Alaska News Nightly: August 23, 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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Bin Laden Raid Book Reportedly Authored By Alaskan

Anne Hillman, KSTK – Wrangell

Dutton publishing company announced this week that they will be releasing a book written by a former Navy SEAL from Alaska about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Fox News revealed the author’s identity this morning.

Begich Explores Possibility Of Natural Gas Export Industry

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Senator Mark Begich wants to know if Alaska can develop a natural gas export industry. Begich invited state business leaders to a round table discussion Thursday to examine opportunities for the state’s gas resource.   Any future for a gas export industry will rely on finding markets, and Begich is exploring where the potential buyers of the state’s gas could be. Hawaii and Japan are two areas that may provide a market,  and representatives of both entities sat at the table, along with representatives of Cook Inlet Region, Inc, Buccaneer, TOTE Ocean Transport and Alaska Village Electric Cooperative.

Cook Inlet Gas Storage Facilities Not Being Used

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Two years ago, when Governor Parnell signed the Cook Inlet Recovery Act, prospects were bright for gas supplies in Cook Inlet.  And for the first time in several years, residents of South Central Alaska weren’t worried about whether they would endure energy shortages during coming winters. Now, some of the elements of that law are not falling into place, but early supporters say the plan is still holding together.

Teenagers Sentenced To Prison For Murder Of Kevin Thornton

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

Two Hot Spring County, Arkansas, teenagers have been sentenced to prison for the 2011 death of a 19-year-old Juneau man.   Kevin Thornton, 2010 Thunder Mountain High School graduate, was visiting in the south last July when he fell victim to assault.  He died of his injuries a week later.

Young Faces Two Primary Election Challengers

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

In next Tuesday’s primary race Congressman Don Young will be defending his 40 year tenure as Alaska’s lone U.S. House member against two Republican challengers and five Democrats also vying for the seat.

John Cox and Terre Gales are his Republican challengers. John Cox says he came to Alaska in the early 70s and spent nearly 30 years in the Navy. He first challenged Young in 2010 and is back again saying Alaska and the nation needs new direction.

Terre Gales is also a veteran. He served in Iraq. He also says the state and country need a new path forward. Both men say spending and the deficit must be reined in, but when asked if the automatic cuts to the pentagon slated for January should be allowed to go forward, John Cox says no.

Terre Gales says the road to fiscal and economic strength is through strong leadership.

Don Young, his voice hoarse from campaigning, says his leadership works because he knows what Alaskans want.

The three Republicans agree on many issues. On health care, all three say the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. On the issue of climate change, none of them adhere to beliefs that changes are anything other than natural cycles.

When it came to Social Security and whether or not the eligibility age should be raised, John Cox said, it doesn’t matter.

Terre Gales disagreed, saying it matters to the people depending on it. Gales likes the idea of gradually raising the eligibility age in small increments.

Don Young agrees the age will have to be raised, saying part of the problem stems from the inception of the Social Security program when the average life span of Americans was shorter.

None of the candidates were in support of federal dollars being spent on private charter schools, all would seek to overturn Roe versus Wade, the law legalizing abortion and all would vote to increase military spending. But when asked whether or not the U.S. would still be in Afghanistan in 6 decades similar to the 60 years of U.S. military presence in Korea, they answered Anchorage journalist Michael Carey this way.

Next Tuesday is the primary. Tomorrow we’ll hear from the Democratic challengers for U.S. House. You can hear much more from all of the candidates tomorrow evening on Debate for the State offered statewide. Check your local public broadcasting station for the schedule.

Senator McGuire Campaigns To Keep Seat

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

During this past Legislative session, Senator Lesil McGuire has honed in on creating policies that support natural resource and renewable energy development. McGuire has served a dozen years and she is currently the youngest Senator in Juneau. She’s being challenged by fellow republican Jeff Lanfield in the primary.

Soldier Accused in Hazing Demoted, Loses Pay

The Associated Press

One of the soldiers accused in the hazing-related death of a Fort Wainwright Army private has been demoted and forced to forfeit part of his pay.

Sgt. Travis Carden was punished at Fort Bragg in a summary court-martial. He was demoted to specialist and must forfeit two-thirds of his pay for one month.

Carden was not represented by a military lawyer at Wednesday’s proceeding.

Carden was convicted of hazing and maltreating Pvt. Danny Chen. He’s the fourth soldier assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, to be punished in Chen’s death last October in Afghanistan.

NIOSH Takes Alaska Lessons To East Coast Fishermen

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

A commercial fishing safety program that’s been a huge success in Alaska is turning its focus to commercial fleets in the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast. But expanding requires money – and as KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, NIOSH may not have much of that in the future.