Alaska News Nightly: October 14, 2009

art exhibit APU oct 14 2009

Photo by Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage

The Mariano Gonzalez exhibit at Alaska Pacific University is being removed from campus on Thursday.

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Parnell Wants to Revitalize VPSO Program
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Governor Sean Parnell announced that he plans on revitalizing the Village Public Safety Officer Program.

Governor Offers Update on Rural Energy Plans
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
During his brief address, the governor also gave an update on the administration’s plans for helping rural Alaska with their energy needs.

Renewable Energy Fund Seeking More Applications
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The state’s Renewable Energy Fund is taking applications for more money. Utilities, municipalities, tribes and other entities are eligible to investigate, design or build projects to use renewable energy.

APU President Wants Art Exhibit Removed From Campus
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
An art exhibit at Anchorage’s Alaska Pacific University has stirred up strong feelings on campus.  APU’s president, Doug North, says the exhibit must come down, but others say removing it is censorship.

Finance Committee Hears Testimony on University Budget
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The State Senate Finance Committee is holding a rare meeting in Fairbanks today. Committee member, Fairbanks Senator Joe Thomas says the session is focused on the University of Alaska budget.

Nome Leader Passes Away
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
Life long Nome resident and long time Democrat lawmaker Richard Foster has died.

Celebrated Aniak Fire Chief Dies
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Longtime Aniak fire chief Pete Brown, died of cancer on Tuesday. Brown was 64. His death came just three days after residents in the middle and upper Kuskokwim region held a Celebration  in his honor at the Aniak high school. Brown is credited with saving countless lives, not only from medical emergencies, but also from suicide and depression.

Oil Spill Money Delayed
Jay Barrett, KXMT – Kodiak
The distribution of $466 million in Exxon Valdez Oil Spill interest payments has been delayed. Fishermen and other plaintiffs have been waiting six weeks for Judge H. Russel Holland to sign the order authorizing the payments.

Fishing Vessel Sinks off Sand Point
Kells Hetherington, KDSP – Sand Point
A fishing vessel sank near Sand Point early Wednesday morning. Willow resident Efery Reutov was piloting the vessel when it ran into trouble.

Republicans Criticizing Health Bill
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Republicans in the US Senate are decrying the health care bill passed by the Finance Committee on Tuesday. Only one Republican, Maine’s Olympia Snowe, crossed party lines to vote for it.  Now leading Democrats in the Senate will meld the Finance Committee version with one passed over the summer by the Health Committee. Alaska’s Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski sits on the health panel and voted against that bill.  She not much happier with the latest committee version.

Hoonah Lumber Company Battling Tough Economy
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Icy Straits Lumber is one of the few Alaska mills with no shortage of wood. The Hoonah company has plenty of logs on hand and the rights to cut more when it’s needed. But that doesn’t means life is easy for its owners or workers. The nationwide economic downturn has slowed sales of lumber as well as the company’s prepackaged cabin kits.