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Alaska Native

U.S. Senate candidates Mark Begich and Dan Sullivan woo Alaska Native voters

As KYUK's Ben Matheson reports, this year's U.S. Senate race in Alaska is shattering spending records, with tens of millions of dollars from outside Alaska going mostly toward TV ads. With less than two months to go before the general election, the two candidates are also seeking an edge on the ground in rural Alaska.

His campaign says Sullivan changed his mind after he read the measure

Before the election primary, in which he faced Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, U.S. Sen. candidate Dan Sullivan opposed Ballot Measure Three, which would increases the state's minimum wage by $2 to $9.75 per hour in two years.  His campaign says Sullivan changed his mind after he read the initiative. Sullivan says he still opposes a federal minimum wage increase. His opponent, Sen. Mark Begich, supports a bill in Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to just over $10 an hour.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA 90.3 FM

In 2009-2010, Alaska ranked among the top 10 states in several categories of illegal drug use, something law enforcement and court officials would like to change, but not at the expense of Constitutional rights. That's the message participants heard Wednesday at the "Reclaim Alaska: 2014 Substance Abuse Summit" hosted in Anchorage by the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Association. Police dogs, searches, anonymous telephone tip lines, and employees' consents to searches are all useful tools in interdicting illicit drugs.

Alaskans will find out the size of the Permanent Fund dividends in a week. Dividends based on the five-year investment earnings are distributed annually to eligible Alaska residents. KTUU reports three Polaris School students estimated this year's PFD amount at $1,909.  

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A federal district court has sided with four villages who filed suit saying the state needs to do more to protect voting rights of non-English speaking Alaskans.  The state of Alaska said because the languages are not written, it was doing enough by providing oral translations. However, attorneys for the plaintiffs says poll workers are not directed nor paid to provide oral translations at the polls.

Gov. Sean Parnell vetoed a bill that would have scrubbed Courtview - the state's onlne criminal records database - of any charge that did not result in a conviction. The Alaska Court system has adopted a rule that would wipe the records of any person who was arrested but not charged with a crime.

Hundreds of people turned out in Anchorage Tuesday to comment on a proposal that would severely restrict development of the massive gold-and-copper Pebble mine in the Bristol Bay region Opponents of the mine say it poses to great a threat to salmon. Others say the project should be allowed to move through the permitting process before any action is taken to curtail development.

Joaqlin Estus

  About a hundred people Tuesday visited the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association offices in Anchorage to celebrate the publication of a book with hundreds of recipes for traditional dishes, as well as historic and contemporary photographs of food gathering and cooking, stories and much more. Author Suanne Unger says she and nine collaborators, plus many more contributors, worked on the book for six years, compiling recipes, interviewing elders, and searching for photographs. The CDC helped pay for the research and publishing, which allows APIA to sell the book for $25 per copy.

Joaqlin Estus / Koahnic Broadcasting

Testifying in a voters' rights case, Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai says villages with sizable populations of limited English speakers beat the state's average turnout in the 2012 Presidential election. However, absentee and early ballots are not counted in turnout numbers. She was testifying in a case in which villages and elders say the state failed to provide complete translations of voting materials into Native languages. The state says it has met legal requirements.  

State election officials testifying in court said they work hard to help Native language speakers and to recruit bilingual outreach workers.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill asks SBA for information that would show if 2011 requirements for Alaska Native corporations engaged in federal contracting are working.

The comment period on a proposed rule that would allow the Dept. of Interior to accept applications to place land in Alaska in trust.

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