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.

The investigation also found that Palin’s husband, Todd used the governor’s office and resources “to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fire.

“She had the authority and power to require Mr. Palin to cease contacting subordinates, but she failed to act,” wrote Branchflower.

The report finds Palin abused her power, an impeachable offense, however the prosecution said it will not be filing criminal charges.

In a statement issued from the Office of the Governor, the report vindicated the governor of all charges, in that she “acted within her constitutional authority to remove ‘at will’ employees.”

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“Alaskans should consider the report in total rather than relying solely on the findings.”

Connecticut says gay couples can marry

Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions. The ruling comes just weeks before Californians go to the polls on a historic gay-marriage ballot question, the first time the issue will be put before voters in a state where same-sex couples are legally wed.

In 2005, Connecticut legalized same-sex civil unions.

Grant to learn how to deal with fetal alcohol syndrome

This month UAA’s Behavioral Health Research and Services received more than $1 million for a three-year project to prepare and train professionals and students alike, on how to deal with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder.

FASD is caused by prenatal consumption of alcohol. Serotonin production is suppressed by alcohol, which leads to numerous physical and mental disabilities in the child.

Alaska has the highest reported incidents of FASD in the nation. Approximately 1.5 per thousand births meet the definition of FASD.

The state also has the highest alcohol consumption rater, per capita in the nation.

UAA’s training will be headed by the Arctic FASD Regional Training Center. The center will train professionals and students in a wide array of health professions on not only how to promote prevention of FASD, but also how to treat victims.

Alaska Becomes a State

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, but instead of celebrating the 50 year anniversary of statehood next year, UAA is starting early. For the month of October, UAA will be hosting a wide array of events. From politics to art, authors, historians, educators and politicians will be making appearances all over the campus. Open to the general public and free, the month of October may promise to be both educational and entertaining without a tuition fee.