Alaska News Nightly: October 23, 2009

Dancers 10 23 09 AFN

Photo by Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

The AFN Convention activities got underway on Tuesday when the Imamsuat Dancers performed during the Elders and Youth Conference.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via email, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio (MP3)

Food Security Hot AFN Topic
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The issue of food security and revising the subsistence management system continued to be a major focus of the Alaska Federation of Natives convention today. Former state senator Kim Elton who is now the Interior Department’s senior advisor for Alaska Affairs wasted no time addressing the mandate from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that subsistence management would be a better system in the coming decades than it has been in the past three.

Bethel Buying Time on Alcohol Vote
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The Bethel City Council is trying to buy time with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board before they approve liquor licenses in the City. Many on the council believe that Bethel residents did not intend to allow for local sales when they voted to revoke local option. The Council is now proposing an advisory election to see what Bethel residents want now.

Senate Passes Funds for Territorial Guards
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The US Senate passed the final version of a Defense funding bill on Thursday which includes retirement pay for Alaska Territorial Guard members who served during World War Two.  It now goes to President Obama for his signature.

DNR Asks Judge to Reconsider Decision on Pebble
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Department of Natural Resources on Friday asked a Dillingham Superior Court to reconsider a decision 10 days ago concerning a challenge to the Pebble Mine.  Judge Fred Torrisi denied a motion to dismiss a case brought by the Nondalton Tribal Council and other plaintiffs who said Gov. Frank Murkowski’s administration’s reclassifying of land around the mine for development was improperly done.

Anchorage Releases Results of Energy Conservation Test
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Municipality of Anchorage officials and regional utilities have released preliminary estimates of Wednesday night’s energy reduction test.

Coghill Heads to Senate
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
House Rules Chairman John Coghill, of North Pole, is on his way to the Senate.  Senate Republicans approved his appointment by Governor Sean Parnell (R) two weeks ago to replace Gene Therriault, who quit the Senate to join the Governor’s staff.

Entrepreneur Credits AFN with Jumpstarting Business
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An interior Alaska Native businessman is debuting new clothing designs at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention trade show.  Rico DeWilde of Fairbanks owns Hydz clothing, a maker of t-shirts, sweatshirts and pants that feature native art work.  DeWilde credits AFN with jumpstarting his business three years ago.

Wasilla Teens Call Attention to Organ Donation
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Wasilla High School track stars are holding the torch high to kick – start a two year campaign  to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.  The first leg of the Step By Step Torch Run took runners from the Matanuska Valley to Anchorage on Friday. Campaign organizers plan to continue through Canada, and the Lower 48, then on to Argentina.

Juneau Athletes Now Subject to Drug Testing
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Juneau high school athletes are now subject to mandatory, random drug testing.  A new school district policy went into effect on Monday, with the start of winter sports season. Juneau’s drug problem among teens first became big news when coaches brought the problem to the school board last spring. Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears head football coach Bill Chalmers even threatened to quit if something wasn’t done. Now he’s retiring.