Alaska News Nightly: October 3, 2011

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Rhetoric Heats Up in Advance of “SOS” Vote
Daysha Eaton, KDLG – Dillingham

The ‘Save Our Salmon’ Initiative goes before voters in the Lake and Peninsula Borough tomorrow, and the information war around the proposed Pebble mine that the initiative is aimed at stopping, is heating up.  Conservation groups are releasing ads, activists are posting online videos … and the group behind the mine, the Pebble Partnership flew members of the media up to their mine site recently.

Barrow Will Vote on Dry Status
Associated Press

The question of whether to allow sales of alcohol will be on the ballot tomorrow for voters in Barrow. A yes vote would allow the first legal local liquor sales in the city in more than a decade. Barrow currently is a “damp” community.

Survey Shows High Rate if Sexual Violence in Anchorage
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A new survey shows more than 50 percent of women in Anchorage have been the victim of some type of sexual violence in their lifetime.

Chukchi Lease Sale Stands
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

The federal government is upholding the 2008 oil and gas lease sale in the Chukchi Sea. The sale was challenged in court and last year, a judge required the Interior Department to complete a supplemental environmental impact statement and then decide whether to vacate the sale. Environmental groups are disappointed in the decision, saying drilling should not move forward until more is known about the Arctic Ocean environment.

Lawmakers Study Texas Prison Reform
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

State Legislative Committees today (Monday) began looking at the steps needed to cut back on the cost of prisons at the same time as maintaining a “tough-on-crime” reputation.   The House and Senate Finance Subcommittees on Corrections heard of strategies in other states – most predominantly Texas,  where state Representative Jerry Madden recalled how he was part of a bipartisan approach to prison reform.

Meeting Participants Weigh Controversial Halibut Plan
Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

For the past week, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council has been meeting in Unalaska. No action there has been more controversial than the announcement that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to put off the implementation of a new halibut catch share plan.

Eight Indicted in Gun Theft
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A Palmer grand jury has indicted  nine people  in relation to the theft of 38 handguns from a Wasilla store.  Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen, says the nine, ranging in age from 30 years to a juvenile of 16,  have a collective total of 72 felony charges against them.

Wasilla Residents Work to Recall Councilman
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Wasilla city councilman Steve Menard is the target of a recall effort.  The town’s city clerk  has approved an application for a recall election sponsored by members of an organization called Conservative Patriots Group.

Diabetes Program Shows Success
Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Diabetes is epidemic among Native Americans and rates have continued to increase since the 1960s. At the National Indian Health Board annual conference in Anchorage last week, participants discussed ways to convince Congress to keep the Special Diabetes Program for Indians going, in an era of tight federal budgets. The $150 million dollar program provides
grants to help prevent and manage diabetes among American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Longtime Fairbanks Pilot Honored
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

An Alaska aviation legend is being honored for a lifetime of service.  A new east ramp entrance at Fairbanks Airport was recently dedicated to Cliff Everts, and as KUAC’s Dan Bross reports the longtime Fairbanks pilot got special recognition again last week.