Alaska News Nightly: March 25, 2008

Four people are murdered in Sitka. The house takes up a bill on predator control.  The Coast Guard gives up the search for a final missing Bering Sea fisherman, and Dog teams ready to hit the trail in the All Alaska Sweepstakes. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Quadruple homicide stuns Sitka

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Police in Sitka say at least four people died in a stabbing incident this morning. Shortly before noon today police responded to a call of a disturbance downtown. Arriving on scene, officers discovered 18-year-old Jason Abbot in the street allegedly brandishing a weapon – possibly a knife. Abbot was subdued by police using a taser, and taken into custody. Inside the home, police found the bodies of three people, all apparently dead from stab wounds. A fourth victim died at Mount Edgecumbe hospital. Their names have not been released.

House takes up predator control bill debate

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The House today opened debate on a bill that establishes harvest by humans as the top priority for moose, caribou and deer populations. It also sets up a procedure for allowing intensive management of predators – including same day airborne hunting – to help boost the number of animals available for that purpose. In introducing the bill, Governor Palin said the current practice of authorizing predator control programs is complex and unworkable.

Governor declares Tsunami Awareness Week

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin is asking coastal residents in Alaska to make sure they’re prepared for a potential tsunami. She’s declared this week “Tsunami Awareness Week” to mark the anniversary of the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. The nine point two magnitude earthquake hit on Good Friday, 1964 and was followed by a series of deadly tsunamis.
Coast Guard abandons search for missing fisherman

Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
The Coast Guard has ended its search for the missing crew member from a fishing boat that sank in the Bering Sea Sunday morning

Small Southeast towns consider forming a new borough

John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Small towns afraid of being swallowed up by their larger neighbors in northern Southeast Alaska consider banding together. Representatives of cities scattered along Icy Strait and Chatham Strait met in person yesterday in Juneau. But some people in the isolated coastal communities are wary of the new taxes or headaches that might come with forming a new borough.

Non-resident workers on the increase around the state
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A newly released annual report on labor statistics in Alaska show an increase in non resident workers in the state. Brian Laurent is a state research analyst with the department of labor and workforce development. He says in 2006, nearly 20% of the state’s labor force was comprised of non-residents – the highest level since 1997.

Tanana looks at expanding uses for propane

Dixie Hutchinson, KNBA – Anchorage
The city of Tanana has agreed to work with the State to see if the community can use propane for heating and other uses.  The goal is to determine the feasibility of using North Slope propane as an energy source for rural Alaska.

Dog teams ready to hit the trail in the All Alaska Sweepstakes

Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
Sixteen mushers are ready to pull up their snowhooks for the commemorative centennial running of the All Alaska Sweepstakes –  a 408 mile contest that cuts across the Seward Peninsula from Nome to Candle and back.

Cross country skiers descend on Fairbanks
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
America’s best cross country skiers are in Fairbanks this week to compete in U.S. National Championship Distance races, including Alaska’s Kikkan Randall.

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