Alaska News Nightly: November 9, 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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Port Study Shows Design, Construction Flaws

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

A draft study shows design and construction flaws with the port of Anchorage project. Officials with the firm CH2M HILL presented the study’s findings to the Anchorage Assembly and Mayor on Friday at City Hall.

Rare Human Remains May Hold Secret To Alaska’s Ancient Past

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Construction workers uncovered human remains near McGrath last month during work on an erosion control project along the Kuskokwim River.  An investigation revealed their Athabascan origins.  Results from scientific analysis are still very preliminary, but the findings could shed new light on the origins and history of interior Alaska’s Native people.

Responders Investigate Oiled Wildlife Reports On St. Lawrence Island

Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome

Hunters on St. Lawrence Island have reported oiled wildlife – the most recent report this Monday. Responders from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Coast Guard planned on arriving at the island – to the communities of Gambell and Savoonga – this evening.

Sergeant Found Guilty On 1 Count In Soldier Death

The Associated Press

A military jury has found an Army sergeant guilty on one of three charges in the hazing-related death of Pvt. Danny Chen.  The 19-year-old private killed himself in October 2011 during deployment in Afghanistan with Fort Wainwright’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

Sgt. Jeffrey Hurst was found not guilty Friday of hazing and maltreatment. He was found guilty of dereliction of duty.

The jury sentenced Hurst to reduction in rank and hard labor without confinement for 45 days.

Hurst, who testified in his own defense, is the sixth of a group of soldiers to face court-martial in the Chen case.

The eight soldiers faced charges including allegations of racial taunting and failing to stop the hazing.

Chenault To Return As Alaska House Speaker

The Associated Press

The Republican-dominated majority of the Alaska House of Representatives has organized with a familiar face in the speaker’s chair. A majority announcement says Nikiski Representative Mike Chenault will return for a third term as speaker.

Anchorage Representative Lance Pruitt, who holds a 96-vote lead over Democrat Pete Peterson, was picked as majority leader.

Chugiak Representative Bill Stoltze and Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman were selected as Finance Committee co-chairmen.

In the Senate, Sitka Republican Bert Stedman and Juneau Democrat Dennis Egan have announced they’re joining the 14 member majority caucus. Egan is the first democrat to do so.

Report Peer Reviews EPA’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

A report was released today on the peer review process of the EPA’s assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed. One of the central critiques offered by the panel of experts is that the draft document is lacking a clear purpose and objective. The input from the reviewers will be added towards a final version of the Assessment, which is intended to guide EPA’s decision making process about large-scale mineral developments in Bristol Bay.

FTC Investigation Into Hilcorp, Marathon Deal Closed

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

The energy company Hilcorp has announced another step toward finalizing its acquisition of Cook Inlet assets from Marathon.  The transaction had been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, but that investigation has closed and the deal will move forward as South Central Alaska braces for a possible natural gas shortage in the coming years.

AK: Bees

Anne Hillman, APRN Contributor

Surviving winter in Alaska is not easy for us humans, and for honeybees, it’s even harder.  Honeybees don’t naturally exist in North America. And in northern climates the flowering season is too short and the winter is too long. But a few dedicated beekeepers in the state are working on ways to keep their hives alive, despite the obstacles.

300 Villages: Savoonga

This week, were heading to Savoonga, one of two communities on the northern edge of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. Pearl Annogiyuk is city clerk in Savoonga.

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