Alaska News Nightly: August, 12, 2009


Photo by Christopher Ho, KYUK – Bethel

U.S. Secretaries Arne Duncan, Steven Chu, Shaun Donovan, and Tom Vilsack listen to Elder Peter Jacob at the Bethel Town Hall Meeting.

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Judge Allows Private Emails for AK Officials
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
An Anchorage judge on Wednesday declined to put an immediate stop on the governor’s office from conducting public business on private e-mail accounts.  A Superior Court judge did not grant a summary judgment against the state in a case challenging former-governor Sarah Palin’s practice of using her personal address instead of her state accounts.

Education Secretary Meets with Local Educators
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Education Secretary Arne Duncan met with Anchorage school officials at a brief question and answer session on Tuesday in a gathering hosted by Cook Inlet Tribal Council.

Anchorage Assembly OKs Gay Rights Ordinance
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Tuesday night the Anchorage Assembly passed a municipal ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Spill Claimants Encouraged to Cash Checks
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
A number of claimants in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case who have received punitive damages from the company haven’t cashed their settlement checks yet. Last week a notice appeared on the Exxon Qualified Settlement Fund website, urging plaintiffs to cash their checks.

Juneau Nonprofit Has Plans for Former Mine
Rebecca Sheir, KTOO – Juneau
In Juneau, a new nonprofit has big plans for the site of what was once the world’s largest gold mine. Between 1882 and 1922, the Treadwell Mine yielded nearly $70 million in gold. That’s equivalent to roughly $1.5 billion today.

Cabinet Members Visit Bethel
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK- Bethel
Arne Duncan and three other cabinet Secretaries flew to Bethel today. Their flights were delayed by 3 hours, so their agenda was pushed back throughout the day. But Y-K Delta residents still had about an hour to meet with the Secretaries in a town hall meeting before the entourage flew out to Hooper Bay.

Wildfires Could be Sign of Climate Warming
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
This summer’s massive wildfires are likely a symptom of climate warming.  That’s the take from University of Alaska Fairbanks forest ecologist Glenn Juday. He says the individual occurrence of high fire years is not unusual, but their increasing frequency is.