Alaska News Nightly: January 28, 2009

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Alaska Legislature presses Attorney General over ‘Troopergate’
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislative and executive branches of the State today looked for ways to improve relations after the turbulent altercations of last fall over the so-called “Troopergate” investigation into the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

Alaska delegation weighs in on stimulus package
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The U.S. House passed a major economic stimulus package tonight, even though every Republican voted against it. The stimulus bill would fund more than $819 billion of projects and tax cuts. The Senate is still working on crafting their version of the bill.

Sexual abuse victims want to sue the Vatican
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Sex abuse claimants suing the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese want to go after the Vatican. A motion filed on behalf of 285 victims asks the judge presiding over the Fairbanks Diocese bankruptcy case, to make the Bishop sue the Vatican for money to compensate them.

School in Kalskag burns down
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
A village school 100 miles upriver of Bethel was totaled today by a fire.

Senator Begich questions Defense Secretary Gates about missile defense
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he believes the Missile Defense System (MDS) is a significant part of America’s protection plan. Gates testified yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Democratic Senator Mark Begich asked him about components of the Missile Defense System that are based in Alaska, and how they fit into the military’s strategic needs.

State grants extension of moose season near Emmonak
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
An Emergency request to extend the moose hunting season near Emmonak has been granted. The Alaska Board of Game and the Federal Subsistence Board decided yesterday to open up the lower Yukon for an additional month. Emmonak residents are struggling to survive after a disastrous commercial fishery last summer and high fuel prices this winter.

‘Homeless Connect’ gives a hand to the homeless
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
For 5 hours yesterday, hundreds of Anchorage’s homeless and near-homeless came to the Egan Civic and Convention Center for a temporary “one stop shop” of a wide range of services.

US House votes against delay in digital TV deadline
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The U.S. House voted today to not delay the national switch to digital television (DTV). The “DTV Delay Act” failed to get a needed two-thirds majority in a special vote. The measure would have postponed the nationwide mandatory switch to DTV broadcast signals for 4 months, until June 12. As it stands now, the transition is still slated to happen on February 17, 2009.