Alaska News Nightly: June 18

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor match braces during a meeting on Thursday.

Photo by Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

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Supreme Court Denies Claim to DNA Testing
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The Supreme Court has rejected the argument of an Alaskan convicted of a brutal crime that he has a constitutional right to DNA testing. The court split, 5 to 4, that a convicted criminal does not have a federal right to access crime scene DNA for post-conviction testing.

Legislature Has Response to Supreme Court DNA Decision
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Alaska Legislature already has a bill addressing the Supreme Court’s decision ready for next year’s session. The measure introduced in March by Anchorage Republican Bob Lynn would set up a system giving the state courts the final decision on post-conviction review.

Murkowski Meets with Supreme Court Nominee
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) met with Supreme Court Justice Nominee Judge Sotomayor on Thursday.

Filmmaker Ken Burns Lauds National Park Service
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has turned his attention to a subject that hits close to home for many Alaskans: The National Parks. Alaska holds two-thirds of the total acreage of the entire US National Park system. But the story of how those parks were came to be, in this state and across the country, is steeped in controversy.

Sitka Serves as Backdrop for New Disney Film
Ken Fate, KCAW – Sitka
The new Disney movie “The Proposal” opens in theaters nationwide this weekend. The film stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds and is set in Sitka. While the production company traveled briefly to Alaska last fall to shoot locations and background, most of the photography occurred in Rockport, Maine, which was dressed up to resemble Sitka.

Alaska Should Consider Producing North Slope Propane
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state is looking to the private sector to produce propane from North Slope gas.  The Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority pitched the idea as a business opportunity and fuel alternative, at a conference in Fairbanks. ANGDA CEO Harold Heinze says the easily compressible form of natural gas has long been viewed as a North Slope resource that would become available with a gas pipeline, but economic conditions are inspiring a new plan.

Alaska Pacific University Hosting Bible Institute
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
As the debate about Anchorage’s anti-discrimination law goes on, there have been repeated references to the Bible and what it says about homosexuality.  It just so happens that there’s an expert on that very subject in Alaska this week for a week-long Bible Institute, at Alaska Pacific University.