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9/9/14 KNBA News - Fairbanks mayor calls for federal investigation of four murder convictions

KUAC's Dan Bross reports Fairbanks Mayor Dan Eberhart has agreed to the Tanana Chiefs Conference's request to join it and others who are calling for a federal investigation into the murder convictions of four Alaska Native men. The four were convicted of the 1997 murder of John Hartman. Eberhart says a 2011 confession by a prison inmate who is not one of the Fairbanks Four and other new evidence raise questions about whether they were the perpetrators. TCC had also requested an investigation of the Fairbanks police handling of the case. Eberhart says the city is in the process of hiring a new police chief and he'll discuss the idea with the new chief. The Alaska Innocence Project reviewed the Fairbanks Four case at length to prepare for post-conviction relief. The case is pending in state court.

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As KYUK's Ben Matheson reports, village representatives in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta agree more local tribal self determination is needed, but have differing views on how to achieve it. Last month, representatives of the 12 tribes that comprise the Yupiit Nation met to discuss local control by tribes, and the possibility of forming a regional tribal government. Tribal sovereignty, co-management of fish and game, and Native rights are frequent topics at the Yupiit Nation meetings. Other entities are also meeting and discussing the possibility of forming new tribal government structures.