Alaska News Nightly: September 2, 2008

Reports say the FBI recorded more than 100 phone conversations with Ted Stevens. Meanwhile  Governor Palin keeps a low profile at Republican convention. Plus Alaska Natives speak out on the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s statehood. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Reports say FBI recorded more than 100 phone conversations with Ted Stevens
Associated Press/Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Attorneys for Senator Ted Stevens say the FBI recorded more than 100 of the Republican lawmaker’s phone  conversations. Jurors could hear those calls later this month when Stevens stands trial on charges of lying about hundreds of thousands of dollars in home renovations and other gifts he received from an oil contractor.

Governor Palin keeps a low profile at Republican convention
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage and Michael Carey, ARPN – St. Paul, Minnesota
Republican National Convention got into full swing in St. Paul, Minnesota today after being largely on hold yesterday as hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana. President George Bush was scheduled to address  delegates by video link up. Former Senator Fred Thompson and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman were also in the line up. But the big news continues to be Alaska Governor Sarah Palin – John McCain’s running mate.

29 Alaska delegates ready for Republican convention
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks and Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
29 Alaskans are attending the Convention in St. Paul. Former State Legislator Nick Stepovich of Fairbanks is one of them.  Stepovich says the selection of Sarah Palin has made quite a splash at the convention.

Mixed reviews for Palin from fish country
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
When she ran for Governor in 2006, Palin received broad support from the state’s fishing industry.  She touted herself as a commercial fisherman, having worked at her family’s setnet site in Bristol Bay. But reaction from Alaska fishermen to her new roll on the Republican ticket has been mixed.

Aleutian volcano makes dramatic topographical changes
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
When Kasatochi volcano erupted last month, it did more than release massive clouds of ash and sulfur – it remade the face of the island.

Regulatory Commission of Alaska bucks Bush administration
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
State regulators last week declined to adopt the Bush administration’s system for allowing people who generate their own electricity to sell it back into the grid. But some sort of system is mandated by federal law, so the Regulatory Commission of Alaska will now have to come up with a system of its own.

Petersburg airport to close for reconstruction
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
Petersburg’s airport is set to shut down for up to a month next spring.  That will mean passengers and freight will have to travel to and from Wrangell to catch Alaska Airlines Flights. It’s part of a major project to reconstruct the runway with new safety improvements.

Alaska Natives speak out on statehood anniversary
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The First Alaskans Institute, an Alaska Native advocacy organization is holding a series of statewide discussions on the impacts of statehood to Alaska Native people. The forums will be held in several communities over the next two months with the goal of providing a relaxed atmosphere for Native people to talk about how statehood has affected the lives of Alaska’s first people.