Alaska News Nightly: October 10, 2007

Tonight we look at the role the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) might play in preserving Alaska’s polar bear population, as their ice habitat is threatened by climate change. Plus, a team of divers locates a 140-year-old shipwreck on the bottom of Cook Inlet. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Berkowitz running for 2008 U.S. House seat
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Democrat Ethan Berkowitz today added his name to the list of candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in next year’s Democratic Primary.

Could polar bears be saved using ANWR lands?
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
A long-time foe of oil drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has thrown a new argument into the debate. At a congressional hearing yesterday, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said climate change could make the coastal plain a lifeline for polar bears, which face serious survival threats because of the projected disappearance of Arctic sea ice in coming decades.

1860s shipwreck explored under Cook Inlet

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
139 years ago a ship hauling soldiers to southcentral Alaska to build a fort sunk in Cook Inlet after it grounded on a reef south of the Kenai Peninsula. A team of divers led by Anchorage book store owner Steve Lloyd found the remains of the vessel over the summer diving season.

Who’s melting Glacier Bay glaciers?
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
A high-speed catamaran carrying tourists up Glacier Bay is not the sort of place you’d expect to turn into a crime scene. But KTOO’s John Ryan found one of sorts on board the Fairweather Express II. With apologies to the TV series Law and Order, he brings us this true-crime story from the icy heart of Glacier Bay.

Teacher recruiting and retention a complex matter for Anchorage
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage school board members heard this week that being in Alaska has almost as many disadvantages as advantages when it comes to teacher recruitment.

Low youth voting rates driven by perceived lack of relevancy
Leah Mann, KCAW – Sitka
Turnout for this year’s municipal election was light in Sitka. Even though local election officials don’t track age demographics, it’s a fairly safe bet that turnout among young voters was especially bad. Student reporter Leah Mann is one of those Sitka twenty-somethings who did not vote.