Alaska News Nightly: December 11, 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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Violence Against Women Act Nearing Expiration

Peter Grantiz, APRN – Washington DC

Negations are reportedly on-going between House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Vice President Joe Biden about reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

2nd Whaling Commission Exec Sentenced

The Associated Press

A second former executive director of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission has been sentenced in Anchorage’s federal court for stealing from the organization.

The U.S. attorney’s office says in a release that 52-year-old Teresa Judkins of Barrow will serve six month in prison and pay more than $100,000 restitution.

Judkins led the commission for two year until her 2008 firing. She was charged in 2011 with using commission funds to travel and buy a snowmachine. She was also charged with taking payroll advances that she did not pay back.

Another former executive director, 62-year-old Maggie Ahmaogak, was sentenced for embezzling last month. She was ordered to serve more than three years in prison and pay back more than $393,000 to the organization, which works to preserve subsistence hunting of bowhead whales for Alaska Eskimos.

Preliminary Engineering Underway For Susitna Watana Dam

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Preliminary engineering is underway for the proposed Susitna Watana hydro electric dam.  The state has hired Colorado based MWH Global to develop designs for the project, which would provide rail belt power.

Petersburg Voters To Decide On Creation Of New Southeast Borough

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

While the rest of the Alaska is done with elections for a while, one is heating up in Petersburg. Voters there are deciding this month whether to create a new borough in Southeast. The proposal would dramatically expand municipal boundaries and the tax base for Petersburg and increase the population by about 10 percent.

AHFC Study Estimates $125 Million In Energy Savings

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Over the last three years, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has collected energy use data on more than a thousand publicly owned buildings in the state.  Results show that energy-related improvements to public buildings could save more than $125 million annually.

Snow On The Way For Southcentral

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Forecasters predict several inches of snow from a storm expected to begin overnight in Anchorage. Christian Cassell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says the storm formed in the Pacific and is pushing across the Bering Sea, moving on shore in Southwest Alaska.

Sealaska Timber Touts Habitat Maintenance

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Thick stands of young trees surround Election Creek, near Klawock on Southeast Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island.

The forest was logged in 1989, and it’s been left to grow back on its own. Now, more than 20 years later, Sealaska Corporation is getting ready to thin the crowded stands of trees that have returned.

Fun With Physics At The Roller Coaster Riot

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

How do you get 135 third, fourth and fifth graders to learn and apply Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion? Have them design and build paper rollercoasters.