Alaska News Nightly: August 25, 2008

More than 70 Alaskans are participating in this week’s Democratic National Convention in Denver. Plus, Alaska’s state quarter went into circulation today, featuring a grizzly with a salmon in its jaws. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio (MP3)

Alaskan Democrats, and one Republican, converge on Denver
Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
Among the thousands of Americans gathering in Denver, Colorado for this week’s Democratic National Convention are more than 70 Alaskans. Twenty are voting delegates. One is a Republican.

Poverty rising, graduation low among Alaskan kids
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
The annual Kids Count Alaska data book has been released and it continues to show some alarming trends.

Alaska Trooper collared by colleagues on drug charges
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Alaska State Troopers have busted one of their own. Trooper Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement in conjunction with the State Drug Enforcement Administration has charged Fairbanks-based trooper Scott Ide with forging prescriptions. Ide is accused of forging prescriptions for narcotic pain medication on 4 separate occasions last winter and spring. Ide has been a Trooper since 2004. He served in Palmer prior to transferring to Fairbanks in January of this year.

Alaska Quarter arrives this week, next to last in 50-state series
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The U.S. Mint began circulating the Alaska state quarter today. The coin has an image of a grizzly with a salmon in its jaws, along with the saying, “The Great Land.” 500 million of the quarters will be minted over the next ten weeks. It’s part of a 10-year program to commemorate each state in the order they entered the union. Alaska’s quarter will have a ceremonial kick-off this Friday at the State Fair in Palmer. U.S. Mint deputy director Andy Brunhart will be on hand for the celebration starting at 1:00 p.m.

Alaska city, borough, village managers meeting to plan lobbying
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
The Alaska Municipal League legislative committee and the Alaska Conference of Mayors are holding their summer meeting in Wrangell this Wednesday and Thursday, August 27 and 28. Up to 65 people from throughout the state are expected to attend.

Statewide life jacket program claims 15th and 16th saved kids
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Two young boys who capsized a canoe in chilly ocean waters near Angoon earlier this month are doing fine. Injury-prevention specialists credit a pair of loaner life jackets from the statewide Kids Don’t Float program for saving the boys’ lives.

Alaska’s newest park offers nature trails and WWII history
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
The Fort Rosseau Causeway State Historical Park was recently dedicated in Sitka, becoming the newest state park in the Alaska system in 11 years. The park will appeal not only to those interested in Sitka’s trail system, but also in its history dating back to World War II.