Alaska News Nightly: September 18, 2013

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Suspected Serial Rapist in Custody

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Anchorage police have arrested a 25-year-old soldier, Tony Earl Bullock Jr., for a series of sexual assaults at gunpoint.

Anchorage Police Discover Badly Beaten Man In Downtown Building

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

A young man is in critical condition after being beaten in an abandoned building in downtown Anchorage.

Around 8:30 on Monday night someone slid a handwritten note under the door of the University of Alaska Police Department in Eugene Short Hall. The unsigned note tipped police off that someone was being held, against their will, in an abandoned building in downtown Anchorage.

Campus police handed the case off the Anchorage Police Department.

They went to the building on Barrow Street in the Fairview neighborhood and found a badly beaten young man.

Police say he was carrying an ID, but is still unconscious. They hope to verify his identity soon.

No arrests have been made, but police are asking for help from the public to solve the case.

Senators Not Expecting Movement In Gun Control Legislation

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

The mass shooting at a Navy installation in Washington, D.C. Monday is reigniting the debate over guns and background checks. The Alaska Congressional delegation is not predicting any movement.

2013 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Checks Will Be $900

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The 2013 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will be $900, according to acting Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell. Checks will be distributed Oct. 3.

Walrus Move To Shore In Northwest Alaska

The Associated Press

Pacific walrus are gathering on the northwest coast of Alaska and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun procedures to keep airplanes out of the area.

The agency says it’s also urging nearby residents to avoid actions that could cause stampedes.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates 2,000 to 4,000 walrus are on a beach near Point Lay, an Inupiat Eskimo community 700 miles northwest of Anchorage.

Female walrus and their young each summer rest on the edge of sea ice. The edge moves north as ice melts.

With climate warming, sea ice in recent years has melted far beyond shallow Chukchi Sea waters where walrus can dive for clams. Instead of riding the ice, they gather on shore.

More than 20,000 animals were counted in 2011.

Bethel Group Wants Board Of Fish To Take A Closer Look At Kuskokwim Kings

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

The Alaska Board of Fish has a work session planned for October 9-11 in Girdwood. And although it’s not on the agenda to talk about Kuskokwim Chinook salmon, that’s just what several local groups want the board to do.

Thalattosaur Fossil Discovered Near Kake May Be New Species

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The fossil of a Thalattosaur discovered near Kake two years ago is a complete specimen, the first to be found in the western hemisphere. Scientists speculate it could be a new species of the prehistoric marine reptile.

Court Denies Vic Kohring Appeal

The Associated Press

A former lawmaker caught in a federal corruption probe of Alaska politicians has lost a chance to have his bribery conviction overturned.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday issued an order saying none of its judges thought Vic Kohring should have a rehearing before the full court.

He had pleaded guilty in 2011 to conspiracy to commit bribery. But later he claimed the federal prosecutors withheld information from his attorneys.

A two-judge panel declined to intervene, but Kohring asked the full court to weigh in.

Kohring wrote the appeal himself after his three public defenders in Seattle withdrew from the case following the ruling from the two-judge panel.

Kohring is currently running for a seat on the Wasilla City Council.

JBER Pays EPA Fine For Hazardous Waste Management Violations

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has paid a $21,000 fine to the EPA for a series of hazardous waste management violations in 2010 and 2011.

UAA Atwood Chair Encourages More Native People To Become Reporters

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

This year’s University of Alaska Anchorage Journalism department’s Atwood chair is a man who has covered Alaska stories in the past. A member of the Shoshone Bannock tribe of Idaho, Mark Trahant is the first Native journalist to hold the position. Trahant has been covering federal budget cuts, the Affordable Care Act and the impact of both on tribes. He says he wants to encourage more native people to become reporters.