Alaska News Nightly: October 21, 2008

The evidence is in, the closing statements are on the record, now Ted Stevens’ fate is in the hands of the jury. Plus, Governor Palin’s motorcade is stopped by protesters in Colorado. Meanwhile, early voting gets underway in Alaska and around the country. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Stevens trial ready to go to the jury
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Senator Ted Stevens:  honorable and decent public servant, or a man who thought he was above the law and got caught?  Jurors in Stevens’ trial heard two very different versions of the 84-year-old lawmaker today, during attorneys’ closing arguments.  Both sides called this a “simple case,” but pushed jurors to reach opposite outcomes.

Honoring Dr. Walter Sobeleff
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Today at the Elders and Youth gathering that precedes the AFN convention, First Alaskans Institute Trustee Byron Mallot spoke about the incredible legacy of Tlingit elder Dr. Walter Sobeleff. Sobeleff will turn 100 years old in November and Mallot said introducing him was humbling.

Palin’s motorcade halted by protestors
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A motorcade transporting Governor Sarah Palin was stormed by protestors in Colorado Monday.  Palin was about a half a block from the venue of a campaign event in Grand Junction when a group of demonstrators charged into the street.

Alternative energy ideas abound
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Alaska Energy Authority executive director Steve Haagenson today  gave legislators a preview of the statewide energy plan he’s been working on since he was given the assigment in March.   He told the joint Renewable Energy Task Force that after to talking to utilities, communities, native groups and the public, there has been no shortage of ideas.

Doyon sets shareholder dividend
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The board of interior native regional corporation Doyon has approved a shareholder dividend of $356 per 100 shares.  Doyon annually pays out 50 percent of average net profits from the last 5 years in the form of distributions and contributions.  The corporation has over 16,000  shareholders, most of whom hold 100 shares.  Doyon dividends go out December 11th.

Early voting underway in Alaska
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
People who can’t wait, or won’t be able to vote on November 4th, can vote early at Division of Elections offices. Early voting began in several
states including Alaska yesterday.  Nikki Speegle, regional elections supervisor in Fairbanks says any registered voter can fill out their ballot early.

Two in-state gas pipeline proposals getting scrutiny
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Two in state pipeline projects under investigation would bring natural gas to the interior.  Enstar is looking into piping gas from the Brooks Range through Fairbanks to Anchorage, while, the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority is pursuing a line from Cook Inlet to Fairbanks.

AFN gets ready to launch annual convention in Anchorage
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Federation of Natives is gearing up this week for its annual convention in Anchorage.  This year’s convention themes are “Veterans”  and “Energy”, which are both issues attracting a lot of interest in recent weeks.  Many Alaska Native veterans are living in remote villages, which makes proper health care difficult.  Wasilla’s  Maurice Bailey, a Vietnam veteran- is helping other vets through a non-profit organization called Veterans Aviation Outreach.  Bailey, a pilot,  flies to bush Alaska to bring help to veterans, or to bring them to Anchorage area hospitals:

World economic slowdown hits Yukon Territory hard
Cheryl Kawaja, CBC – Whitehorse
In Canada’s Yukon territory, the outlook is grim for the territory’s exploration industry. The crisis in the world financial markets has already cost some Yukoners their jobs.  Others are hoping the slow-down passes quickly.