Alaska News Nightly: February 10, 2009

State lawmakers hear testimony from residents in Northwest Alaska on reigning in the high cost of energy. Plus, a mushing treadmill is helping a scientist figure out what makes sled dogs so exceptional.

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Attorney General Talis Colberg resigns
Dave Donaldson, APRN and Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Attorney General Talis Colberg has resigned his office in the wake of a state Senate action Friday that found nine state employees in Contempt.  The Senate found those employees who were advised by the Department of Law had not responded to legislative subpoenas during the investigation of the events surrounding the firing of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

Permanent Fund should rebound – in time

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
A major investment consultant for the state says he anticipates the Permanent Fund should turn around the losses of the past few months – but it will take time.

State projections predict downturn in state unemployment

Kells Hetherington, KDSP – Sand Point
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently released several different sets of projections suggesting a downturn in the state’s economic outlook.

Rockslide causes disruption in Ketchikan

Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
A massive rockslide on north Tongass highway blocked traffic for hours this morning and nearly took out a Ketchikan hillside home. State highway crews spent all day cleaning up rock and trees strewn over the highway.

Obama Administration puts Bush offshore development plan on hold

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The Bush Administration’s last-minute plan to open up more of America’s waters to offshore oil and gas development is now on hold.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that his department will conduct an immediate review of offshore resources, and collect public input until September.

Anchorage school board candidates come out in big numbers

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
More than two dozen candidates are vying for an open seat on the Anchorage School Board.

Governor appoints new Rural Advisor

Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
John Moller, who grew up in Unalaska and lived in the town until 1995, is the new rural advisor to the governor. Moller fished crab and cod for more than 10 years before managing a small fleet of fishing boats and the for-profit subsidiaries for the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association. He also worked for 6 months as the vice president of development for Adak Fisheries in 2007 and 2008. He still owns and runs a small number of fishing boats. He says his experiences living and networking around parts of Western Alaska will help him in his new post.

Million dollar grant will support Hepatitis B research at ANTHC
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will be collaborating with University of Washington researchers on a $1 million grant to study Hepatitis B. ANTHC clinical and research services director James Williams says the award is an acknowledgement of the work being done at the Consortium.

Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation look for patients to help curb costs

Adam Kane, KDLG – Dillingham
The Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation is asking for help from those who use their services. Corporation officials says in the current economy, its imperative that people use insurance and other assistance to help pay their hospital bills so limited Indian Health Service
dollars will stretch.

Sitka high-school students visit Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
The cultural resource center’s virtual museum at the Smithsonian allows anyone, anywhere, a 360 degree view of museum artifacts, provided the viewer has access to the internet. Students from Pacific High School in Sitka recently traveled to Washington DC and got first-hand experience archiving those artifacts for the Smithsonian.