News Minute: Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. AKST
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska conservation department submitted its final required air quality improvement plan to the Environmental Protection Agency intended to help Fairbanks comply with the Clean Air Act. KTVF-TV reports that the plan includes prohibiting wood as the only heating source in homes, requiring the use of EPA-certified wood burning devices, and prohibiting commercial sellers from selling anything other than dry wood. Officials say most of the regulations are expected to go into effect Jan. 8.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An oil company in Alaska has sued a former employee, an Anchorage police officer and others alleging they embezzled more than $7 million. Alaska Public Media reported that ConocoPhillips lawyers filed the lawsuit against former senior drilling and wells planner Forrest Wright, Officer Nathan Keays and close relatives. The claim says Wright created fake contracting firms and submitted fraudulent invoices to steal at least $7.2 million and move the money to a company he started in Nevada.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of an Alaska man convicted for his part in the torture killing of a 19-year-old man nearly two decades ago. The justices said in a recent ruling that the arguments from 39-year-old Briley Piper, of Anchorage, were “untimely" and didn't contest his guilt. Piper is the only inmate on South Dakota's death row. Piper and two others were convicted for the death of Chester Allan Poage. The Rapid City Journal reports that Piper argued in his latest appeal that his guilty pleas were not made voluntarily or intelligently.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - More than a year after a Stony River man died in what was believed to be a suicide, another man has been arrested and charged with his death. Jason Bobby of Stony River is charged with second degree murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and evidence tampering in the May 2018 death of 66-year-old Deacon Evan. Bobby was arrested Thursday. Alaska State Troopers say authorities determined Evan's death was staged to look like a suicide. Bobby is being held in Bethel on $250,000 bail. The 41-year-old man is represented by the Alaska Public Defender Agency, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
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