Alaska News Nightly: April 22, 2008

Joshua Wade pleads not guilty in the murder of Mindy Schloss. Meanwhile, Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin foils Exxon’s latest attempt to keep open the Point Thomson Unit on the North Slope. Plus, Norovirus plagues assisted-living facility in Soldotna. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Correctional officers union vote to censure commissioner Schmidt
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Correctional Officers Association gave the state corrections commissioner Joe Schmidt a “no confidence” censure vote today. ACOA union members voted 514 to 19 against Schmidt.

Wade pleads not guilty
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Joshua Alan Wade pled not guilty this morning to federal charges that he murdered Anchorage nurse Mindy Schloss.

Irwin blocks Exxon on Point Thompson
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin has turned down Exxon’s latest attempt to keep open the Point Thomson Unit on the North Slope. With reserves estimated to be eight trillion cubic feet of gas, Pt. Thomson is anticipated as being a major source of energy for Alaska and the lower 48. Production from the unit is also a planned resource for any future gas pipeline development.

Electrical crisis consumes Juneau
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The local electricity crisis dominated the Juneau Assembly meeting last night. Alaska Electric Light and Power president Tim McLeod told the Assembly his utility has two excavators working in the avalanche zone near the Snettisham hydropower plant now. They’re digging through the avalanche debris where Juneau’s main power-transmission line stood until Wednesday morning

Norovirus rears its ugly head in Soldotna
Jay Barrett, KBBI – Homer
The State Division of Public Health has confirmed the stomach bug that has been affecting residents and staff at a Soldotna assisted living home and hospital is Norovirus

USDA gives large Earth-Day gift to Kodiak recycling center
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
A non-profit community recycling center in Kodiak that employs disabled workers, received a big financial gift from the US Department of Agriculture this Earth Day. In all, Threshold Services is getting a little more than $389,000 to purchase its building – an old two story warehouse – and the land that it sits on.

Alaskans celebrate Earth Day
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
As Alaskans join the rest of the nation in celebrating Earth Day today they bring a special perspective to the event. Alaska and the Arctic are in a part of the world that is both a bellwether of climate and environmental
change – and the example of how to survive alongside nature.

Celebrating the fight against child abuse
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Last week agencies and organizations working to protect and support abused and neglected children gathered to honor their work, their colleagues and their clients