Alaska News Nightly: October 1, 2008

Alaska’s Congressional delegation is divided over how they’ll vote on the new version of the $700 billion financial bailout bill. Plus, a judge will consider tomorrow whether the legislature’s “Troopergate” investigation should proceed. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Two dead in northeast Anchorage small plane crash
The Associated Press
Two people were killed today when a small airplane lost power shortly after take-off and crashed on a city street in Anchorage. The crash occurred near the Merrill Field airport. Anchorage Deputy Fire Chief Michelle Weston says no one on the ground was hurt.

VECO CEO Bill Allen takes the stand, talks about Stevens home renovations
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Former Veco CEO Bill Allen testified in U.S. District Court today that he did extensive work on Senator Ted Stevens home and didn’t get paid for it. Allen also said he asked the Senator for favors over the years.

Alaska delegation conflicted over financial bailout vote
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Stevens went from his trial straight to work at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate will be in session late tonight, voting on a new version of the $700 billion financial industry bailout.

SBA small business loan availability tightening up
Weld Royal, KTOO – Juneau
As U.S. lawmakers argue over the financial bailout plan, small business owners in Alaska may be having a harder time lining up credit. Small Business Administration-backed loans to Alaska companies have fallen 18%.

Palin / Monegan firing matter headed to court tomorrow
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
All the litigation and political bickering over the investigation into the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan will finally get a day in court tomorrow morning.

Home heating assistance program opened today with big budget bump
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The State begins taking applications today for a vastly-expanded home heating assistance program. The amount of money available has doubled this year to $20 million.

Anchorage homeless numbers rising
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Homelessness in Anchorage is growing. And the number of homeless families and individuals continues to outnumber emergency and low-cost housing available in the city. Those were just two of the bleak observations contained in an annual update on homelessness in Anchorage.

Audit: AEL&P’s emergency billings A-OK
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
A new audit says Alaska Electric Light and Power charged its customers properly and did not make any windfall profit after avalanches knocked out Juneau’s main source of power in April.

Fairbanks gang violence unabated
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Gang-related trouble continues to plague Fairbanks. Several incidents in the last week, including vehicle-to-vehicle gunfire, have drawn police attention. The latest violence was a midday drive-by shooting Monday.

Abbott multi-murder trial may move away from Sitka
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Attorneys for Jason Abbott have asked to move his multiple-homicide trial to Juneau. In a motion filed on September 17, Marci McDannel, with the Office of Public Advocacy, argued that her 19-year-old client’s interest in obtaining a fair trial before an impartial jury is paramount.

Homer halibut derby winner announced
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
The 2008 Homer Halibut Jackpot Derby has ended. The winner: a San Rafeal, California fisherman.