Alaska News Nightly: October 23, 2008

The jury in the Ted Stevens trial struggles with a divisive personality clash…as the Judge walks a careful line. Plus, Legislators investigate claims of energy price gouging in Alaska . Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Jury in Ted Stevens trial struggles with personality clash

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Jury deliberations wrapped up their second day today in the trial of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens with no verdict.  They halted temporarily midday, when 11 of the jurors asked that the 12th be removed.  The situation appears to be resolved, but it’s part of a part of a pattern of intense deliberations.

Judge in Stevens trial walks the line

Duncan Moon, APRN – Anchorage
Judge Sullivan had to walk a careful line in making his decision about how to handle the jury problems today.

AFN opens convention in Anchorage
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention kicked off today at the new Dena’ina Convention center in downtown Anchorage. The convention draws thousands of Alaska Natives from across the state. This year’s theme is Reaching for the Stars, Native Aspirations for the 21st Century.

Legislators investigate claims of energy price gouging
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Legislators are beginning to consider whether the state needs any new tools in dealing with high fuel prices.  In the second in an ongoing series of hearings on the disparity between Alaska and lower-forty eight gasoline and  diesel  prices , the House Judiciary Committee today  heard from  the Department of Law’s investigation into price-fixing among distributors and refineries.

Sitka warned to remain alert after theft of date-rape drug
Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
Sitka police have issued a public safety alert after 18 bottles of Ketamine, commonly referred to as a date rape drug, were stolen from a local clinic.

Juneau commits to avalanche forecasting program

John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Avalanche season is just around the corner in Juneau, where snow is starting to accumulate on the mountains above town. City officials hope to hire an urban-avalanche forecaster this week. The Juneau Assembly approved $55,000 for the avalanche-forecasting program. State and federal funds will provide another $55,000.