Alaska News Nightly: September 28, 2009

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Anchorage Attorney Walker Announces Gubernatorial Bid
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Anchorage attorney Bill Walker on Monday added his name to the list of contenders for the GOP nomination for governor. Walker is a former Mayor of Valdez where he is now city attorney.

University Students To See Steady Tuition Hikes
Anne Sutton, KTOO – Juneau
Students at University of Alaska campuses are facing a steady rise in tuition through the year 2012. Despite a plea from student leaders and some regents to institute more moderate increases, the Board of Regents on Friday voted 6 to 3 to raise tuition an average of seven percent starting in the fall of 2011. That’s on top of increases already in place this year and next.

Former CFO Allegedly Embezzled
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The former chief financial officer of a NANA Development Corporation subsidiary allegedly embezzled nearly $190,000 for personal purchases and phony expense reimbursements.

Barrow Whalers Enjoying Successful Hunts
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
North Slope whaling crews are having good success this fall. Barrow whalers have brought in 6 whales so far. Four were caught on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

Feds Examining Additional Protection for Seals
The Associated Press
A federal agency must decide within three weeks whether a seal dependent on Arctic Sea ice should have additional protections. A federal judge has approved a settlement between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Center for Biological Diversity, which had sued to force a decision. The settlement requires the agency to decide by Oct. 15 whether spotted seals merit listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Salt Chuck Mine Nearing Superfund Status
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
An old Southeast Alaska mine is one step closer to becoming a federal Superfund site. The EPA has nominated Prince of Wales Island’s Salt Chuck Mine to a list of the country’s most contaminated locations. That’s expected to lead to a major environmental cleanup effort.

King Cove Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Kells Hetherington, KSDP – Sandy Point
The Aleutian Islands community of King Cove in Southwest Alaska is celebrating 60 years since incorporation in 1949. State and federal officials were in attendance at festivities held last week.

Government Wants Public’s Help in Monitoring Stimulus Spending
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The federal government is looking for the public to assist in monitoring the use of the economic stimulus money that is being distributed to help improve the national and local economic conditions.

Unalaska Hosts Historical Society
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
When Unalaska hosted the annual Alaska Historical Society – Museums Alaska joint annual conference last week – community members learned about topics ranging from Aleut art in Russian museums to Russian-American history.

Homer Students Learning About Cowboy Culture
Marcia Lynn, KBBI – Homer
Elementary school students in Homer have been learning all about cowboy culture and the “western code” from a real Montana cowboy, who is also a poet and singer/songwriter.

Palin’s Memoir Now Due Out in November
The Associated Press
Former Governor Sarah Palin has finished her memoir just four months after the book deal was announced. Her publisher says the release date has been moved up from the spring to November 17.