Alaska News Nightly: April 14, 2008

The fate of capitol and transportation projects is now in the hands of Governor Palin. State lawmakers approved the massive spending bills in the final hours of the legislative session. Plus, a mix of art and science is on display at a museum in Homer. The exhibit highlights global warming. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Korhing’s prison delays will run out in May
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
A federal judge says convicted former lawmaker Vic Kohring will be sentenced to prison in May. This comes after months of delays, as Kohring attempted to have the corruption charges against him dismissed for a variety of reasons.

Legislature wraps up with $5 billion in profits, $2.7 billion in controversial projects
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The regular Legislative session wound down yesterday after lawmakers had dealt with only a few key issues over the weekend. The next step in what to do in a year of record revenue is up to the governor.

Democrat and Republican co-campaigning for Alaska House and Senate
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Two southeast Alaska lawmakers are campaigning across party lines. Angoon Democrat Albert Kookesh and Haines Republican Bill Thomas say they’ll work on each others’ re-election bids this year.

North Slope’s mayor running for re-election; challenged by former mayor
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta has made public his plans to seek another term. He faces a challenge from George Ahmoagak, a former five-term Borough mayor who recently stepped down from a position with Shell Oil to campaign for the position.

Federal grant buying back seining permits in southeast
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Southeast Alaska’s seine fleet is about to get smaller. A federal grant is providing $3 million for a seine permit buyback program for the region. It’s the first program of its kind for a State of Alaska managed fishery.

Wrangell Seafoods might be closed down by city council
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
The Wrangell city council is considering foreclosing on Wrangell Seafoods, Inc. (WSI). The company wrote several bad checks to the city and is delinquent on a number of city accounts. Tomorrow night, the city council will have an executive session regarding how the city will proceed.

  • UPDATE: The accuracy of the above report is in dispute and is under review by KSTK management.

Fairbanks construction boom tapering off, but still strong
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks is expecting a slight construction slowdown after a record building year in 2007. City building official Steve Shuttleworth says construction this year will be about half last year’s $131 million record, but still above average.

Noorvik teen in custody for attempted murder
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
A Noorvik teenager has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer in the first degree. Alaska State Troopers say 17-year-old Jim Beasley was awaiting transport to Kotzebue when he attacked the Noorvik Village Police Officer.

Snowmachine death in Sitka confirmed by intensive search
Melissa Marconi-Wentzel, KCAW – Sitka
A multi-agency search and rescue effort on Sitka’s Harbor Mountain this weekend recovered the body of lost snowmobiler Benjamin Nelson. The 32 year-old Hoonah resident was reported missing at 6 PM Saturday evening (April 12). His body was found Sunday morning pinned beneath his snowmobile.

Homer’s Pratt Museum opens climate change exhibit
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The worlds of art and science are coming together at Homer’s Pratt Museum. An exhibit titled “Concerning Climate Change” opened there recently. It’s part of the museum’s year-long effort to help people understand and respond to environmental change.