Alaska News Nightly: November 21, 2008

A prosecution witness in the Ted Stevens trial says he lied under oath. Plus, the bar associations of California, Washington, DC and Alaska move to suspend Steven’s license to practice law. And the owner of several Alaska newspapers, including Juneau Empire, the Homer News and the Peninsula Clarion faces financial crisis. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Witness in Ted Stevens trial says he lied under oath
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
A government witness who testified against Senator Ted Stevens last month says he lied under oath, and that prosecutors gave false evidence at the trial.  But prosecutors are fighting back – and say the witness is lying now.  Senator Stevens was convicted last month of filing false financial statements.

Alaska, California and Washington, DC may suspend Ted Stevens license to practice law

John Ryan, KtOO – Juneau
Bar associations in Alaska, California, and Washington, DC, are seeking to suspend the law license of Senator Ted Stevens. Spokesmen for all three bar associations say they have filed or will file to suspend Stevens’ licenses.

House judiciary committee prepares report on fuel price disparity
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The House judiciary committee is ready to begin preparing a report on the disparity between Alaska fuel prices and what it’s being sold for in the lower 48.  But no change in the system is expected anytime soon.

Owner of several Alaska newspapers is in financial crisis
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The owner of the Juneau Empire, the Homer News and the Penninsula Clarion is in financial trouble. The papers are all owned by Morris Publishing Group in Georgia. One analyst says there’s a greater than a 50 percent chance Morris will have to default on its debts.

Report shows widespread cruise-ship violations of wastewater discharge standard

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
About a third of the large cruise ships sailing along Alaska’s coast this year violated government wastewater discharge standards. But most had only occasional problems meeting state permitting requirements.

More than 700 wolves could be culled as part of winter predator control programs
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state is targeting hundreds of wolves again this winter as part of ongoing predator control programs.  More than 700 animals could be taken to benefit moose and caribou populations in 6 areas of the state, from the Alaska Peninsula to the interior.  The wolf control programs allow state certified pilot gunner teams to track and shoot wolves from the air or after landing.

UAF to take planetarium on tour of rural Alaska

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks will travel a planetarium around rural Alaska.  A nearly half million dollar NASA grant to UAF’s Geophysical Institute will pay for the 3 year tour that will hit dozens of communities.

NOAA commissions panel to study ocean acidification

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
Worried that too much carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans might kill off the base of the marine food chain, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation have commissioned a panel to study ocean acidification.

Seeking solutions for tribal health care funding in southeast

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium hopes the coming change in the nation’s administration will improve the funding picture for tribal health care. SEARHC CEO Roald Helgesen outlined the consortium’s mission, successes, and challenges in a presentation to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce this week.