Alaska News Nightly: September 27, 2007

The U.S. Senate looks at the high victimization rate of Native Women. Plus, the state and federal government work to protect the Iditarod trail for generations to come. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Violence against Alaska Native women attracts U.S. Senate attention
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
An advocate for Alaska Native women who’ve been sexually assaulted appeared today before the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee as it tackles the high victimization rate of Native women. An Amnesty International report put out earlier this year found that Native women are at least 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other U.S. women. The rate is even higher for Alaska Native women.

Alaska State Troopers settle abuse lawsuit
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The State has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who claims a State Trooper brutalized him when he was arrested nearly five years ago. Alakunak resident Kevin Patrick will receive $500,000 from the state.

Senate poised to approve U.N. Law of the Sea treaty
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Efforts are again underway in the U.S. Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Top Bush Administration officials today told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee it’s in the best economic and national security interests of the U.S. to approve the treaty.

Southeast voters preparing yays and nays on ballot measures
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast voters will cast ballots on jewelry stores, water fluoridation and seafood processors in October’s municipal elections. More than a half-dozen measures will go before voters from Ketchikan to Juneau.

Alaska attempting to acquire Iditarod Trail easements
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state is trying to protect the Iditarod Trail. Cliff Larsen with the Department of Natural resources says the agency is working to secure easements for the historic route.

Biomass energy project emerging in Interior
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Chena Hot Springs Resort and a partner group are moving ahead on a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of biomass energy in interior Alaska.

AFN and Anchorage Chamber promoting rural business development
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
This year, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce is putting new effort into its rural partnership program. On Monday, the chamber invited Alaska Federation of Natives President Julie Kitka, who described a business competition designed to promote much needed economic vitality in rural Alaska.

Veterans of 10th Mountain Division remember WWII from Juneau
Katie Bausler, KTOO – Juneau
The 10th Mountain Division suffered one of the highest casualty rates of World War II. But where others failed, the 10th made way for Allied victory in Italy. Members would later pioneer the ski industry and modern outdoor gear companies back in the U.S. Juneau is home to a few veterans of the skiing and climbing troops.