Alaska News Nightly: July 22, 2009

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Palin May Have Violated Ethics Laws
The Associated Press
An independent investigator has found evidence that Gov. Sarah Palin may have violated ethics laws by accepting private donations to pay her legal debts. The report obtained by The Associated Press says Palin is securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust.

Fishermen Protest Pollock Practices
Jesse Zink, KNOM – Nome
A fishing protest by a group of Marshall fisherman late last month is the latest development in an ongoing conversation in Western Alaska about the relationship between the high-seas Pollock fishery, regional development groups, and subsistence fishermen.

Senate Cuts Funds for F-22s
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska’s Senators failed to block cuts to the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program on Tuesday. On a vote of 58 to 40, the Senate approved a move to cut funding for seven F-22s.  President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not want the additional fighters – and said defense money could be better spent elsewhere.  The jets would have come with a price tag of $1.75 billion.

Progress Being Made on Well at Chena Hot Springs
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Progress is reported on geothermal exploration well being drilled at Chena Hot Springs. The resort is already powered by 165 degree water, and the project is aimed at finding hotter water for large scale power generation by going deeper underground.

Juneau Assembly Hears Plans for Harbor
Rebecca Sheir, KTOO – Juneau
The Juneau Assembly’s heard about a plan this week to deposit 30,000-cubic yards of sediment from Douglas Harbor into Gastineau Channel.  It’s part of the City and Borough’s $3.5 million harbor reconstruction.

Deportations Up in Pacific Northwest
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Deportations of illegal immigrants in the Pacific Northwest are up this year, compared to last year.  US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the amount is greater by 10 percent over last year’s numbers.

Marine Officials Unsure of How to Use Stimulus Funds
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Marine highway officials have not decided how they’ll use $3 million in federal stimulus funds allocated to Hoonah’s ferry terminal. They say the grant will help move forward a $9-million renovation of the northern Southeast village’s marine and shoreside facilities.

A Strong Cultural Philosophy Supports Alaska Native Heritage Center
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Part Two. A look behind the curtains of operations at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. What is the cultural philosophy that underlies the center’s educational programs for young Alaska Natives?