Alaska News Nightly: September 1, 2008

The national discussion over Sarah Palin‘s selection as the Republican VP nominee continues to grab headlines, including today’s news about Palin’s daughter Bristol. Meanwhile the Republican convention is blown off course by a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico — a hurricane that’s also drawing National Guard support from Alaska. Plus we look at the Digital TV transition planned for early next year and hear from Alaska’s municipal leaders about the needs they plan to take to the legislature for support. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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VP pick Palin announces daughter’s pregnancy, requests privacy

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd announced today that their 17 year old daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant. The McCain campaign says it knew about the pregnancy when Republican nominee John McCain picked Palin to be his running mate last week.

Republican convention delayed, Palin working on speech
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Republican National Convention got underway today in a shortened session as hurricane Gustav hit Louisiana. Tom Scheck is a reporter covering the convention in St. Paul for Minnesota Public Radio. He says Palin is in St. Paul, working on her convention speech. And he says for the most part, delegates don’t seem too concerned about Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy.

Palin hires lawyer to handle Monegan/Wooten investigation matters
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Governor Palin has hired a private lawyer to defend her in the investigation over the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. The Legislature is investigating whether Palin dismissed Monegan after he refused to fire the State Trooper who divorced Palin’s sister.

Did Sarah Palin flip-flop on ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ for campaign gain?
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin briefly put a controversial Ketchikan bridge back into the national spotlight as she became the Republican vice presidential candidate Friday.

Alaska Air National Guard headed to hurricane Gustav area
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
About 30 Air National Guard members from Kulis Air Base in Anchorage are on their way to Mississippi to help in the aftermath of hurricane Gustav. The Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing is also deploying two Pave hawk helicopters to the region, at the request of the state of Louisiana.

Fuel costs top local government problem lists statewide
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
The summer legislative meeting of the Alaska Municipal League brought together various city, municipal, and borough leaders from throughout the state. During two days in Wrangell last week, the group began to identify the most pressing needs to be brought to the upcoming legislative session.

FCC promotes Digital TV conversion in Alaska, only 168 days left
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Federal Communication’s Commission sent one of its members to Alaska last week to talk about the upcoming switch to digital television. As of February 17th 2009, all full power broadcast t.v. stations have to change from analog to digital transmission.

Tongass forest management plan moving ahead, rejecting appeals
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
The top leadership in the U.S. Forest Service is standing by the latest amendment to the management plan for the Tongass National Forest. Chief Gale Kimball’s decision to uphold the plan means rejection for a broad range of appeals filed by community, environmental, tribal and timber industry interests.