Alaska News Nightly: December 31, 2007

Members of the Senate minority ask Senator Cowdery to resign. Plus, BP settles with the state on an old tax dispute, and a humorous look back at the year’s biggest stories. 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.

BP settles tax dispute with state
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Oil giant BP agreed today to pay the State of Alaska $379 million dollars in taxes that the two sides had been disputing for more than five years. The details of the dispute and agreement must be kept secret under Alaska law, but what is known is that the tax disparities occurred between the years of 2000 and 2002.

Senator Cowdery asked to resign
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Members of the State Senate Minority are asking Anchorage Senator John Cowdery to resign from office for his alleged involvement in the ongoing VECO corruption scandal.

Examining Mount Spurr as a source of energy
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
The state of Alaska has taken another step forward towards harnessing the untapped geothermal potential of Mount Spurr.

Capital funding for AMHS
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Governor Sarah Palin’s capital budget funds two new ferry terminals, one in Southeast and one in Southwest Alaska. But it includes no money for new Marine Highway ships.

The Power of One: Anchorage Doctor building hospital in Sudan

Duncan Moon, APRN – Anchorage
An Anchorage doctor is working to set up a new hospital in a remote and impoverished village in Southern Sudan. Dr. Jack Hickle recently returned from a trip to the town. He’s now back in Anchorage, raising money for the project which he hopes to start implementing as early as next fall.

Alaskan oil spill responder looks back on San Francisco Bay spill
Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
It’s been almost two months since 58,000 gallons of bunker oil spilled from a container ship that crashed into the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Cleanup continues, but crews have thinned. And responders have returned to their homes across the U.S., including Alaska.

Some rural Alaskans may have to wait for subsistence halibut eligibility

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has been trying to address a regulatory glitch that excludes some clearly “rural” residents from qualifying for “rural” subsistence fishing privileges.

Making traditional parkas in Bethel
Kenny Steele, KYUK – Bethel
Plenty of people still wear traditional Yup’ik fur parkas in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region, but the art of hand crafting the labor intensive garment has nearly disappeared over the years

Looking back at 2007
Jeff Brown, KTOO – Juneau
The coming New Year offers a chance to look back on all the biggest news stories of 2007. In Alaska, the year was especially memorable.