Alaska News Nightly: August 8, 2007

Communities across the state are still grappling with hundreds of budget vetoes Governor Palin handed out earlier this summer. Plus, the Yukon River village of Marshall is strengthening its effort to keep alcohol out of the town. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Governor’s vetoes continue to draw legislative and constituent complaints
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Legislators are still uncomfortable with some of the projects the Governor vetoed from this year’s capital projects budget. In cutting $226 million in state expenditures she said the rejected projects simply didn’t fit into her priorities — education, transportation, public safety and public health. Legislators who had supported those projects say the governor failed to communicate those priorities.

Destruction and milkshakes in Sitka
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
A chocolate milkshake made the difference for Tess Heyburn, when a small plane crashed into and destroyed her Sitka home on Monday afternoon. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey met recently with Heyburn to discuss the tragic loss of a family from New Jersey and how her home seems to have contained a disaster that could have been far more costly.

Village of Marshall boosting fight against alcohol importation
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
The Yukon River village of Marshall is taking a renewed stand at enforcing its alcohol control laws, as the community struggles against an influx of illegal booze.

Innovative program using basketball to preserve Tlingit language
Ed Schoenfield, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Some Southeast students are learning to play basketball in Tlingit. Sport camps sponsored this summer by the Sealaska Heritage Institute are mixing language skills and court time. More camps may be offered next year.

Mile-long zip line course pulling in tourists to Hoonah
Weld Royal, KTOO – Juneau
This summer large cruise ships are expected to make 79 stops at Icy Strait Point. That’s more than double the number in 2004 when the big tourism project opened near the village of Hoonah. The business is also expected to turn a profit for the first time this year.

Metlakatla completes 10-year road project, hopes for economic benefits
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
After 10 years of construction, Metlakatla celebrated the dedication of the Walden Point road project on Monday. The 14.3-mile road will connect Metlakatla with the north end of Annette Island. Community leaders hope the road will promote economic development.

Barrow prepping artificial football field for star-studded August 15 opening
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A construction crew is preparing to install artificial turf on America’s northernmost football field. North Slope Borough School District spokeswoman Karen Russel says the new plastic field is a big deal for the second year Barrow Whalers.