Alaska News Nightly: November 29, 2007

BP gets fined $20 million for last year’s north slope oil spill; 2 clinics for low-income patients may have to close, and troopers uncover a cocaine-smuggling plot. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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BP fined $20 million for Prudhoe Bay oil spill

David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Oil giant BP pled guilty today to a federal environmental crime stemming from an oil spill at Prudhoe Bay last year.The company was sentenced to three years probation, and will pay $20-Million dollars in fines for violating the federal Clean Water Act.

DNC hopes to access Federal dollars for coastal impact assistance
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The state department of Natural Resources coastal management program is working on a plan to access nearly 2 and a half million dollars per year over the next 4 years for coastal impact assistance.

Cruise ship initiative sponsors ratchet up pressure on the state

John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
The Ocean Rangers program that was passed in 2006 as part of the state’s cruise ship initiative has yet to be fully implemented. And the wastewater discharge permit which the law mandates hasn’t been created either. With what he sees as the state’s apparent lack of interest, one of the authors of the initiative has filed a request for all public documents regarding the programs.

2 Clinics for low-income patients may have to close

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Financial concerns are forcing the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center to consider shutting down one of its two clinics in the city. The center currently serves uninsured and low-income patients. Its the only medical practice accepting new Medicare patients in the Anchorage bowl right now.

Illegal immigrant proposal swept aside by Anchorage Assembly

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
In a surprise vote, the Anchorage Assembly has postponed indefinitely consideration of a proposed ordinance to capture illegal immigrants in the area. Those troubled by the proposal said it was unnecessary and divisive.

Cocaine plot uncovered

Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Alaska State Troopers announced they uncovered a plot to transport cocaine to Tanana from Fairbanks on a commuter airplane. Working on an anonymous tip the state troopers identified two airline employees in Tanana who planned to have the cocaine shipped to them.

Mayor of Fairbanks offers plan to balance the city budget
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
The new Fairbanks mayor,Terry Strle, is having to make some tough choices to balance the budget. Strle released her proposal yesterday.

Restoration sale of timber could be a sign of things to come

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
A small timber sale on the Sitka road system this fall was the first of that the local ranger district hopes is many so-called “restoration” sales. Seventy-seven trees were taken from the Starrigavan Valley, a once-magnificent watershed clearcut over three decades ago.