Alaska News Nightly: September 29, 2008

The Ted Stevens trial included some fireworks this morning over a potential witness for the government. Plus, the Department of Commerce is forecasting a shortage in the number of fisheries scientists in the years ahead. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Stevens’ lawyers call for mistrial, Judge also upset by prosecutors
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
There were fireworks in the Washington, DC courtroom today where Senator Ted Stevens is on trial. Alaska’s senior Senator is accused of lying about taking more than $250,000 in gifts from oil field services company VECO. Judge Emmet Sullivan was upset today by the way prosecutors handled a potential witness.

Rural schools funding dies in Congress, leaving Alaskan schools underfunded
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
A federal program that provides millions of dollars in education funding for southeast Alaska failed to make it through the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. It was a roller coaster ride for the Secure Rural Schools Program this past week. A $2 billion four-year reauthorization was included in a tax bill which passed by a nearly unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate last Tuesday.

27 cruise ship pollution violations cited in Alaskan waters
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The state says 9 of the 20 cruise ships that regularly discharge wastewater in Alaska exceeded pollution control standards earlier this season.

Fishing scientists in short supply
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
The Department of Commerce and the Department of Education jointly released a report to Congress today that forecasts a shortage in the number of people pursuing and obtaining careers in fishery science.

Delta Junction fires up first wind turbine
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A large wind turbine has gone online in Delta Junction. The turbine is the first of several planned for a wind farm being developed by Fairbanks-based Alaska Environmental Power.

Anchorage Schools watching rural-to-urban student influx
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Last month Anchorage School District administrators predicted the deteriorating economy of bush Alaska would produce a migration of rural families to urban Alaska, especially Anchorage. That prediction has proven more accurate than expected.

Skateboarders flip proposed Petersburg anti-skate ordinance
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
A group of skateboarders made a difference at a meeting of the Petersburg city council this month. The group objected to a proposed ordinance to expand the restrictions on the sport throughout town.