Alaska News Nightly: April 28, 2010

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Murkowski Doubtful US Will Ratify Sea Treaty This Year
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and experts in Arctic policy are pessimistic that the U.S. will ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty this year, even as Norway and Russia say their countries were able to hammer out an Arctic border dispute this week thanks to the Treaty.

ACLU Files Suit to Stop Campsite Raids
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a suit against the Municipality of Anchorage.  The suit seeks to stop any further campsite raids where authorities can seize and destroy the property of the homeless. Just before filing, ACLU explained its caseoutside the Superior Court building in Anchorage

Former Dancer Awaiting New Murder Trial Gets Bail
The Associated Press
Mechele Linehan, convicted in the 1996 murder of Kent Leppink and awaiting a second trial, has been approved for bail. Superior Court Judge Philip Volland approved bail of $250,000 today.  That means that Linehan will have to come up with $25,000, money that her lawyer said would be hard to come by.

Gun Advocates Rally at UAA
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
A few dozen people gathered on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus this morning to object to the school’s policy forbidding guns. But the event turned out to be more of a press conference for the organizers, than a protest.

Initiatives Bill Requires More Financial Disclosure
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Ballot initiative sponsors will have to reveal their funding while they’re still gathering signatures, under a bill on its way to the governor’s desk. They’ll also have to hold public hearings around the state.

State Releases News Sustainable Energy Report
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state has released a new report that lines out ways for communities to move toward more sustainable lower cost energy.  State Energy Coordinator Steve Haagenson  introduced the Alaska Energy Pathway report yesterday at a Rural Energy Conference in Fairbanks.

Anchorage VA Healthcare System Moving to New Offices
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Anchorage based Alaska VA Healthcare system and regional office is in the process of moving into new facilities and VA Alaska spokeswoman Marcia Hoffman-Devoe says the current facility located at Regional Hospital on Debarr road in Anchorage will be shutting down routine lab and pharmacy services after this Friday, April 30th.

Mat-Su Manager Duffy Resigns
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Matanuska Susitna Borough manager John Duffy has resigned his post.  Duffy’s move surprised the Borough Assembly, who received Duffy’s resignation letter late Tuesday evening.  The resignation comes on the heels of allegations regarding a utility contract at the new Goose Creek Correctional Facility.

Bethel Trappers Oppose New Ban on Traps, Snares
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Trappers in Bethel came out in force to oppose a proposed ban on traps and snares.  After a lengthy public comment period the Bethel City Council voted not to introduce the measure at their last meeting.