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Plaintiffs decide against appeal in Alaska fishing case

Apr 23, 2015 -- 9:45am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A group of Yup'ik Eskimo fishermen has decided not to appeal an Alaska court ruling that found severe restrictions on king salmon trumped their cultural and spiritual rights to fish. The state Court of Appeals ruled against the 13 fishermen from western Alaska villages who challenged their convictions of illegal king salmon on the Kuskokwim River during a weak run in 2012. Plaintiffs' attorney, James J. Davis, says Thursday is the deadline to appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court. Davis says it was the consensus of lawyers, fishermen and tribal leaders that the court system is not the best avenue for protecting subsistence rights. In its March 27 decision, the appellate court said protecting king stocks supersedes the fishermen's argument that the state had an obligation to accommodate their spiritual fishing rights.

Anchorage man convicted of methamphetamine distribution

Apr 23, 2015 -- 9:30am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Anchorage man has been convicted in federal court of distributing methamphetamine. Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis says 22-year-old Boonchan Yang, who went by the name "Chowmein," was convicted of two drug trafficking counts. Prosecutors say Yang was convicted of arranging in June to sell $1,100 worth of meth and an AK-47 rifle to an informant. Federal investigators recorded sound of Yang arranging the deal by phone and recorded video of the transaction. Prosecutors say he also in October tried to sell an ounce of meth for $1,700 in a deal at a store parking lot. He will be sentenced July 7. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of up to 40 years. 

New district attorney named for Fairbanks area

Apr 23, 2015 -- 9:15am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A new district attorney has been named for the Fairbanks area. Attorney General Craig Richards announced the appointment of Greggory Olson this week. Richards' office says Olson will replace Michael Gray, who recently took over as the Bethel district attorney. Olson plans to transfer to his new position June 1. As Fairbanks district attorney, Olson also will supervise the North Slope Borough office. Olson, who has worked for the Department of Law for about 15 years, most recently served as an assistant attorney general in a rural prosecution unit. He also is a former police officer. 

Alaska lawmakers ask federal council to cut halibut bycatch

Apr 23, 2015 -- 9:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A bipartisan group of Alaska state lawmakers have asked federal fishery managers to cut halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. Twelve legislators representing coastal communities wrote a letter to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council asking for a 50 percent reduction in the amount of halibut that Bering Sea and Aleutian Island trawlers who target other species, such as groundfish, are allowed to catch. The council, which manages federal fisheries offshore from Alaska and includes representation from Alaska, Oregon and Washington, is expected to take final action on the halibut bycatch issue at its June meeting in Sitka. In the letter, the legislators note that the commercial and charter halibut fleets have seen their allowable harvest cut significantly in recent years.

Murder suspect's father testifies in evidence tampering case

Apr 22, 2015 -- 10:00am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - A 59-year-old Tanana man testified Tuesday that his son fired the shots that killed two Alaska State Troopers last year. But Arvin Kangas says he has no clear memory of details afterward, such as whether he removed the slain officers' handguns from their holsters. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Kangas testified in Nenana, where he's being tried on charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. His son, Nathanial "Satch" Kangas, faces trial in November on murder charges in the deaths of Sgt. Scott Johnson and trooper Gabe Rich. The officers were attempting to arrest the elder Kangas when they were shot. Prosecutors say body recorders on the slain officers picked up sounds of Arvin Kangas arranging the officers' weapons to make it appear as if his son had acted to save his father's life.

Construction begins at first Anchorage co-housing community

Apr 22, 2015 -- 9:45am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The first co-housing community in Anchorage broke ground Tuesday on 35 homes that share a kitchen, dining area, gym and community garden. KTVA reports 23 families have committed to living in the 6.4-acre cooperative atmosphere and its energy-efficient homes that cost about $400,000. Prospective residents say Ravens' Roost Cohousing fosters a sense of community where residents can rely on each other. The project is expected to be completed by fall of next year. 
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