Alaska News Nightly: February 24, 2009

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio (MP3, 30 min)

Governor agrees to reimbursestate for children’s travel expenses
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin will reimburse the state for costs associated with nine trips taken by her children. The Governor’s office says it will amount to about seven thousand dollars. Palin must pay the state within 120 days, according to a settlement agreement that was the result of an ethics complaint filed against her with the Alaska Personnel Board.

Schnuelle sets new record in winning Yukon Quest

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Sebastian Schnuelle has his first Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race title. And he did it in record time. Schnuelle completed the 1000 mile race from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, to Fairbanks at 10:44 this morning. The German from Whitehorse posted a time of 9 days, 23 hours and 20 minutes. That eclipses Lance Mackey’s 2007 mark by more than three hours.

Kikkan Randall takes silver in the Nordic World Ski Championships

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage skier Kikkan Randall claimed a silver medal today in the skate sprint at the nordic World Championships in the Czech Republic. It was the best finish ever for an American in the history of the competition.

Armed Services Committee chairman concerned about National Missle Defense system

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The Chairman of the Senate Armed Service’s Committee, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, continues to voice concerns about the National Missile Defense system, part of which is based in Alaska.  It has components at the Kodiak Launch Complex, and at Fort Greely in Delta Junction.

Legislature takes first steps towards Darfur investment divestiture
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The state’s investment officers – including the retirement board and the Permanent Fund – are one step closer to getting rid of any holdings they have left in companies that do business with the Sudan. The House State Affairs committee has unanimously approved a bill requiring divestiture as long as international and Congressional sanctions are in place because of the genocide in that country’s Darfur region.

Alaska tribes urged to act quickly on stimulus funds

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Alaskan attorney Heather Kendall-Miller who works with the Native American Rights Fund is being considered for a position in the Obama White House. The position would be within the Domestic Policy office and would have a title along the lines of Native American Policy Advisor.  Kendall-Miller is reluctant to talk about the job because it is not fully developed and she has had no firm offer yet.

Tourism outlook mixed for 2009

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The price of gas is down nationwide.  The travel industry – both large cruise lines and smaller Alaska owned businesses – are offering visitors cost saving bargains.  Are these efforts likely to mean Anchorage and Alaska can expect a good tourist season after all? According to a pair of travel industry speakers at yesterday’s Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon, the outlook is mixed.

Commemorative “Serum Run” heads for Nome

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Mushers and snowmachiners took off yesterday on the commemorative serum run from Nenana to Nome. Legendary mountaineer and musher the late Cornell Norman Vaughn started the commemorative run in 1997 to honor the 1925 lifesaving trip that mushers took to deliver medicine to diphtheria stricken Nome. In 1925 mushers took the medicine from the train in Nenana and took off for Nome, it was the only way to get the serum there at the time.