Alaska News Nightly: September 9, 2008

Fairbanks is preparing to host Governor Sarah Palin’s first trip back to the state since she became the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. Plus, a small business owner in Pelican gets statewide recognition for having a wide reach in her tiny community. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Prosecution and defense fighting over Stevens trial evidence and processes
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The judge presiding over the case against Senator Ted Stevens will hold a hearing tomorrow to go over motions filed over the last few weeks by the defense and prosecution.

U.S. House Democrats promoting their own energy plan
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The back-and-forth over energy continues on Capitol Hill. Today Democratic House leaders announced their plan to lower gas prices and increase renewable energy. They’re fighting back against a Republican energy package built around offshore oil drilling and opening more domestic supplies, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Fairbanks preparing for VP candidate Palin’s return to Alaska
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Palin is scheduled to be back in Alaska tomorrow, and the Alaska Republican Party is holding a campaign rally in Fairbanks to welcome her home.

Don Young not claiming primary victory, but expects to win
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Congressman Don Young says he’s not claiming victory in his tight re-election race with Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell — although the latest vote tally from the Division of Elections gives him a 239 vote lead. But he says he’s acting as if he has won the race.

Juneau harpoons plan for bronze whale on waterfront
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Juneau city officials reversed themselves last night. The Juneau Assembly voted unanimously against funding a life-size bronze of a humpback whale breaching above the downtown waterfront.

Interior Alaska visitor numbers down in 2008, unclear 2009 forecast
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Interior Alaska’s tourism economy took a hit this summer. Official numbers won’t be available until next month, but reports from across the region indicate an off year.

State task force considering Arctic-compatible renewable energy
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Legislature’s Renewable Energy Task Force held its first meeting this morning to determine how it will assess the state’s energy needs and then make long term recommendations on how renewable energy projects can help meet those needs.

Bethel business robberies up, one owner fed up and fighting back
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Bethel businesses have seen a rash of break-ins since spring. Police don’t know whether it’s organized thieves working together or independently. They have nabbed a few suspects, including last week. In that instance a would-be burglar had no problem breaking into a small business but getting out proved to be the tough part.

Rosie’s Bar and Grill, Pelican’s heart and soul, nets statewide award
Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
The Alaska small business of the year award will go to a ­very small but very well known business in Pelican, a town of about 163 people.