Alaska News Nightly: September 7, 2010

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Murkowski is “Still in This Game”
Associated Press
A week after conceding the GOP primary, Senator Lisa Murkowski says she’s not a quitter and is “still in this game.”

Murkowski told The Associated Press today that she’s been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters, asking her not to leave the race. She says she’s been humbled and is listening – and weighing her options.

“What I’m looking at is my state and the future of my state for my kids. So, I have not made that determination that I’m going to give up. I’m not a quitter, never have been. And I’m still in this game,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski met briefly today with the Libertarian candidate, David Haase after friends of hers – without her direction, she said – approached his party, asking if they would consider a Murkowski candidacy. She said she had an interesting discussion with Haase but made clear she’s not interested in changing her “political stripes.”

Besides a third-party run, Murkowski also could seek a write-in candidacy, which she called high risk. Or, she could decide to stay out of the race.

She gave no timetable for a decision – and her fate as a Libertarian candidate lies with party leaders who earlier voted against putting her on the ballot.

A party’s candidate would have to withdraw by September 15 so someone else could run in the November election.

She has until five days before the general election to decide on a write-in run but acknowledged a decision needs to be made soon. She said she’s listening to Alaskans and giving “considered thought.”

Law Enforcement Community Rallies Around Hoonah
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
The tiny Southeast village of Hoonah has received condolences from around the world for the recent shooting deaths of Police Officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka. The pair was ambushed by a lone gunman August 29 as they chatted with each other and their families on the town’s Front Street. John Marvin, Jr. has been charged with their murders, and is currently being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau on $1 million bail.

Hundreds plan to attend a memorial service for Wallace and Tokuoka on Wednesday in Hoonah. Among the mourners will be dozens of police officers from Alaska and the rest of the country.

As KTOO’s Casey Kelly reports, the law enforcement community has rallied around the town in the days since the shooting.

State Investigates Possible Gas Line Route
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Geologists will get an underground look at a suspected fault this week as part of a state led reconnaissance of the route of a gas pipeline to Canada.  State Neo-tectonic Geologist Rich Kaoehler says the excavation project near Cathedral Rapids on the Tanana River west of Tok, allows investigators to peer back in geologic time.

Kaoehler says the fault site is one of many on the north side of the Alaska Range the state is evaluating along the potential gas line route between Delta Junction and the border.  He says the process starts with an aerial recon.

Kaoehler says the area has a lot of low level seismic activity and that trenching done by the state on other fault sites to the east and west, show evidence of earthquakes as long as 10,000 years ago.  He says the data derived from fault excavations will be used by gas line engineers.

Excavation is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Health Officials Prepare for Flu Season
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
It’s an annual phenomena as regular as turning leaves and snowlines descending from the mountain tops – the fall and winter flu season.   Health professionals are busy preparing for this year’s flu outbreaks.  At the same time, they’re looking for more effective ways to reach Alaska’s various ethnic and racial groups.

Opening of Fairbanks Hatchery Postponed
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks
The opening of the state’s newest sport fish hatchery here in Fairbanks has again been postponed.

Planning for Next Year’s Veggie Garden
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
Although fall is in the air, we can still plan ahead for next year’s vegetable patch.  A new gardening manual written specifically for Alaska has been published by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.

Adventure Fuels Ski Tour Through Wrangell Mountains
Joe Stock, APRN – Contributor
Part 2 of 2

And now, back to the Wrangell Mountains, where Anchorage-based mountain guide Joe Stock is halfway through a long ski tour with two friends. They set off into the Wrangells with little information, craving adventure. In last night’s story, they reached a point high in the mountains and became stalled by avalanche and crevasse conditions.

Grandmothers Come Together for Good of Earth
Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage
Indigenous elders from around the world are planning a gathering in Anchorage to promote unity, peace and respect for the earth and all its inhabitants. Representatives of the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers came to Anchorage this weekend to make initial preparations, and to raise funds.