Alaska News Nightly: May 24, 2010

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Wainwright Soldier Investigated for Offensive Video
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A Fort Wainwright soldier is being investigated after a video of two very young Iraqi boys allegedly being harassed by the soldier surfaced on Facebook.

Gubernatorial Candidates Weigh in on Offshore Drilling Debate
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The candidates on the trail during this year’s gubernatorial races are beginning to hear from voters about the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – with memories of what Alaska went through during the Exxon-Valdez spill and with an eye toward the plans for off-shore drilling in the Chukchi Sea currently set to begin this summer.

Toklat Fire Doubles
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Toklat fire is growing. The latest estimates put the blaze burning 25 miles southwest of Nenana, at more than 45,000 acres, nearly double what it was Friday.

Federal Government Opposes Unimak Predator Control
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The US Fish and Wildlife Service says it will take legal action against the state if managers go ahead with a predator control plan on Unimak Island on the Aleutian chain. The state Department of Fish and Game plans to begin shooting wolves early next month in an effort to boost the island’s caribou population.

Nome Voters Consider Recalling the Entire School Board
Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome
The entire Nome School Board faces a recall election tomorrow. The recall stems from an executive session that was held back in January.

Anchorage Gets Ready for Regular Cruise Ship Traffic
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage’s summer cruise ship season began early this (Monday) morning when the MS Amsterdam docked at the city’s port.   The arrival marked the first time since at least the 1980s Anchorage will receive regular cruise ship dockings during the summer.

Bethel Immersion School Prepares for Transition
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The Yup’ik Immersion School in Bethel held a graduation ceremony for sixth graders last week. The students will now move to classes where English will be their primary language.

Emaciated Black Bear Cub Being Nursed Back to Health in Sitka
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
A five-month-old black bear cub arrived in Sitka by plane last week. It was found near Excursion Inlet, just east of Gustavus. For the moment, the cub is being looked after by the staff at Fortress of the Bear in Sitka, while state officials work to find him a permanent home at an out-of-state zoo.  But the story of how the cub ended up in Sitka is a little more complicated.