Alaska News Nightly: June 23. 2008

Going underground to find energy efficiency. Also, Police reveal how they solved the Cynthia Henry murder. Plus, Alaska Airlines pledges not to abandon in-state service Also, APRN says goodbye to Washington, DC reporter,  Joel Southern. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Subterranean homes provide one solution to finding energy efficiency

Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
High fuel costs have leaders in the Kotzebue region looking for creative ways to make their homes highly efficient. A group from their local housing authority toured a subterranean home in Bethel recently. Homes in both communities are usually built on pilings which allow them to be re-leveled regularly. But elevated homes cost more to heat and that has residents looking for better ways to build.

Nikolski experiments with greenhouse technology
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
The tribal council in Nikolski, a small village in the Aleutians, is trying to increase access to fresh, healthy foods by building a geodesic dome greenhouse. But its harder than you might think.

Police reveal how they solved the Cynthia Henry murder

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
State prosecutors won a conviction earlier this month in an Anchorage murder case that dates back to 2002. The victim, Cynthia Henry, was from the Glenallen area but was frequently homeless on the streets of Anchorage. Glen Klinkhart, the detective who was originally assigned the case in 2002, stayed with it to its conclusion. He said it was a difficult case because Cynthia Henry didn’t have a routine life and the people who knew her in the homeless community don’t always have a good concept of time.

Alaska Airlines pledges not to abandon in-state service
Ed SChoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Alaska Airlines says high fuel costs and a weaker economy will not result in any major in-state service cutbacks in the near future. Some fee increases will go into place July 1st. But the Seattle-based carrier is promising to maintain its place in Alaska’s transportation infrastructure.

Stock managers say Southeast halibut ruling will harm conservation efforts
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Halibut regulators say they would have done things differently if they had known a one-fish charter limit would be blocked. The International Pacific Halibut Commission manages the stock. Executive Director Bruce Leaman says the one-fish limit is needed to keep catch rates within projected quotas.  He says the concern is conservation of the species.

“Incidental Take” clause weakens Polar-Bear protection act

Jennifer canfield, KNBA – Anchorage
Despite a recent Endangered Species Act listing for polar bears, the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has issued so-called “incidental take” regulations. The rules provide legal protection for seven companies planning to search for oil and gas in the waters off northwestern Alaska.

Chiswell Island sea lions adopt unusual behavior
Emily Scwhing, KBBI – Homer
June is the month when most of Alaska’s major mammal species give birth to their young, and the Stellar Sealions on Chiswell Island in Resurrection Bay are no exception.  But this year, researchers at the Alaska Sealife Center have noticed some unusual behavior.

Solstice brings annual Memorial Park Cemetery tour

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The summer solstice is often celebrated with evening hikes, late night cookouts or camp fires. But Saturday evening in Anchorage a crowd of people marked the longest day of the year in a graveyard at the 12th annual Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery tour. The 22-acre cemetery was formed in 1915 and is about half full with an average of 200 burials each year. Bruce and Audrey Kelley led this year’s tour.

Joel Southern leaves APRN after 20 years in DC

APRN Staff, Anchorage
For close to twenty years, APRN listeners have heard reports from Joel Southern in Washington, D.C. But today Joel gave up his seniority in the House Press Gallery to move to Denmark, where his wife, Helene, comes from.  Joel joined the network not long after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and until today he hoped to come full circle and report on the conclusion of the lawsuit, but that symmetry was thwarted when there was still no decision this morning from the Supreme Court.  In the years since he created our Washington bureau, Joel has had to learn Indian law, rural sanitation, missile defense, marine conservation, and  many other complicated topics.