Alaska News Nightly: April 17, 2008

The US Senate votes to ask the  Justice Department to investigate “Coconut Road” earmark. Also, Joshua Wade is indicted for murder in the killing of Anchorage nurse Mindy Schloss. Plus, BP and Conoco lobby for  their gasline plan in Washington, DC. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Senate wants Justice Department to investigate “Coconut Road” earmark

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The US Senate today voted to ask the US Justice Department to investigate how a Florida road project supported by Congressman Don Young made its way into a 2005 highway authorization bill after House and Senate lawmakers voted on what they thought was the final version of the bill.

Joshua Wade indicted for murder

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Today a federal grand jury indicted Joshua Wade on two counts relating to the murder of Anchorage nurse, Mindy Schloss.  If convicted, Wade could receive the death penalty.

Open waters meetings wrap up in Anchorage
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Meetings highlighting the proposed plans for off shore oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer wrapped up this week in Anchorage. The open water meetings are required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and bring together industry, North Slope Borough whalers, scientists and state and federal agencies.

BP and Conoco take their gasline plans to DC
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The presidents of BP Alaska and Conoco Alaska are in Washington, DC to talk about their gas line project and what they’re doing in the lead-up to an ‘open season’ within the next three years. They met with members of the Alaska congressional delegation today and with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission officials yesterday.

Allegations swirl in Alaska Ranger investigation

Charles Homans, KIAL – Seattle
In Seattle, 3 former crew members of the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger have leveled some of the most serious allegations yet in testimony before a Marine  Board of Investigation.

Kodiak fishing fleet hit hard by high fuel prices

Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The effects of high fuel prices are starting to be felt by more than just consumers at the pump.  In Kodiak, the fishing fleet has been hit particularly hard, and it’s starting to put people out of work.

Healy gets its first bank
Lacie Grosvold, KUAC – Fairbanks
First National Bank of Alaska held a grand opening event for its new branch in Healy yesterday.  The day featured an open house, seminars, and a gasoline give away, to celebrate the recent opening of the Parks Highway community’s first ever bank.  The area near the entrance to Denali National Park has a booming summer tourism economy and the availability of local banking, is already making doing business there easier.

Tlingit-Haida Central Council’s general assembly in full swing

John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Two very different ceremonies marked the opening day of the Tlingit-Haida Central Council’s general assembly in Juneau. Delegates to Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization danced their way into the assembly in full regalia. Last night, the U.S. Forest Service officially acknowledged that it destroyed native fish camps and smokehouses on Prince of Wales Island and elsewhere in Southeast Alaska.