Alaska News Nightly: March 15, 2010

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Small Plane Crashes After Taking Off From Kodiak
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
A small plane crashed early this afternoon after taking off from the Kodiak airport. The three people aboard the plane- a pilot and two passengers- are safe after an hours-long ordeal where the plane was standing nose-down in some trees across from the end of the runway.

AK State Defense Force Dispute Brewing
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
A dispute over the role of the Alaska State Defense Force has been bubbling for some time, although recent changes in command at the state Department of  Military and Veterans Affairs has brought it to the foreground.

House Reviewing Gas Line Bill
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
A bill that would kick-start work on an in-state gas line from the North Slope to railbelt communities is getting its final review before going to the House floor.

Mackey Continues to Build on Iditarod Lead
Tim Bodony, APRN
Away from the spotlight that is directed towards the frontrunners of the Iditarod, other races are taking place further back on the trail.  Mushers in the middle or back of the field might be trying to climb up a few positions in the standings, or they might be challenging themselves just to keep moving down the trail.

SE Holding Hearings on Sealaska Land Bid
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Staff with the U.S. Senate and Natural Resources Committee is in Southeast last week taking public testimony on the Sealaska Native Corporation’s effort to complete its land selection. Meanwhile, the small community of Port Protection on Northern Prince of Wales Island is opposing the Sealaska Native Corporation’s effort to select land on that part of the island and wants U.S. senators to come to Southeast Alaska and hear their input.

Young Still Wants Earmarks
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington
Republicans in the U.S. House agreed last week to a one year ban on all earmarks.  But Alaska Congressman Don Young – a Republican – says he does not support his party’s decision.  Young says he’ll keep trying to secure funding for specific projects.

Processing Plant Taking New Approach to Find Workers
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
An Alaska seafood processing company that specializes in high-end products is taking an innovative step to find qualified employees.

Kenai Students Get New Photo Gear
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
Students from across the southern Kenai Peninsula are about to get their hands on some high-end digital photography equipment, thanks to the efforts of the Homer and Soldotna Rotary Clubs, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and a collection of private