Alaska News Nightly: January 25, 2010

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Download Audio (MP3)Supreme Court Decision Prompts Response in Juneau
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The reaction to last week’s Supreme Court decision that could open up political coffers to corporate money is mounting in the state capitol this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced that it will hold at least one hearing on the subject to help determine the decision’s effect on Alaska politics

Harris Drops Out of GOP Race
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Former House Speaker John Harris has withdrawn his name from the list of candidates running in the Republican gubernatorial primary this year. Harris filed for the office immediately after former governor Sarah Palin resigned from the office last July.   He says the party now has three other strong candidates in the race, and he still has a job to do for his district this year.

Bodies Found in Sand Point Crash
Kells Hetherington, KSDP – Sand Point
Two bodies have been pulled from the submerged wreckage of the ACE Air Cargo Beachcraft 1900 that crashed on take-off from Sand Point late last Thursday night.

New Plan for Relocating Newtok Released
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The massive bureaucratic effort to relocate the village of Newtok is about to become clearer after a new planning grant was released last week. Scores of State, Federal and Tribal agencies are involved with the project.  Now the Federal Minerals Management Services is funding a comprehensive plan to sort it out.

Census Begins in Alaska
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
The 2010 census got started on Monday in the remote northwest community of Noorvik. US Census Bureau director Robert Groves himself traveled to Noorvik to kick off the census north of the Arctic Circle.

Kookesh Angers Craig City Council over Funding Remarks
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Some Craig City Council members are upset over recent comments by their state senator. They claim Sen. Albert Kookesh, a Democrat from Angoon, suggested that state funding for community projects could be jeopardized if the council opposed Sealaska lands legislation. Kookesh is the board president of Sealaska.

Girdwood Snowboarder Named to Olympics Team
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA-Anchorage
Girdwood’s Callan Chythlook-Sifsof was named to the Olympic snowboard team on Monday.  A solid performance in the last race before selection apparently pushed her in the right direction.  Meanwhile, cross country ski champ Kikkan Randall got a home town sendoff on Monday as she heads to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Consumers Want More Information on Large Purchases
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Increasingly Alaska consumers want to be more informed before deciding large purchases or contracting major services.

Alaskans to Receive More Unemployment Benefits
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Alaskans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits will qualify for six additional weeks under the federal “Tier 4” extension. The federal extension already provided 14 extra weeks to all states. But only states with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent or higher for the months of October, November and December would qualify for a 20 week extension. Tom Nelson, director of the Employment Security Division at the state Department of Labor, says Alaska was able to use a clause that allowed the state to average the unemployment rate for those three months.

Homer Resort at Risk of Losing Liquor License
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Kenai
The Land’s End Resort in Homer is among four Peninsula businesses that find their liquor licenses at risk.