Palin complaints dismissed

Gov. Sarah Palin says she has been cleared in two ethics cases. Palin first announced the dismissal of one case in a Twitter feed posted Tuesday, writing: "Yet ANOTHER ethics complaint filed & dismissed! Unfair to AKns that state dollars are wasted dealing w/these malicious complaints.

BP Prudhoe Bay enters $29.5M settlement deal

BP Prudhoe Bay Royalty Trust said May 12 it entered into a $29.5 million settlement agreement with BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., a unit of British oil company BP PLC. BP Exploration will pay the $29.5 million to the trust. The settlement, signed May 8, is related to production cuts at the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska following oil spills on March 2, 2006, and August 6, 2006, BP Prudhoe said.

Seat belt campaign kicks off

The state Department of Transportation and other agencies are kicking off a seat belt enforcement campaign. The spotlight on the Click It or Ticket campaign began May 18 will last through May 31. Cindy Cashen, Alaska Highway Safety Office administrator, says police and Alaska State Troopers will focus on ticketing unbelted people in vehicles, especially at night.

Regents OK indigenous studies doctoral program

University of Alaska Regents have approved a new doctoral program for indigenous studies. The program was developed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks' School of Education and College of Rural and Community Development. It will be offered at the university's Fairbanks campus.

Stimulus spending invested in volcanoes

Weeks after Mount Redoubt erupted in Alaska, the Interior Department is spending some of its first stimulus dollars to improve volcano monitoring. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on April 10 that the department will use $15.2 million to modernize volcano warning systems in one of its first projects to be funded by the stimulus measure.

Kingpin ordered to pay victims

A judge has ordered a former sex trafficker to pay $3.6 million in restitution to 11 victims. Don Arthur Webster, an Anchorage resident also known as Jerry Starr, was convicted last year of multiple counts of sex trafficking. According to testimony at his trial, Webster operated sham dating services that were fronts for prostitution.

Bethel residents want to allow sale of alcohol

A group of Bethel residents want to remove restrictions on the sale of alcohol in the town. The group on Friday is expected to begin gathering signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Bethel voters in 1977 prohibited alcohol sales, but residents can import and possess a regulated amount of beer and liquor.

State Bar withdraws motion on Stevens’ license

The Alaska Bar Association has withdrawn its motion to suspend the law license of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, now that the federal corruption case against the Alaska republican has been dismissed. The bar filed its motion with the state Supreme Court after Stevens was convicted in October on seven felony counts of violating ethics rules.

Waterman trial set for September

A murder trial for a Craig woman accused a second time of plotting with two former boyfriends to kill her mother has been set for September in Ketchikan. Rachelle Waterman, who is now 20, pleaded innocent to seven counts, including first-degree murder, at an April 7 arraignment in Ketchikan for the 2004 death of Lauri Waterman.

Alaska Senate approves hike in minimum wage

Alaska's minimum wage would get a boost under a bill that has passed the state Senate. Lawmakers voted 17-2 April 8 to set the state rate to 50 cents above the federal minimum wage starting next year. The state's rate would get a smaller bump this July from $7.

Statewide Briefs

Palin names Schmidt as succession choice Alaska's Corrections commissioner is second in line to head state government behind Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell under a revised succession plan announced by Gov. Sarah Palin. Palin recently appointed Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt to succeed Parnell if the office of lieutenant governor becomes vacant.

Statewide Briefs

University Regents decry recent NCAA development The UA Board of Regents unanimously backed a resolution criticizing a change to the NCAA's Division II playoff format. The change keeps Alaska and Hawaii from hosting full eight-team tournaments. The measure received Gov.

Statewide Briefs

Alaska veterans get a reversal on a reversal The lives of 25 elderly Alaska Natives are currently of great interest to politicians around the nation. In mid-January it came to the state's attention that the Department of Defense was planning to cease military retirement pay to 25 Alaska Native Elders on Feb.

Statewide Briefs

Juneau hit with two power outages The capital city got hit with two power outages on Jan 23. Both struck early Friday morning. The city is being powered by diesel fuel thanks to a recent avalanche knocking down a transmission line linked to a hydroelectric plant.

Statewide Briefs

Panel nixes Palin pay increase A state commission has reversed it recommendation to grant a pay raise to Gov. Sarah Palin, but the panel is still pushing for a $15,000 average raise for state legislators. The State Offi cers Compensation Commission had earlier recommended salary increases for Palin, top state department heads and lawmakers.

College Bound

Prop 8 protests rage on In Sacramento, Calif., the largest crowd yet gathered at the State Capitol for the fi fth day in a row protesting the recent rulings of Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in the state. Prop 8 has brought together over 5,000 activists who have gathered in front of the Capitol to protest the rulings and to voice their anger for the ruling.

Campuswide Briefs

Proposed new sports arena gets a correction In November, TNL reported that a $65 million proposal for a new sports arena at UAA was included in the Board of Regents' proposed capital budget. It was sent on to Gov. Sarah Palin and is awaiting her approval before it is sent to the legislature.

Statewide Briefs

While the economy sinks, bank robberies rise The Wells Fargo Bank on East 5th Avenue in Anchorage was robbed last Friday. The subject was described as a white male in his late 30s, about 5'8, slender build, with short brown hair. The subject entered the bank and demanded money from the teller, but did not show or threaten to have a weapon.

Nationwide Briefs

Calif. gay-marriage ban creates legal uncertainty Last week Californians passed a new ban on gay marriage, overturning a prior ruling by the California Supreme Court that allowed same-sex couples the right to wed. Legal experts said it is unclear whether an attempt by gay-rights activists to overturn the prohibition had any chance of success, and whether the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California over the past four months are in any danger.

Statewide Briefs

Palin denounces critics as cowards Several days after Palin returned to Alaska from her two-month odyssey as GOP vice president nominee, she unleashed a litany of complaints aimed at her critics. She called her critics cowards and jerks for chiding her anonymously, and insisted she never asked for the $150,000 wardrobe purchased for her use on the campaign trail.

News Briefs

A last push to deregulate The Bush administration is working hard to enact a wide array of federal regulations before a new administration takes over in January and while Congress is not in session to veto. The regulations would weaken government rules that currently protect consumers and the environment.

Staewide Briefs

New ethics complaint filed against Palin With Troopergate barely behind her, Governor Sarah Palin faces yet another abuse of power charge. The complaint alleges that Palin used her official position as governor for personal gain, violating a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

Nationwide Briefs

Pipeline Burst at Prudhoe Two BP well pads producing 5,000 barrels of oil per day were forced to shut down last week, when a pressurized gas pipeline blew apart. Investigators found that corrosion had attacked the outside surface of the above-ground pipe at the point where insulation jackets were missing.

Nationwide Briefs

A Uranium Rush strikes the Grand Canyon Due to a renewed interest in nuclear power, uranium claims surrounding the Grand Canyon have skyrocketed. According to the Department of the Interior, uranium claims are now over 1,000 - just five year ago there were ten.

UA Statewide Briefs

Beluga's get another chance When the federal government placed the beluga whale on the endangered species list last week, it spurred criticism from both sides of the aisle. "This endangered listing could result in hugely expensive new requirements to Anchorage's wastewater treatment, which the EPA has long determined do not affect belugas," Mark Begich, Anchorage mayor, said in a written statement.

News Briefs

Report finds governor abused power In a report released Friday by prosecutor Steve Branchflower, Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power by pushing for the firing of state trooper, Michael Wooten. Wooten is the ex-husband to Palin's sister. Subsequently, the public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan was fired after several attempts to stonewall him into dismissing Wooten.

News Briefs

Solar design and homebuilding workshops target energy costs Upcoming workshops offered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service will offer ideas and techniques to help residents lower their home energy bills. Learn how to tap into the sun's energy at a solar design workshop offered Saturday by Extension energy and housing specialist Rich Seifert.

News Briefs

UA Legislative Internship Program deadline nears The application deadline for the Alaska Universities Legislative Internship Program, beginning January 2009, is Thursday, October 2 at noon. For application packets and information, please contact the UAA Coordinator, Patrick Cunningham, School of Social Work, 106 Gordon Hartlieb Hall.

UA Statewide Briefs

Alaska Day brings guests Join us on Oct. 18 for two very special Alaska Day events! Alaska 2058: The Next 50 Years. A panel of experts in various subjects will engage in a conversation about the future of our state. Based in Anchorage at the UAA campus, the panel discussion will be videoconferenced to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast where audiences will be allowed to ask questions and discuss their own visions for the next 50 years.

News Briefs

Learn about applying for major scholarships Wednesday, Sept. 24, 3:30 p.m. Rasmuson Hall, room 303 The University Honors College will be hosting a workshop to help students learn about the opportunities to apply for scholarships for graduate school, research and studying abroad on Wednesday, Sept.