Alaska News Nightly: November 21, 2007

Governor Palin asks Alaska how to spend oil-tax windfall. Plus, Bill Bobrick is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday. And drunk-driving fatalities are down in Alaska. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Governor asks how to spend new oil revenue
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin is seeking the public’s input on what Alaska should do with the extra revenue that will be generated by the state’s new oil tax plan.

Bobrick prepares for sentencing
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
It’s looking like convicted former-lobbyist Bill Bobrick will spend roughly 1 full year in prison. Bobrick will be sentenced early next week. He’s the man who funneled bribes to convicted former-lawmaker Tom Anderson, and later became a key government witness in the corruption trial against him.

Drunk-driving fatalities down in Alaska
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Drunk driving deaths in Alaska are continuing a downward trend. Compared with other states with similar populations such as North Dakota and Wyoming, Alaska was significantly lower.

Oil spill in the Tongass Narrows
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Clean-up crews are on the scene of an oil spill that occurred this morning in the Tongass narrows across from Ketchikan International Airport. The spill occurred when a container of a soil and petroleum product fell from an Alaska Marine Line barge. Officials estimate that 100 gallons of the 1000 gallons of product is petroleum.

Thankgsiving for the needy grows in Fairbanks

Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
Local Fairbanks charities are gearing up to serve a much larger crowd for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

New oil-tax legislation effects gas as well
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A provision in the new oil tax legislation evens the levy on natural gas produced for in state use. Under the old tax regime, only Cook Inlet received a special reduced rate, but an amendment to the new petroleum profits tax by Fairbanks Senator Joe Thomas levels the natural gas tax at 5 percent statewide.

Survey shows little potential useage of a Lynn Canal Highway
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
A new statewide survey shows most Alaskans would not use the proposed Lynn Canal Highway to get to the state capital. Survey results show 81 percent of respondents said they would not use the proposed Juneau highway to access the Legislature.

Higher use of wood could fuel pollution
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
High oil prices mean more people burning wood to keep warm in Alaska this winter. Department of Environmental Conservation Air Quality Program manager Tom Chappel says wood stoves have contributed to past air pollution problems in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau.

Gillnet summit scheduled for Haines

John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
Southeast commercial gillnetters will hold a summit in Haines in early December.

Struggling to keep the Aleut language alive
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The Aleut Language- or Unangam Tunuu – is in danger of going extinct. Only about seventy fluent speakers remain and most are elders, who may not be around to pass on their skills much longer. Aleut leaders are working to preserve the language, but they’re worried it may be too late