Alaska News Nightly: June 6, 2012

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Bill Would Force Annual Lease Sale In NPR-A

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

House Republicans are introducing a bill that would force the Secretary of the Interior to hold an annual lease sale for oil and gas drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve. It’s part of a politically-tinged energy package.

ASD Employee Charged With Embezzling Over $100,000

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A former Anchorage School District student activities secretary has been charged with embezzling more than $100,000 from East High School.   Forty-four year old Gayle White has been charged with first degree theft, scheme to defraud and falsifying business records.  APD spokesman Lt. Dave Parker says she was working for the school district between 2006 and 2009.

Chief Justice Dana Fabe Prepares For Third Term

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Justice Dana Fabe is preparing for her third term as Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. She was recently voted into the position by her colleagues on the bench.

She says she’s thrilled about the appointment and says she’ll make it a priority to strengthen the relationship between state courts and tribal courts.

UA Board of Regents To Accept 2013 Budget

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Board of Regents meets in Anchorage tomorrow and Friday. The agenda includes acceptance of the fiscal 2013 budget. The $925 million spending plan is up 4 percent over the current year’s budget. UA spokeswoman Kate Wattum says the $363.7 million operating component includes increased support from the state legislature for Regent’s priority programs.

Five Boats Busted With Female Crab

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

It looks like commercial fishermen in the Bering Sea may take the snow crab quota after all.

The fleet has been hampered for months, with record-setting ice closing off fishing grounds and damaging gear.

But faster fishing brings a whole new set of problems. A good chunk of the fleet has been busted for poor fishing practices.

DNA Could Provide Connection Between Tlingits, Haidas and Other Tribal Groups

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Southeast Alaska’s largest Native cultural gathering is set for this week in the Capital City. Fifty-five dance groups from Alaska, Canada and the Lower-48 will take the stage during the three-day event. It’s expanded from one hall to a half-dozen venues around downtown Juneau and includes a Native artists market, food contests, films, lectures and demonstrations.

A University of Pennsylvania expert will also be there to collect DNA samples. He’s hoping the genetic-testing effort could provide more information about the connections Tlingits and Haidas have with other tribal groups.

Fairbanks Housing Program For Chronic Inebriates Moving Forward

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A new housing program for chronic inebriates in Fairbanks is slowly getting up to speed.  The Tanana Chiefs Conference runs the 47 room facility out of a renovated hotel on South Cushman Street.   T.C.C. has been working toward bringing in the first tenants since December.

Commemorating the Katmai-Novarupta Eruption Centennial

Jennifer Canfield, KMXT – Kodiak

One hundred years ago today, the largest explosive volcanic eruption of the 20th century happened in Alaska. The Katmai-Novarupta explosion was 30 times bigger than the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980.

The explosion happened on the Alaska Peninsula, about one hundred miles east of Kodiak city. Ash from the eruption would eventually travel as far as the Mediterranean.  So much volcanic material was released that it destroyed everything in the surrounding 40 square miles. The volcano decimated Kodiak’s fishing industry, destroyed homes and killed plants and wildlife. KMXT’s Jennifer Canfield compiled this account of the eruption. It includes Kodiak residents reading historical letters about the event and a volcano researcher who has studied the eruption