Alaska News Nightly: December 26, 2007

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake in the Aleutians. Plus, a herd of bison heads to Umnak island and a local chocolatier makes a name for himself in Valdez. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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6.5 magnitude earthquake hits Aleutians
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
For the second time in a week, the Aleutian Islands have been hit by a large earthquake. Preliminary readings say today’s quake had a magnitude of 6.5, and centered near the small island village of Nikolski – about 100 miles west of Unalaska.

Bison headed for Aleutians
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
As soon as the weather allows, Umnak Island will have three new residents: a trio of buffalo calves that are expected to boost the island’s profile as a hunting destination.

Southeast longliners willing to work with halibut harvest reductions
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Southeast longliners have no plans to oppose the proposed reductions in the halibut harvest when they attend the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission in Portland next month. But they are going to urge the commission to be more conservative in how much it raises the quota in western Alaska.

National Catholic Lay Board ussues report on sexual abuse
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A National Board, appointed by the president to review the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse by clergy has issued a 5-year report. The report looks at accomplishments, unfinished work and challenges related to the abuse that spans several decades, and diocese across the nation, including Alaska.

Bringing the work dog back into mushing
Anne Hillman, KDLG – Dillingham
Most people associate dog mushing with the long-distance Idiotarod or shorter village races. But one Dillingham resident is trying to revive a Bristol Bay dog sled tradition—the work dog.

Local chocolatier making a name for himself
Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
As Cordova fishermen scheme up strategies for broadening their markets, a local chocolatier — who happens to also be a fisherman, is finding that his winter product sells itself.

Alaskans have penchant for vanity plates

Leah Mann, KCAW – Sitka
Alaskans seem to have a lot to say- at least where their cars are concerned. The state has one of the highest per capita number of vanity plates in the country.