Alaska News Nightly: December 19, 2007

Governor Palin signed the state’s new oil tax into law today.   Plus, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits the western Aleutian Islands, and a convicted former legislator appeals his conviction.  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.

Palin signs new oil tax into law
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The ACES plan could increase taxes paid by the oil industry by more than $1.5 billion per year.

Convicted lawmaker Kott appealing case
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Kott was found guilty of conspiracy, bribery, and extortion in September, and was sentenced earlier this month to six years in federal prison.

Bush authorizes sweeping national energy plan

David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon must be reached by the year 2020.  There are also Alaska-specific provisions in the energy bill, including federal grants to encourage new sources of energy in rural parts of the state.

7.2 magnitude quake rocks the Aleutians
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Western Aleutian Islands at about 11:30pm last night.

An interview with Kikkan Randall

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage skier Kikkan Randall is relaxing in Toronto with her fiance, but her adrenaline is still pumping from last weekend’s World Cup race.

New rules should be easier for fishermen
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The National Marine Fisheries Service will soon make changes to the rules that help Alaska longline fishing vessels avoid catching too many seabirds.

Fairbanks to see even more Japanese tourists
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Japan Airlines is increasing the number of direct flights to the city beginning later this month.

Sudden resignation a mystery at Doyon

Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
Shareholders for the Alaska Native regional corporation Doyon are asking questions about the recent resignation of its President and CEO.

Oil giant BP makes huge donation
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage’s library renovation and expansion campaign received a big boost when BP-Alaska announced the company is giving $840 thousand toward the city’s libraries.

Cold, darkness not wearing on Barrow residents
Earl Finkler, KBRW – Barrow
The residents of Barrow had been enjoying warmer than average weather, then temperatures dipped to 20 below.