Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2000

Senate passes aid bill for timber towns

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would provide additional aid to towns dependent on timber.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Frank Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, would provide aid to rural communities for education and road construction.

Money will go to 28 communities in Alaska that previously received a large share of federal timber receipts, which have dwindled with the downturn in the timber industry over the past eight years.

Petersburg and Sitka would each get about $1.4 million , Juneau would receive $1.2 million and Ketchikan would get $560,000.

August primary drew record low turnout

JUNEAU - Voter turnout in last month's primary election was a little more than 17 percent, the lowest since records have been kept, according to certified results released by the Division of Elections.

With few high-profile races, the Aug. 22 primary apparently held little appeal for voters. Candidates for president did not appear on the ballot and the terms of the governor and both of Alaska's U.S. senators are not up this year.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Don Young had no opponent in the Republican primary and only token challengers from other parties. Also, many races for the Legislature had no primary contest. "We were hoping it would be 20 percent," said Virginia Breeze, a spokeswoman for the Division of Elections.

Breeze said last month's turnout was the lowest since 1976, when the state began keeping turnout statistics.

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