Alaska News Nightly: September 23, 2008

The Jury was trimmed today in the federal trial of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens in Washington, DC.  Plus, Permanent Fund trustees are bullish on the national bailout package and its potential effect on Alaska. And Okmok Volcano on Umnak Island has calmed down enough for volcanologists to explore the changes it has caused.  Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Jury pool trimmed in Ted Stevens trial
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The judge presiding over the trial of Senator Ted Stevens narrowed the jury pool today.  Jury selection is not yet complete – the court expects it to wrap up tomorrow morning.  But today  Judge Emmet Sullivan screened about 45 residents of the District of Columbia, to see if they can be fair and impartial when hearing the case, which charges Senator Stevens with seven felony counts of lying on his financial disclosure statements.

Permanent Fund trustees bullish on national bailout package

John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 372 points yesterday and another 161 points today as investors reacted to the U.S. government’s $700 billion plan to stabilize the nation’s troubled financial markets. But at the Alaska Permanent Fund’s annual board meeting yesterday in Juneau, trustees and investment experts were bullish on the proposed bailout and what it means for the Fund.

Alaskan investors warned to exercise caution
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Morgan Stanley financial advisor who does business in Alaska is recommending investors exercise caution as the U.S. financial system undergoes a watershed change.  Joel Rosenblatt of Harrisburg Pennsylvania, says the proposed government bail out will have some affect on the general public.

Coeur d’Alene abandons compromise on Kenisington Mine
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Coeur d’Alene Mines is abandoning a compromise plan
designed to allow the Kensington gold mine to open north of Juneau. In a move that surprised regulators and environmentalists, the Idaho-based company announced today it will no longer seek to dump tailings in paste form near Lynn Canal.

Alaska Oil and Gas Symposium meets in Anchorage
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The 4th annual Alaska oil and gas symposium is taking place in Anchorage this week. Attendees are getting updates on the status of Alaska’s gas line proposals and the role of resources in Alaska’s economy.

Okmok volcano continues to subside
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
After erupting for more than a month this summer, Okmok Volcano on Umnak Island, has calmed down enough for volcanologists to explore the changes within the five mile wide caldera.

Sitkans come out for coastal clean-up day

Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
Sitka residents came out en masse to participate in International Coastal Clean-Up Day Saturday, beach combing for garbage on a nearby island, in Sitka National Historical Park and even underwater, dumpster diving in one of the local harbors. The event was sponsored locally by the Sitka Conservation Society, the National Park Service, The Sitka Global Warming Group, and the Sitka Chapter of Turning the Tides.

Japanese visitor searches for information on his Alaska-pioneer great grandfather

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Japanese group is visiting the state looking for information and possible descendants of  Alaska pioneer Jujiro Wada.  The Japanese immigrant travelled to Fairbanks as a cook with city founder E.T. Barnett at the turn of the century.  Speaking through tour guide Hitomi Windham of Anchorage, 82-year-old Toshio Wada says he’s come to Alaska to find out more about his great grandfather.