Alaska News Nightly: January 30, 2013

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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Charges Against Former BBNC Board Member Dropped

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The State of Alaska’s sexual assault case against former-Bristol Bay Native Corporation Board Member Sergie Chukwak has been dismissed.

APOC Agrees To Consent Agreement With Dan Coffey

Steve Heimelm, APRN – Anchorage

The Alaska Public Offices Commission has approved a consent agreement worked out by its staff and former Anchorage Assembly member Dan Coffey.  APOC staff say he failed to register as a lobbyist for the Municipality of Anchorage and then made illegal campaign contributions to legislative candidates outside his own district.  Under the agreement, Coffey admits he violated the law and the staff recommends a reduction of the maximum possible fine from 46 and a half thousand dollars to thirteen thousand. Coffey says he thought he didn’t have to be registered if he limited his hours of lobbying activities.  Coffey’s job was to try to get the Legislature to pay for the cost over-runs at the Port of Anchorage.

Tsunami Debris Problem Gets Worse In Alaska, With Little Clean Up Finding In Sight

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Refrigerators, Styrofoam buoys and even ketchup bottles are piling up on Alaska’s beaches. It’s debris from the devastating Japanese tsunami in the spring of 2011. One of the hardest hit beaches is on Montague Island at the entrance to Prince William Sound. APRN’s Annie Feidt visited the beach last weekend with a marine debris expert and has this story.

ASD Students, Staff Worried About Counseling Cuts

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage School District Superintendent has recommended a budget which eliminates more than 200 jobs.  Professions that could be hit especially hard are Counselors and Advisors. KSKA’s Daysha Eaton visited Service High School in Anchorage where staff and students are worried about  the impact of the cuts.

Bill Pushes For Increased School Funding

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

In the legislature, a bill that would increase funding for schools has been introduced. A team of nine Democrats want to peg what’s called the “Base Student Allocation” to inflation. That allocation gives school $5,680 for every student they have enrolled, and it’s remained at the same level for the past three years. The funding bill would increase that amount to nearly $6,000 to account for inflation over the past two years, and it would permanently tie the allocation to the consumer price index going forward.

Public Comments On Gov. Parnell’s Oil Tax Cut Proposal

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The public got its first chance to comment on the governor’s proposal to cut taxes on oil companies this week. His bill would get rid of a provision that oil companies pay more when profits are high, and it would tie credits to production instead of exploration.

Unalaska Works To Ward Off Eagle, Human Encounters

Stephanie Joyce, KUCB – Unalaska

Eagle-human relations in Unalaska are usually relatively peaceful. But for a few months each springtime they can turn violent as the eagles attempt to protect their nests. Last week, the city took preemptive action to ward off future attacks.

Havermeister Dairy Fills Niche Dairy Market

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Matanuska Valley’s dairy industry has shrunk to two farms since the shutdown of the Matanuska Creamery in December. A new dairy enterprise may keep both of them afloat for the time being: