Alaska News Nightly: December 18, 2007

A new population estimate for Cook Inlet Belugas is encouraging, but scientists aren’t ready to say the species is recovering from several years of steep decline.  Plus, Mat Maid employees reflect on the last day’s of the state owned dairy. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Cook Inlet Beluga population nears 400
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The annual count for the depleted Cook Inlet Beluga were released today, but researchers aren’t ready to say the population is truly recovering.

Senator demands ‘Coconut Road’ investigation
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is calling for an investigation into $10 million that was earmarked by Congressman Don Young while he was head of the House Transportation Committee in 2005.

Mat Maid workers brace for closure
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Urban dairy workers are wondering where to find employment, and rural dairy producers are wondering what they’ll do with all that milk.

Feds will pay millions for Native care neglect
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation has settled its on-going lawsuit with the Indian Health Services.

Law would keep cruise ships in Canadian ports longer
Alec Dickinson, KRBD – Ketchikan
A new customs and border patrol regulation being considered for Hawaii may have repercussions in Southeast Alaska.

Fairbanks shelter gets national recognition
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Loving Companions Incorporated, a volunteer run shelter for unwanted animals received the “Shelter of the Week Award” from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Anchorage school propositions total $43 million
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
If the assembly agrees, the request for capital bonds will go before voters in next April’s municipal election.

Car thefts on the rise in the interior
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
It’s that time of year again, as the mercury drops, vehicle thefts rise.