Alaska News Nightly: September 30, 2008

Bill Allen takes the stand in Ted Stevens trial. Plus, 2007 turns out to be a very good year for Alaska businesses. Also, a NOAA scientist reports a dramatic increase in ocean acidification. And YK Delta elder Gladys Jung passes away. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Bill Allen takes the stand in Ted Stevens trial

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The government’s star witness took the stand today in the trial of Senator Ted Stevens. Bill Allen was once a respected businessman in Alaska, and ran Veco, one of the state’s largest private companies. But he pleaded guilty last year to bribing state lawmakers, and prosecutors say he gave Ted Stevens gifts worth more than $250,000. Stevens is accused of lying about the gifts on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms.

2007 a good year for Alaska businesses
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
2007 was a very good year for Alaska businesses. So much so that for the first time ever, the Alaska Business Monthly’s annual 49er awards showed two state based businesses crossing the one billion dollar mark in gross revenues.

Conflict between whales and longliners causes growing concern
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
Longliners on the inside waters of southeast Alaska encountered some unusual and unwelcome fishing partners this summer. A couple of sperm whales followed at least two different boats in Chatham strait, pulling black cod off their gear. Their appearance adds more urgency to the concerns that increased interactions could be bad for both the whales and the industry.

NOAA scientist reports dramatic increase in ocean acidification
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
A research scientist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the surface layer of the world’s oceans has acidified by 30% in the last 60 years due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. And he says continued unconstrained CO2 emissions may triple ocean acidity by 2100.

The downside of the PFD

Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
While many Alaskans received their PFD by way of direct deposit earlier this month, many have had to wait longer. But the remaining PFD checks go out in the mail today and residents should see them arrive in the next couple of weeks. However, some scholars say there’s a downside to the PFD.

Gladys Jung passes away

Angela Denning Barnes, KYUIK – Bethel
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta elder and lifelong educator passed away last weekend.