Alaska News Nightly: November 27, 2007

Senator Lesil McGuire implicated in threats; a sentence is handed down in the WASCO case, and and some war widows are choosing to have in vitro pregnancies after their husbands die. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Senator Lesil McGuire implicated in threats
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Convicted former-lobbyist Bill Bobrick was sentenced this morning to five months in prison and five months of home confinement for his role in Alaska’s ongoing corruption scandal. He’s the man who funneled bribes to convicted former-lawmaker Tom Anderson, and later became a key government witness in the corruption trial against him. But the bigger news to come out of the courtroom today was Bobrick’s allegation that State Senator Lesil McGuire threatened Bobrick’s wife, hoping to prevent Bobrick from testifying in the Anderson case.

APEA stages “informational pickets”

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The Alaska Public Employees Association state supervisory unit held what were called informational pickets today outside of state buildings across Alaska. More than 100 state supervisors gathered outside state offices in Juneau and Fairbanks and an estimated 200 picketed in front of the Atwood building in downtown Anchorage.

WASCO sentence handed down

Anne Hillman, KDLG – Dillingham
Jeremy Oliver was sentenced yesterday in Dillingham for crimes committed during the 2004 fishing season in Ekuk. Oliver and his company, WASCO, were charged with one count of trying to process, sell, or transport adulterated seafood and one count of processing fish without a hazard analysis critical control point plan.

US Interior Department finds problems with alleged interference

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The Interior Department announced today that it found problems with seven of eight Endangered Species Act designations that former Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie MacDonald is alleged to have interfered with.

National wildlife refuges an economic boon
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The main purpose for national wildlife refuges is to conserve plant and animal species as well as natural landscapes and ecosystems. But a new U-S Fish and Wildlife Service report titled ‘Banking on Nature’ concludes that refuges provide a big economic benefit to neighboring communities and the nation.

War widows choose in vitro pregnancies after husbands die

Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
A small number of Iraq War widows are choosing to get pregnant AFTER their husbands have died, through in vitro fertilization. The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t keep official track, and only knows of four such cases. One of them is the Sutherland family in North Pole. Staff Sergeant Stephen Sutherland was serving in Iraq with Fort Wainwright’s 172nd Stryker Brigade when he was killed, two years ago this month

New public radio station planned for Fairbanks
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks may soon get another public radio station. The board members of Fairbanks Open Radio announced they sent in their application to the F-C-C. Jenn Peterson is the president of Fairbanks Open Radio. She says in order for the F-C-C to approve their application they need enough money to build the station and run it for three months.

Debating solutions to cruise-ship air pollution
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Cruise ships that sail Alaska waters are part of a worldwide debate on maritime air pollution. The industry is trying out new equipment that removes smokestack emissions. But in-state critics and an international trade group say using cleaner fuel is a better solution

New website seeks to curb catalog waste
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks is a new website designed to make the catalog business more green.