Alaska News Nightly: August 31, 2011

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Pollock Fleet Asks, “Where Are The Fish?”
Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

Unalaska Dutch Harbor is the busiest fishing port in the world. And the fish that fuels that distinction is pollock. But this pollock season has been a bust so far. And many boat owners have started sending crews home.  

Bethel Murder Trial Proceedings Off to a Rocky Start
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel

One of the highest profile murder cases in Bethel history is headed to trial soon. Last October, 19-year-old Benjamin Kaiser of Hooper Bay was murdered in a Bethel shop in what seasoned officers called the most brutal killing they have investigated. The trial has been moved hundreds of miles to Fairbanks. The court has promised that people in Bethel could attend telephonically, but at the last hearing, not even the prosecuting attorney in Bethel was unable to participate.    

Fire Claims Dot Lake Utility Building
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A fire burned down a utility building in Dot Lake Sunday, taking out essential infrastructure in the Alaska Highway community between Delta Junction and Tok.  

Secretary Sebelius Visits the Alaska Native Health Center
Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage 

Yesterday (Tuesday), with Alaska’s U.S. senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich and several senior federal agency officials, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius took part in a roundtable discussion hosted by Southcentral Foundation, an Alaska Native healthcare organization serving Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, and several rural villages. 

Ester Residents Raise Money for a Library
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Dozens of Ester residents and many others gathered in the community west of Fairbanks recently as part of an effort to raise money to build a library there. 

Chum Run is Strong on the Yukon
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The fall chum run on the Yukon River has surpassed expectations with a return in excess of average.  State Management biologist Jeff Estensen says the run is approaching 900 thousand fish, better than the 700 thousand average for this point in the season.

Southeast’s Pink Salmon Fleet Logs Record Year
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

The Southeast commercial salmon harvest is one for the record books this year and it’s not done yet. While the seine fleet’s Pink Salmon catches in Southern Southeast have remained below expectations, the huge volume from the northern districts and high prices have made this season more valuable than ever.  

Federal Government offers Help for Alaskan’s Facing Foreclosure
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer

Alaskan’s facing foreclosure on their home have another couple of weeks to apply for some help from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

NANA Opens New Hotel in KotzebueA subsidiary of the regional Native corporation for northwest Alaska has opened a new hotel in Kotzebue. NANA Development Corp. on Monday opened the Nullagvik Hotel after two years of construction. The facility has 78 guest rooms, including seven suites.