Alaska News Nightly: September 19, 2008

Ted Stevens talks issues in Anchorage with trial looming on Monday. Plus, 3 “Troopergate” witnesses fail to comply with subpoenas.   Also,  mining at the the Rock Creek gold mine finally gets underway. And the University of Alaska examines the outflow of young people from fishing communitiesThose stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Ted Stevens briefs reporters in Anchorage but won’t talk about his trial
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Ted Stevens met with Alaska reporters today to outline money coming to the state for a wide range of military preparedness issues. Stevens was careful not to talk about his trial that starts in Washington DC on Monday, but he did say he would like to testify if his attorneys allow it and although he doesn’t yet know the full schedule for the trial dates, he expects to be in the state in October.

3 Troopergate witnesses fail to comply with subpoenas

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Three witnesses in the Troopergate investigation failed to comply with subpoenas this morning.  They were ordered to appear at 10:00 at the Anchorage legislative conference room, and a packed room waited more than half an hour before Senator Hollis French came out and read a prepared statement, that said what everybody already knew.

Rock Creek Gold Mine finally operational

Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
NovaGold Resources’ Rock Creek gold mine northwest of Nome is finally up and running, after months of delays and cost overruns.

Croc Hunter inspires Humpback Whale research
Anne Hillman, KIAL – Unalaska
Scientists are starting a new research project focusing on humpback whale stocks that summer near Unalaska. It’s inspired by the memory of the late Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.

ISER examines outflow of young people from fishing communities

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
Researchers from the University of Alaska are studying why more young people are leaving fishing-dependent communities, and what might make them more likely to stay. The project is meant to shed light on the concerns of older teens and young adults in their early 20’s who see few economic opportunities in their home towns.  Petersburg is one of the towns included in the project.

Special statehood flags set to fly across Alaska
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
American Flags dating back to statehood are going on display across Alaska.  The vintage flags were produced in 1959, when Alaska entered the Union as America’s 49th state.  State Representative John Coghill of North Pole is heading up a project to frame and place the 49-star flags in state offices and public libraries across Alaska.  Coghill says a fellow Fairbanks legislator initially found the flags.

New tool for Spanish-speaking students in Anchorage schools

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Alaska parents whose first language is Spanish and whose English skills are limited now have a new tool to help prepare their young children get ready for school.  Actually, it’s three new tools.

Tragedy on the Alsek River

John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Disaster struck two raft trips this summer on the Alsek River, which flows from the Yukon to Alaska. A skilled rafter from Idaho and his son died after getting thrown from their raft in June.  A few days earlier, a calving glacier sent a wall of water through another group’s campsite. Possessions and boats were scattered, but no one was hurt.