Alaska News Nightly: April 10, 2012

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Rep. Carl Gatto Dies

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

State Representative Carl Gatto of Palmer, died Tuesday at the age of 74.

Mat-Su Officials Saddened By Rep. Gatto’s Passing

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Matanuska Susitna Borough officials are saddened by Gatto’s passing.  Patty Sullivan, now a spokesperson for the Borough and a former radio reporter who followed Gatto’s initial election campaigns, says he had a homespun sense of humor.

Governor Parnell ordered flags lowered to half-staff tomorrow. They will be returned to full staff on Thursday.

‘Moving Weapon’ Bill Passes State House

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Texting while driving will be illegal if the Senate concurs with a bill that passed the House Tuesday.

Sen. Begich Gauges Support For Arctic Deep Water Port

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Senator Mark Begich met with federal and state military and business leaders in Anchorage Monday to gauge support for an Arctic deep water port to be built somewhere in Northwest Alaska. Begich, who chairs a Senate subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries, has long been a supporter of an Arctic port, which he says will open up economic opportunities for Alaska.

ACLU Presents Disenfranchised Voter Affidavits To Anchorage Assembly

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The ACLU of Alaska says more than 150 voters have reported disenfranchisement during last week’s municipal election in Anchorage. They say the voters that contacted them represent at least 54 separate polling places where they encountered problems. The ACLU is presenting affidavits from the disenfranchised voters to the Anchorage Assembly tonight, and pressing for an independent investigation.

Report Calls For Expansion Of Alaska Dental Health Therapist Program

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

A new report from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation attempts to make the case for expanding Alaska’s Dental Health Therapist program to other parts of the country. It looks at how the mid-level dental provider model is working in more than 50 countries around the world. But the American Dental Association has long been opposed to Dental Health Therapists in the U-S. And the new report won’t reverse that opposition.

Operation Arctic Care Comes To Norton Sound Region

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

Three-hundred military personnel are in communities throughout the Norton Sound region this week, and next, for Operation Arctic Care. Arctic Care has been happening in Alaska for several years. This year, it’s a partnership between Norton Sound Health Corporation and several branches of the military.

Legislature Opposes Lynn Keogh Board Of Game Appointment

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The legislature Tuesday approved all but one of the people appointed by the governor to serve on state boards and commissions.   Members also had no opposition to the choice of Michael Gerraghty to be the state’s next Attorney General.

Organizers Expect Large Turnout For Arctic Man

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The snow is deep and the purse is big, so organizers expect a good turnout at this year’s Arctic Man.  The unique race in the Hoodoo Mountains near Paxson brings together snowmachiners, skiers and snowboarders for Alaska’s biggest annual party.

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