Alaska News Nightly: September 1, 2010

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via email, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio (MP3)

NRSC Pledging Support to Miller; DSCC Doesn’t Reveal Plans for McAdams
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The national group that works to get Republicans elected to the Senate is congratulating Joe Miller on his win in the primary. The National Republican Senatorial Committee put out a statement last night applauding Miller as its nominee, and pledging its support.  Just days ago Miller was accusing the NRSC of what he called “meddling” in the campaign on Murkowski’s behalf.

But now that he’s the presumed nominee, NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh says his group is willing to help Miller with staff and funds, but they’ll wait to see if he requests it.

The national group that helps Democrats get elected to the Senate says it believes Scott McAdams is a strong candidate, but it would not say whether it plans to send money and support staff up to Alaska.  A spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says it never talks about fundraising strategy.  The DSCC would not go on tape with APRN about the Senate race or its level of support for McAdams.

Senator Mark Begich says he fully plans to ask the DSCC and others to get involved and contribute to the McAdams effort.

Begich says he thinks the race is wide open, and will likely be tightly contested in the end.

Begich says that since McAdams won the Democratic primary last week, his campaign has garnered tens of thousands of dollars in donations from Alaskans.

Poll Shows Close Race for Senate Seat
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
The first poll taken after Senator Lisa Murkowski conceded the race to Joe Miller shows a tight race between Miller and McAdams.  Rasmussen Reports surveyed 500 likely voters on the phone just hours after Murkowski conceded the GOP primary to Miller Tuesday night. It shows Miller just six points ahead of McAdams, 50 to 44. Two percent of those surveyed are undecided and 4 percent said they’d support a different candidate. KCAW’s Ed Ronco spoke to McAdams a few hours before Murkowski’s concession about the campaign ahead.

Miller Credits Supporters for Primary Win
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Joe Miller hit the ground running today with a flurry of national media interviews.  As he moves on to the general election, Miller says he’s gratified to be the Republican candidate.

Miller credits many supporters with helping secure the primary win.

Miller says he believes he’ll be able to raise the money needed to fund the general election campaign against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Scott McAdams of Sitka.  He says he hasn’t talked to the Tea Party Express about additional support.  The Express poured a lot of money into the primary, but Miler says he doesn’t expect the national group to be involved in the general election.

Why the Republican Primary Was Much Closer Than Predicted
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
In late July, Ivan Moore Research found Joe Miller polling more than 30 points behind incumbent Lisa Murkowski. At the time, Moore told APRN it didn’t look like Miller could even get close to Murkowski in the primary with numbers like that. But what a difference a few weeks make.

Moore says a number of factors led to Millers surprise win, including the type of primary in Alaska.

Alyeska Publishes Report on Pump Station 9 Spill
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An Alyeska report on May’s oil spill at Pump Station 9 sheds light on its cause, and raises concerns about pipeline operations.

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Forces Calista President onto Administrative Leave
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta’s Native Corporation, Calista, has put its long-time President on administrative leave, because of a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

Memorial Service Scheduled for Slain Hoonah Officers
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
A memorial service has been scheduled for the Hoonah Police officers killed last weekend in what authorities say was an ambush by a lone gunman.

Interim City Administrator Bob Prunella says Officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka will be honored in a ceremony next Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in the Hoonah High School gym. Prunella says he’s heard the memorial will be attended by law enforcement personnel from across the country.

The suspect in the police shootings, 45-year-old John Marvin, Jr., was arraigned in Juneau Tuesday.

Rats Eliminated from Aleutian Island
Sam Wright, KDLG – Dillingham
All of the rats on Rat Island in the Aleutian Islands have been killed as part of a large habitat restoration project.

Captured Brown Bear Cubs Staying in Sitka for Now
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Three brown bear cubs captured in Sitka this August will remain in town indefinitely. Officials with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game report that several out-of-state zoos initially interested in the cubs have found bears elsewhere. Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear is making arrangements with the state to house the bears permanently.