Alaska News Nightly: May 27, 2009

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Roads Money Under Special Scrutiny
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Stimulus money headed to tribes in Alaska through the Bureau of Indian Affairs roads program is under special scrutiny because of
a recent report that says the  program is mismanaged. However supporters of the roads program say the problems are at the federal level, not centered in Alaska.

Stimulus Money to Finance Alaska Research Vessel
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
A new, 242-foot research vessel is on the way for the University of Alaska’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Science. To be paid for with federal economic stimulus money, it will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University out of Seward.

Cooler Temps Helping Battle With Wildfires
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Cooler temperatures and higher humidity are aiding crews battling wildfires in the interior. The biggest blaze, the Broken Snowshoe fire, north east of McGrath doubled in size to nearly 12 thousand acres Tuesday, but State Fire Information Andy Alexandrou says west winds are now pushing flames away from the populated area along the Kuskokwim River.

State Corrections Officers Suing
The Associated Press
The union representing state corrections officers is suing Governor Sarah Palin’s administration over failed contract arbitration. The Alaska Correctional Officers Association filed its lawsuit ton Wednesday. The lawsuit claims the Palin administration sabotaged negotiations by taking too long to send its funding requests to the Legislature.

State Hiring Freeze to End in June
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The State of Alaska’s hiring freeze will be rescinded on June first. It’s unclear just how much money was saved since it went into effect
five months ago.

Geothermal Energy Drawing Interest
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A form of geothermal energy that’s seldom tapped Alaska is drawing interest in Fairbanks and  some interior contractors are proving that “heat pump” technology can work even in the interior.

Sealaska Closes High-Tech Firm
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The Sealaska regional Native corporation has closed one of its out-of-state businesses. Synergy Systems was a high-tech firm that lost out to the secession.

Artist and Educator Grounded in Aleut Cultural Tradition
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Patrick Lind is a contemporary artist and educator thoroughly grounded in Aleut cultural tradition. The Homer-based carver and painter spent a week in Sitka participating in the Native Art Demonstrator program at the Sheldon Jackson Museum.

Prince of Wales Hosts Marathon
Jay Marble, KRBD – Prince of Wales
Over the Memorial Day Weekend the 9th annual Prince of Wales Island marathon was held. Runners, walkers bikers and even some skateboarders covered the 26-miles from near-Hollis to the ball park in Craig.