Alaska News Nightly: May 2, 2008

Former Fairbanks mayor Jim Hayes and his wife Chris are sentenced to prison. Also, convicted former legislator Vic Kohring tries to limit his time in Federal prison. Meanwhile, a new study predicts Antarctica is about to experience a warming trend. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Former Fairbanks mayor headed to prison

Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
Former Fairbanks mayor Jim Hayes and his wife Chris were sentenced to prison today in federal court for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. As KUAC’s Libby Casey reports, what mattered in the sentencing was who was sorry—and who still denies the crime.

Kohring angles for short federal detention

David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The attorney for convicted former legislator Vic Kohring says he will recommend his client serve less than a year under federal detention.

New findings outline warmer future for Antarctica

Joel Southern, APRN – Anchorage
Critics sometimes point to the slow rate of ice melt in the Antarctic to refute scientific claims about climate change and the human role in it. But findings to be published next week claim that, in the future, the Antarctic will likely show the same kinds of warming effects that are happening in the Arctic

Adak beset by multiple earthquakes
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
Adak Island in the Aleutians was rocked by a strong earthquake at about 4:30 p.m. local time yesterday. The Adak clinic reports no injuries from the 6.6 magnitude quake 40 miles west of the island, which was followed by hundreds of smaller aftershocks. The tremor was the third in the area over the past two weeks with a magnitude greater than 6.

Cruise ship season underway amid uncertainty

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Alaska’s cruise-ship season has begun without a decision on a federal rule that could limit visits by about a third of the fleet. Officials say they’re not sure when the Passenger Vessel Services Act rule will be finalized. But those following the situation say Alaska will not be affected.

Mindy Schloss Memorial Fund established

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Healthy Alaska Native’s Foundation recently announced the creation of the Mindy Schloss memorial fund, dedicated to the memory of her work as a nurse in rural Alaska communities. Mindy Schloss was last seen in Anchorage on August 3rd of 2007. Her body was found on September 13th in the Wasilla area.

Seward business cited for Clean Water Act violation
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The U.S. District court for Alaska recently found The Seward Marine Industrial Center and Small Boat Harbor violated the Clean Water Act by discharging contaminated storm water without a permit.

New Yup’ik language activities for students in Bethel

Kenny Steele, KYUK – Bethel
Younger kids in Bethel can learn Yup’ik at the immersion elementary school. But when students move on to junior high and high school, all the classes are in English. Now, a new elective class has older students dancing, singing and even making videos in Yup’ik.

U.S. House approves land swap in Denali National Park

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The swap enables the Alaska Railroad to build a needed train turn around in the Denali entrance area. Park Service spokeswoman Kris Fister says there will be no net loss of Park land under the arrangement.