Alaska News Nightly: November 15, 2007

Jury selection began today in the corruption trial of former Alaska lawmaker Vic Kohring. Plus, the state works to keep rats out of Alaska. Rat spills from passing ships can have a lasting impact on wildlife. 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.

Senator Stevens comments on corruption probe
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Ted Stevens briefly commented on the federal probe against him today, breaking months of silence on the topic.

Senate works to get final oil-tax bill
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Senate is running late finishing its work on the oil-tax re-write bill – the subject of the special session that’s scheduled to end tomorrow night. Today’s floor session is running several hours behind — waiting for the bi-partisan Majority caucus meeting to come up with the final floor amendments that will get the current bill back to the House for concurrence.

Sig Hansen sells Russian crab

Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
Millions of American TV viewers have watched Sig Hansen, the captain of the Bering Sea crab boat Northwestern, haul in Alaskan king crab on the Discovery Channel’s hit reality series Deadliest Catch. But Captain Sig and his brothers are catching heat in the Alaskan seafood industry for a controversial decision to market crab imported from Russia, Alaska’s main competitor, under their own now-famous name.

Kensington mine gets thumbs up
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Miners and environmentalists have come to an agreement on the Kensington Gold Mine north of Juneau.

EPA report on Seward dry-dock facilty released

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A long awaited EPA report on contamination levels at a shipyard facility in Seward has been released–to mixed reaction. The Seward Ship’s Dry Dock Facility has been under fire from some local residents and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for air quality violations stemming from fugitive dust emissions as well as ground and water contamination concerns.

Like Oil for wood
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
People from across the state are meeting in Fairbanks this week, talking about swapping oil for wood to heat and power communities.

Novel idea for fighting alcohol abuse

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Days before Anchorage backers of a 10 percent alcohol tax increase were to submit their initiative ignatures, the group has switched tactics…and welcomed a new ally.

Voley named Alaska Teacher of the Year
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Raymond Voley has been selected Alaska teacher of the year for 2008.The announcement was made at the annual conference of the Association of Alaska School Boards in Anchorage. He spent six years teaching elementary and high school in the Yup’ik community of Scammon Bay. And he taught special education at the Nenana correspondence program.For the past seven years, he’s been at Kenny Lake school, where he teaches history and technology.