in search of whales. KTOO’s John Ryan has this profile of a whale researcher who spends a month or two each year on board the 57-year-old wooden boat, roaming the waters of Southeast Alaska.