Alaska News Nightly: November 7, 2008

Exxon Valdez Plaintiffs hope for a ruling on punitive damages by the end of next week. And Washington, DC is buzzing about the possibility of Ted Stevens returning to the US Senate.  Also Governor Palin returns to new reality in Alaska.  Plus, the board of Sheldon Jackson college reaffirms it’s goal to retire the college’s $13,000,000 debt. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Exxon Valdez plaintiffs await ruling from judge

Lori Townsend, APRN and Associated Press – Anchorage
An attorney for plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez lawsuit says federal court Judge H. Russel Holland could have a decision on a punitive damages allocation plan by the end of next week.

Washington speculates on potential Ted Stevens reelection
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Alaskans won’t likely know for another week who has won the race for its U-S Senate seat – incumbent Republican Ted Stevens or the challenger, Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.  First, more than 50-thousand absentee, early, and question ballots must be counted. But Washington DC is buzzing with speculation about what will happen if Stevens IS returned to office.  Now that he’s a convicted felon, his fellow Senators have threatened to expel him from their ranks.

K300 back on healthy footing

Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Organizers with the Kuskokwim 300 say they’re on track for a successful season of dog racing after a rough ride this year. The K300 has been short of cash since the arrest of their former race manager last spring. But thanks to some penny pinching and a little help from their friends, organizers say the 30th Anniversary of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog will go on.

Alaska Works sets down more permanent roots

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A labor union non-profit group is expanding a pipeline training center in Fairbanks. Alaska Works, a partnership of unions like the Teamsters and Pipefitters and the oil industry, formed a decade ago to train workers for the North Slope. The group, which has trained over 700 workers, had been operating on borrowed real estate until this fall.

Air Force releases report on Elmendorf commander’s suicide
Lori Townsend, APRN and Associated Press – Anchorage
Air Force investigators say toxicology reports found alcohol, but no drugs in Brig. Gen. Thomas Tinsley, who took his own life in July. Tinsley was commander at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage.

Cress Carney sentenced to 104 years in prison

Eileen Goode, KDLG – Dillingham
Convicted murderer Cress Carney was sentenced to 104 years in prison without the possibility of parole in Dillingham Superior Court yesterday. Carney was convicted in April of the 2006 of murdering Dillingham mother of four Natalia Timurphy.

The road from illegal immigrant to city councilman
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
Kodiak is a diverse place and many residents take a long and winding road to get there. Perhaps no one has had a longer journey than Kodiak City Councilman Gabriel Saravia, who’s gone from being an illegal immigrant to having a seat on the city’s ruling body.

Sheldon Jackson board reaffirms goal to retire the college’s debt

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
The Board of Trustees of Sheldon Jackson College reaffirmed their goals this week of satisfying the College’s 13 million dollar debt, and maintaining the core campus as a training, education and Alaska Native cultural center. The trustees now say they will look to the state to help move the core
campus into another phase, while still holding true to Sheldon Jackson’s mission and legacy.