Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Sept. 07, 2016

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DOC inmate Dies of apparent suicide
Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A man at the Wildwood Correctional Complex died by apparent suicide Tuesday afternoon, though his death is still under investigation.

Lawsuit over institutionalizing foster youth in psychiatric hospitals continues
Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

When foster youth are admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Alaska against their will, they can stay there for up to 30 days without judicial review. Two tribes are arguing that’s too long. The Office of

Children’s services says a judge shouldn’t have to sign off at all on keeping kids at North Star Hospital in Anchorage. The court battle has lasted over two years, and a judge will hear more oral arguments later this month. Alaska Public Media’s Anne Hillman has more.

Representative requests grand jury investigate OCS
Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

House Republican Tammie Wilson of Fairbanks is requesting a Grand Jury conduct an investigation of the Office of Children Services. Citing complaints from families, foster parents, and health providers, she says the agency is not complying with its statutory duties. In a press release she said “I believe children and parents are caught up in legal kidnapping and ineffective politics.”

University of Alaska suffers cybersecurity breach
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska is reporting a security breach. An email issued yesterday (Tues.) says UA became aware of the cyber attack several months ago, and there’s no evidence that personal information was accessed or stolen.

Lawsuit targets Borough marijuana initiative
Ellen Lockyer – Alaska Public Media, Anchorage

Two cannabis supporters are suing the Matanuska – Susitna Borough. They’re trying to overturn a ballot initiative banning commercial marijuana. The complaint wants the courts to force the Borough to take the initiative off the October ballot, but as Alaska Public Media’s Ellen Lockyer reports, the outcome of the case could have far-reaching consequences.

APD bought ‘stingray’ surveillance device in 2009, used minimally
Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media, Anchorage

Police in Anchorage publicly announced Wednesday that they purchased and used a controversial piece of surveillance equipment which tracks cell phones. The department says it only used it “about a dozen times.” They discontinued use last year because the technology was out of date.

Skagway shop owner found not guilty of misrepresenting Native art
Jillian Rogers, KHNS – Haines

A Skagway shop owner was found not guilty of misrepresenting Native produced art in federal court on Friday. Rosemary Libert owns Lynch and Kennedy Dry Goods and was the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the past couple of years. She was charged this spring after selling a piece of art to an undercover agent in 2015. In Juneau court last week, federal prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to prove that Libert knowingly deceived the agent, who was posing as a customer.

Diesel spill cleanup continues south of Fairbanks
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Cleanup work continues Wednesday near Birch Lake south of Fairbanks where a tractor-trailer tank loaded with 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel overturned Monday, spilling the fuel into a ditch that runs between a small wetland and the Richardson Highway.

Alaskans Protest North Dakota Pipeline
AP/Democracy Now/Jeremy Hsieh-KTOO/Zachariah Hughes-Alaska Public Media

Authorities in North Dakota are sending officers from across the state to the site of a protest about an oil pipeline in anticipation of a court ruling on the issue.

Violence broke out at the protest site on Saturday. Democracy Now reports protesters were attacked by private security forces with dogs and pepper spray.

Alaska Reaches 200 Days of Warmer than Normal Weather
Annie Feidt, ALaska’s Energy Desk, Anchorage

Wednesday marks the 200th day in a row of above normal temperatures in Alaska.