Alaska News Nightly: January 15, 2008

Lawmakers begin the 2008 legislative session. Plus, Governor Palin gives her State of the State address, and a federal judge denies former legislator Pete Kott a delay in reporting to prison. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Alaska Legislature begins 2008 Session
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislative session began this afternoon. Members only have ninety days to finish their routine work – but a special session to deal with a gas line project on the North Slope is also expected this spring.

Governor gives yearly report on the health of the state
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Governor Sarah Palin delivered her state of the state address this afternoon to the House and Senate.

No reprieve for Pete Kott

David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
A judge has denied the request of Pete Kott to push back the date he will have to report to federal prison. The convicted former legislator will now have to begin serving his six-year sentence this Thursday.

Crowley to run Ocean Ranger program

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
State environmental officials have chosen Crowley Marine Services to run the Ocean Rangers Program. Barring a formal protest, the Florida-based corporation will run Alaska’s newest cruise-ship pollution monitoring plan.

Haida language classes now on Internet

Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangel
After years of offering class-room based language classes, SeaAlaska Heritage Institute, or SHI, is now offering for the first time a web-based native language course in southeast alaska.

Copper Basin 300 brings the unexpected

Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
The Copper Basin 300 sled dog race came to an end today after 22 of the 26 teams mushed into downtown Glennallen. Allen Moore was the first to cross the finish line yesterday afternoon, followed by Lance Mackey and Linwood Fiedler.The winners and their times weren’t exactly what spectators, or racers, were expecting.

Rasmuson Foundation awards grant to library

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The Rasmuson Foundation announced it was awarding nearly $4.5 million to Anchorage’s public libraries yesterday. But portions of the grant come with a stipulation–the community must prove that it really supports the libraries.

First Alaskans Institute seeks applicants for education grants
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
This year the Community Investment initiative will distribute $300,000 in grants to communities throughout the state in the areas of helping pre-schoolers better prepare for school, improving high school graduation rates and promoting youth leadership.