Alaska News Nightly: June 25, 2008

Alaskans are responding with disbelief to the Supreme Court decision today that slashes the Exxon Valdez punitive damages award. We have reactions from plaintiffs in Homer, Kodiak and Cordova where signs read, “Exxon made money, we paid money.”

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.

Supreme Court Exxon Valdez ruling sends shockwaves across the state
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The U.S. Supreme Court today united Alaskans in a sense of shock and sadness. In a 5-3 ruling, the justices slashed the $2.5 billion punitive damages award Exxon Mobil had been ordered to pay for the Exxon Valdez disaster. Feidt/APRN

Cordova reacts with anger and disbelief
Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
Amy Bracken has been speaking today with Cordova residents. She says the weather in town is dreary, kind of like the mood.

Exxon Valdez ruling seen as narrow and legalistic
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The Supreme Court has been sharply divided on the issue of punitive damages for years, and today’s Exxon Valdez ruling doesn’t change that.

Kodiak reacts to Exxon Valdez decision
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
In Kodiak, home of the largest fishing fleet affected by the Exxon Valdez spill, fishermen and others are reacting with disappointment to today’s news from the Supreme Court. Many were counting on a higher award to help them pay for things like retirement and upgrading their boats.

Homer reacts to Exxon Valdez decision
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
Fishermen in Homer were also affected by the spill and its aftermath.

Governor Palin and Alaska’s Congressional delegation condemn Supreme Court ruling
Annie Feidt, Dave Donaldson, Steve Heimel – APRN
Alaska’s state and national leaders also expressed their disappointment today. Governor Sarah Palin used the word “gutted” to describe the Supreme Courts’ impact on the punitive damages award.

Vic Kohring headed to prison June 30
The Associated Press
A judge says former state Representative Vic Kohring must surrender to the U.S. Marshal Service in Anchorage on Monday. The Wasilla Republican was convicted of taking bribes to push legislation for a major natural gas pipeline and oil taxes.

Governor Palin calls for second special session
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislature will be back in special session on July 9 — just a week after the end of the current special session dealing with a project to develop a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to North American markets. Lawmakers must decide whether to approve a license for TransCanada to proceed with the project under the terms of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA).

Anchorage suit to determine educational role for parents of autistic children
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
How much say should parents have when determining the educational program of their autistic child? It’s a question that’s put parents Chris and Dan Saddler and the Anchorage School District into federal court.

Historical excavation to begin at Baranoff Museum in Kodiak
Mary Donaldson, KMXT – Kodiak
The Baranov and Alutiiq Museums are teaming up to begin an excavation at the historic Baranov Museum site in Kodiak.