Alaska News Nightly: October 30, 2008

Ted Stevens returns to Alaska, down in the polls, with only a few days to make up ground. Also, an international reports warns of a steep decline in oil production. And the investigation into the sinking of the Katmainow heads to Seattle.  Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Ted Stevens returns to Alaska
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Ted Stevens returned home to Alaska last night.Stevens greeted well wishers at a PenAir hanger at his namesakeairport in Anchorage.  It was his first time facing Alaskans since his conviction on ethics charges.

Convicted Ted Stevens will be able to vote

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Senator Ted Stevens will be able  vote in next week’s election, despite being a convicted felon.  The Alaska Department of Law has determined that Stevens is eligible to vote – until he is sentenced.

Investigation into Katmai sinking now heads to Seattle

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage and Associated Press
The investigation into the sinking of the fishing vessel Katmai in the Bering Sea is moving to Seattle following a hearing this week in Anchorage. Coast Guard Lt. Eric Eggen in Anchorage says the Marine Board of Investigation is reconvening in Seattle on Friday to look at a vessel similar to the Katmai to better understand its structural design and layout.

A call to provide broader protection for Denali wolves

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
There’s a new call for additional protection of Denali National Park wolves that stray outside the park boundary.  Wildlife scientist Gordon Haber and University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner have teamed on a letter sent to the state’s Fish and Game Commissioner requesting emergency expansion of an existing protective buffer zone on state land north and east of the park.

Report warns of steep decline in oilfield output
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The Financial Times reports that output from the world’s oil fields is declining faster than previously thought. The British newspaper obtained a draft of the International Energy Agency’s annual report.

Bill Thomas vs. Tim June in House District 5
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
Two Haines men are wrapping up their campaigns for the District 5 House seat. The district includes about 25 Southeast and Prince William Sound communities and stretches from Metlakatla to Skagway to Cordova. It also includes Gustavus, Hoonah, Yakutat, Angoon, Kake, Craig, Klawock and Hydaburg. Incumbent Republican Representative Bill Thomas, a fisherman and former lobbyist, is running for re-election. He’s being challenged by Democrat Tim June, a fisherman and boat-builder.

Progress in hunt for killers of convicted murderer John Carlin
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage and Associated Press
Alaska State Troopers have identified several suspects in the prison death of convicted murderer John Carlin. Fifty-one-year-old  Carlin died under suspicious circumstances Monday night at the Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward.

Serrano and Stoltze vie for seat in House District 16
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Agriculture is the issue in the Matanusaka Valley’s House District 16, where cow pastures intersect with suburban housing developments. Democrat Beverly Serrano is challenging three term incumbent Republican Bill Stoltze for the legislative seat.

Sealaska economic clout tied to shrinking timber supply

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A recent study says Sealaska is the largest employer on Prince of Wales Island. It’s also a significant economic player in other parts of Southeast. But that role is shrinking as the corporation’s timber supply declines.