Alaska News Nightly: October 13, 2008

The State Department of Law is looking at price fixing as a possible explanation for why gas still costs so much in Alaska. Plus, a look at how costly the government’s repeated mistakes in the Ted Stevens trial could be to their case. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Alaska investigating possible fuel price-fixing
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Department of Law has opened an investigation to determine whether there has been price-fixing in the sale of fuel in the state. It will be discussed next week as the House Judiciary Committee holds the second in a possible series of hearings on high fuel prices in Alaska.

Monegan wants his name cleared in wake of Troopergate
Annie Feidt and Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan is asking for a hearing to clear his name. Anchorage lawyer Jeff Feldman filed the request with the State Personnel Board today.

Southeast Alaskans proving Palin not a statewide favorite
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
More than 200 people braved some wet October weather Saturday morning to hold a protest in front of the Capitol building in Juneau. Organizers say they wanted to let the world know that not all Alaskans support Governor Sarah Palin’s bid to become vice president.

Prosecution and Defense scuffling over Stevens’ wife’s e-mail
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Lawyers for Senator Ted Stevens are fighting subpoenas of his wife’s e-mails. Stevens is on trial for allegedly lying on his U.S. Senate disclosure forms. It came to light over the weekend that prosecutors are trying to get hold of hundreds of Catherine Stevens’ e-mails, even as the trial enters its final phases.

Is Stevens’ best defense a bumbling prosecution?
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Steven’s case has had a boost recently by an unlikely source: the prosecution. Government prosecutors failed to turn over important documents to defense lawyers, blunders that resulted in harsh reprimands from the judge and nearly forced a mistrial.

Alaskan Marine dies in Afghanistan
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An Alaskan serving with the Marines died last week in Afghanistan. Corporal Jason Karella, 20, was killed Thursday while manning the gun turret of a Humvee he commanded.

Scientists: Pollock stocks down, not crashing
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Though a mid-water trawl survey shows that pollock biomass is down almost 50%, scientists say pollock stocks are not crashing.

Good bowhead whaling season in progress
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Inupiaq whalers from North Slope coastal communities are reporting success in this year’s fall bowhead whale hunt. Harry Brower is the chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling commission and captain of the Little Kupaaq crew.

Winning sled dogs draw tremendous energy from fats on the go
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A veterinary researcher who studies Iditarod and Yukon Quest dogs is homing in on what enables racing huskies to run fast and far.