Alaska News Nightly: January 30, 2009

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US Senate passes S-CHIP bill – would double money to DenaliKidCare
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The US Senate has passed a bill to reauthorize and expand a health insurance program for poor children.  The State Children’s Health
Insurance Program, or “S-Chip” has a price tag of more than $32 billion.  It would more than double the amount of money that goes to
Alaskans through Denali KidCare.

Governor Palin heads to Washington, DC

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Governor Sarah Palin is in Washington, DC for the weekend.  Tonight she’s attending a dinner at the house of Fred Malek, a prominent Washington businessman with a long history in Republican politics.  He most recently raised money for John McCain’s presidential bid.

Alaska municipal leaders weigh in on stimulus package

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Municipal leaders in Alaska are hoping that the federal stimulus package will fund local projects. But currently that’s creating a conflict between some officials and the Palin administration.

Man jumps overboard in Bering-Sea suicide

Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
A man jumped overboard into the Bering Sea yesterday morning near Priest Rock, about 11 miles from Unalaska. The 39-year-old man was not wearing a survival suit and fellow crewmembers on the Arctic Fox told the Coast Guard the he resisted any type of help.

State ferry Lituya runs aground near Metlakatla

Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
The state ferry Lituya was refloated this afternoon after running aground early this  morning off the coast of Metlakatla. no people or pets were on board the vessel at the time of the grounding and the Coast Guard says there has been some damage to the vessel.

Alaska Municipal League concludes winter meeting in Juneau

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The Alaska Municipal League just concluded its winter legislative meeting in Juneau.Mayors and other city officials said energy and transportation improvements are the top priorities for Alaska communities.They want lawmakers to expand the rural energy subsidy known as Power Cost Equalization, and create a long-term sustainable transportation fund.One-hundred and 40 cities, boroughs, and unified municipalities are part of the nonpartisan, statewide AML.  Every winter members gather in Juneau to set priorities and begin the process of lobbying the legislature and administration.

New bill would require notice when moving state jobs

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Juneau Representative Beth Kerttula has introduced legislation requiring the state to provide notice when it moves jobs from one community to another.

Redoubt volcano still rumbling, but so far no eruption
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Redoubt volcano is continuing its grumpy behavior. Located 50 miles west of Kenai and 100 miles Southwest of Anchorage, Redoubt has been very active in recent days. Alaska Volcano Observatory volcanologist Dave Schneider says over the last 16 hours, there’s been a good increase in seismic activity.

Lifelong learning Institute at UAF gets $1,000,000 endowment
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been granted a million dollar endowment. The Institute, which provides low cost courses recently received the gift from the Osher Foundation, which it’s named for.  Institute Director Barbara Lando says the foundation created by billionaire banker Bernard Osher, has been providing funding since 2005.