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.
She said the Republican National Committee paid for the designer clothes and accessories.
Republican Party lawyers are still trying to determine exactly what clothing was purchased for Palin at such high-end stores as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
She particularly lashed out at the anonymous Republican campaign sources quoted on Fox News. The sources claimed Palin did not know that Africa was a continent not a country. They also said she did not know the three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement – Canada, Mexico and the United States.
She said it was “cowardly” that the sources did not allow their names to be used.

Alaska’s own a possible choice for new administration

According to an AP article last week, former Alaska governor Tony Knowles is being considered for a post with the new presidential administration next January.
According to Democratic officials, President-elect Obama is considering an array of Washington insiders and outsiders for top administration posts.
Obama has said that he will not be making any Cabinet-level appointments immediately. His deliberations are being tightly held by his closest aids, but that hasn’t stopped lists from circulating. Some are surprising, such as former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell as possible education secretary.
Knowles is noted as being a possible contender for interior secretary.
According to an interview with the Daily News Miner in Fairbanks, Knowles said his nomination was all speculation, and that he has had no such conversation with Obama’s inner circle.

Never get between a man and his coffee

Last week the man dubbed the “coffee shop bandit” in Juneau was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Duwaine Price, 39, was sentenced in connection with a robbery and related assault at Capital Brew in the Capital Service station in downtown Juneau last year.
Assistant District attorney Jack Schmidt said the judge in the case considered factors such as not using a gun during the crime to have four years suspended on the sentence.
Price must attend an 18-month residential substance abuse treatment program in Palmer. After that he will be jailed at the state contract prison in Arizona or at the Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward.

Alaska Native Tribal Health gets grant

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The American Cancer Society is giving a $627,000 grant to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
The money will support a program called “Developing Arts-based Cancer Education with the Alaska Native People.”
The money will be used to lower cancer rates for Alaska Natives.
The consortium is developing the arts-based educational tools for Alaska Native care providers and people in their communities. Officials say it is their hope it will be used to help people understand more about cancer and encourage them to get screenings.