Alaska News Nightly: July 20, 2012

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

Download Audio

Commercial Fishermen Rally For Change In Fishing Policies

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

Nearly 200 commercial set net fishermen from the east side of Cook Inlet gathered Friday with their families to rally support for a change in the policies that have allowed just three days of fishing so far this year.

Seward Highway Reopens, Kidnapping Suspect Remains At Large

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

The Seward Highway has been reopened, though the suspect in an alleged armed kidnapping Friday morning remains at large.

Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Dave Parker says APD and State Troopers have suspended the search for the suspect in the Turnagain Pass area of the Seward Highway, but are continuing to pursue leads in the ongoing investigation.

The suspect was discovered rummaging around in the back yard of the victim’s grandmother’s south Anchorage home, at which point, the suspect allegedly forced the victim into his own pickup truck at gunpoint. According to Parker, the suspect made the victim drive south down the Seward Highway.

“When they reached the Turnagain Pass area, the suspect – who was a white male adult, about 200 pounds, probably in the neighborhood of six feet, with a shaved head and a black and red tattoo on his left shoulder – needed to answer nature’s call, so he had the victim stop and the suspect got out of the vehicle to relieve in the woods, taking the key from the ignition,” Parker said.

But, Parker says the victim had a spare key hidden in the car, and was able to drive away while the suspect was out of the vehicle…the victim then alerted authorities soon after.

“He actually texted family and then we were able to make phone contact with him when he got into phone range,” Parker said.

Parker says that APD was assisted by State Troopers, helicopters, and canine units in the search.

It is believed that the suspect is armed and police are urging motorists to not pick up any hitchhikers in the Turnagain Arm area.

NTSB Releases Report on Plane Crash That Killed Former Lawmaker

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

Investigators are taking a closer look at the airplane crash on Beluga Lake in Homer that killed former state representative Cheryll Heinze last week. On Monday, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the accident.

New Website Explains State Finances

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The first output from a newly established legislative committee was put online this week as members of the House Fiscal Policy Committee kept a commitment to try to let the public know more about state finances.

Subsistence Board Criticized For Not Giving RAC Recommendations Enough Weight

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Regional Advisory Councils, or RACs, have criticized the Federal Subsistence Board for not giving their recommendations enough weight. At their meeting Wednesday, board members worked to give due deference to the input of one RAC.

12-Year-Old Fairbanks Boy’s Death Ruled An Accident

The Associated Press

Fairbanks police say the death of a 12-year-old boy by gunshot was an apparent accident.

Malik Boykins on Wednesday was visiting a home near Fort Wainwright when he was hit in the head by a bullet from a .40-caliber handgun fired by another 12-year-old boy, who lives at the home.

No adults were home during the incident.

Police say they don’t plan to forward criminal charges against any adults. However, spokesman Peyton Merideth says the department is working with the juvenile justice system on possible charges against the boy who fired the gun.

The second boy’s name has not been released and juvenile proceedings are not made public.

AK: Home Schooling

Diana Saverin, APRN Contributor

In the tiny and remote communities of southern Baranof Island in southeast, there aren’t enough kids for a school. So parents have to home school. And both the parents and the kids try to strike a balance between a more traditional education of reading, writing, and arithmetic, with a more creative approach.

300 Villages: Gakona

Instead of heading to a village this week, we’re going to visit the Gakona Lodge and it’s owner Greg Marshall and his wife Valerie. The historic roadhouse is located in the Copper River Valley and was established in the early 1900’s for travelers on the Eagle/Valdez trail.