Alaska News Nightly: November 13, 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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Two Votes Separate House District 34 Race

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

Two votes. That’s the latest report from Juneau where absentee ballots were counted Tuesday in the race for House District 34.

Haines Republican Representative Bill Thomas now holds a two-vote lead over Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.

Here are the new totals, from Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai:

  • Bill Thomas: 4,054
  • Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins: 4,052.

Election Workers Scan Absentee, Questioned Ballots

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Election workers were also scanning hundreds of absentee and questioned ballots at the Division of Election office in Anchorage today. Four workers fed stacks of paper ballots into Accuvote machines

There is one Senate race and one House race in Anchorage that are too close to call. In the House race, Republican Lance Pruitt is now leading Democrat Pete Peterson by 216 votes, increasing his margin of victory by 120 votes. The Division of Elections has not yet updated results for the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Hollis French and Republican Bob Bell. French holds a lead of 247 votes in that race.

Senate May Waive Duck Stamp For Subsistence Hunters

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Congress reconvenes today after more than a month away. With less than two months until the end of the year and the close of the session, members clearly feel the heat.

Today, the Senate picked up a collection of bills known as the Sportsmen’s Package. If it passes, it could waive the duck stamp fee for subsistence hunters.

Subsistence Fishermen Trials Get Pushed Back

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The subsistence fishermen trials that were scheduled to start today (Tuesday) in Bethel have been postponed.

Another Soldier Convicted In Stryker Brigade Member Death

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Another Ft. Wainwright soldier has been convicted of charges related to the death of a fellow Stryker Brigade member last year in Afghanistan. Sergeant Jeffrey Hurst was found guilty of one count of dereliction of duty at a court marshal trail at Ft. Brag North Carolina Friday.

According to an Army press release, Hurst was sentenced to a rank reduction and 45 days of hard labor for his role in the mistreatment of Private Danny Chen. Chen was found dead of an apparent suicide in a guard tower at a forward operating post in Afghanistan after enduring weeks of physical and verbal abuse by fellow soldiers. Eight soldiers were originally charged in Chen’s death. Six have now been sentenced in the case. The remaining two, Lieutenant Daniel Schwartz and Sergeant Andrew Van Bockel, are scheduled for courts martial in the Chen case.  VanBockel’s trial starts tomorrow at Ft. Bragg.

‘Almost Home’ Profiles Homeless Young People

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The new book “Almost Home” profiles the lives of six young people who experienced homelessness and found help and a path toward a brighter future through Covenant House, a national network of shelters for homeless teens.

The book was written by the President of Covenant House, Kevin Ryan and a former New York Times reporter, Tina Kelly, who is also a past volunteer at one of the shelters. The first profile in the book is of an Alaskan, a young man named Paulie. Tina Kelly says they were impressed by his graciousness and how he gave back to the community after a very tough start to life.

Nushagak King Salmon Run Appears Healthy

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

Fishery managers and stakeholders across the state are expressing concern about the lackluster king salmon runs this year in Alaska.  But the third largest king run in the state appears healthy.

New Street, Bridge Open In Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

It’s a lot easier to navigate downtown Fairbanks. After two years of construction, a long awaited new road and bridge in the city center, opened Monday.

Housing Shortage For Chief Shakes Rededication

Ariel Van Cleave, KSTK – Wrangell

Preparations continue for next year’s re-dedication of Chief Shakes Tribal House, but the people in charge of the event have hit a snag: making sure there’s enough housing.