Alaska News Nightly: September 4, 2008

Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin gets praised and criticized on the national stage.   Plus, a new study shows Native people are twice as prone to alcohol-related deaths. And Anchorage looks to find strength in its growing diversity. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Palin wows Republican National Convention
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage and Michael Carey, APRN – St. Paul, Minnesota
More than 40 million people watched last night as Governor Sarah Palin accepted the Republican nomination for Vice President in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the party’s convention in St. Paul. She attacked Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama, lavishly praised her running mate, John McCain, and defended the war in Iraq. Palin also talked about her small town roots and her political ideals:

National watchdog group attacks Palin over ethics

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or “CREW” is slamming Governor Sarah Palin over the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.  The group goes after government officials it believes are beholden to special interests or are breaching ethical standards.  “CREW” also recently applauded the Justice Department for indicting Alaska’s Senator Ted Stevens on counts of lying about receiving gifts.

He’s back – Ralph Nader on the presidential ballot in Alaska

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Ralph Nader will be on Alaska’s November general election ballot for U.S. president. The Alaska Division of Elections has certified more than 4900 signatures of Alaska voters. Nader needed 3145 signatures. He is now on the ballot in 45 states.  The 2008 election will be the fourth time Nader has run for president as a third-party candidate.

Denali Park road running up against usage limits

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Denali National Park officials began the scoping process last night for a new plan for how the park’s one road ought to be used. Currently, the road has a limit of ten and a half thousand trips a year.  But visitor demand is projected to hit that limit within a couple of years.  Already park managers sometimes have to curtail their own staff’s movements to stay within the limit.  The process will lead to new contract terms for transportation providers to bid on.

Like clock work, Doctor serves rural community every six weeks
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
For almost ten years, Wrangell doctor Dave McCandless has been holding rural clinics in communities on Prince of Wales Island that don’t have health providers. It started when Point baker and Port Protection asked Wrangell to send a visiting doctor. Since then, every six weeks throughout the year, Dr. McCandless pays a visit to the remote communities.

New study shows Native people twice as prone to alcohol-related deaths
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released a first of its kind study of alcohol attributable deaths and potential life lost among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The study says Native people are twice as likely to die from alcohol related causes than the general population and they lose more than six years of life per alcohol attributable death.

Anchorage looks to find strength in growing diversity
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage has a highly diverse population.  And according to those taking part in the second Dialogue on Race in Diversity held last night, the big question is how well can the city take advantage of the situation.