Alaska News Nightly: July 19, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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Prosecutors Announce 77 Indictments In Tax Fraud Case

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

Federal prosecutors in Anchorage today announced 77 indictments in a massive tax fraud case involving identity theft and cocaine smuggling. Last December in Philadelphia, a man flying from Anchorage was arrested while trying to take $50,000 cash out of the country. Joel Jose Santana-Pierna was among five people charged the next month with cocaine smuggling.  He was in the country illegally, as were most of his co-conspirators. Today the government announced superseding indictments of those five, and six others, including one U.S. citizen, for identity theft and numerous other tax fraud charges.

Fire Island Getting Ready To Power Up

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Anchorage’s new wind farm is set to go online by the end of September. When completed, the project, which is being developed by Cook Inlet Region Incorporated, will provide enough electricity to power 4,000 homes along the rail belt. The transmission line that runs across the inlet is almost done. And this week crews are hoisting the first of 11 wind turbines into place.

Native Leaders Urge Lawmakers To Pass Climate Change Legislation

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska Natives are in Washington, D.C. – urging lawmakers to pass climate change legislation. Some believe that’s the best way to get federal money for relocating several villages.

Navy Launches Search For Unexploded Ordinance

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The Navy has just launched a new effort to track down unexploded ordinance in the waters near Kiska, Kodiak, and Unalaska. As KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, they might want to start with the crew of the fishing vessel Aleutian Sable.

Kenai King Fishing Shuts Down

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

As in many parts of the state, so far, 2012 has been a rough year for fishing on the Kenai Peninsula.  Despite a healthy run of sockeye salmon to the Kenai River, king salmon fishing was shut down completely this week. The slow season is beginning to take its toll, and not just on the sport fishermen.

Resolution May Be In Sight For Pen Air, Sand Point Feud

Wendi Jonassen, APRN – Anchorage

A resolution may be near for a dispute between the tribe in Sand Point and Pen Air. Last month, the company issued a letter restricting several tribal members from flying, shipping cargo or even entering the terminal. Pen Air is the only commercial carrier that services the remote Aleutian Island Community. PenAir offers the quickest and most reasonable way off and on the island and residents have felt stuck.

WEIO Kicks Off In Fairbanks This Weekend

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The 52nd Annual World Eskimo Indian Olympics, known as WEIO is underway in Fairbanks this weekend.