Alaska News Nightly: January 2, 2008

Oil breaks $100 a barrel. Plus, Juneau bars are now smoke free, and a making older homes more energy efficient in Fairbanks 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.

$100 Oil – mixed bag for Alaska
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The price of oil briefly eclipsed  $100 per barrel for the first time today. The news is a mixed-blessing for Alaskans, who rely on oil industry taxes to fund 85-percent of the state budget, but also face the highest energy costs in the country

Adrift Bering-Sea freighter up and running again
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalasaka
A freighter from Thailand that broke down in the western Bering Sea on Monday with 25 crew members on board got up and running again Tuesday night after drifting for about a day.

Put it out! Juneau bars now smoke free
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Smoking in a Juneau bar is now illegal. Beginning today, both smokers and bar owners could be fined for violating the ordinance that extends Juneau’s smoking ban to bars.

Making older homes more energy efficient
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Fairbanks based Cold Climate Housing Research Center is leading an effort to make older homes more energy efficient.  Center Research Director John Davies says high energy prices are driving an initiative to replace outdated technology.

Asian Tsunami – 3 years ago today

Rex Gray – Palmer
Three years ago today, Indonesia was in the midst of chaos from one of the world’s deadliest disasters. More than 200-thousand people died in the region when a 9.3 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a series of devastating tsunamis. The relief operation is still underway and in November, Palmer resident Rex Gray went to help.

New Anchorage artery drawing traffic

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
It’s been two weeks since the new Elmore Road opened and offered southeast residents of the city an alternative route to midtown and Northeast Anchorage.  Since then, the road’s proven popular–perhaps too much so

Salsa pioneers preparing to move outside
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Salsa impresarios Heather Haugland and Antonio Diaz have  been teaching Latin dance, organizing Latin concerts, and performing Latin music and dance in Juneau for five years. The salsa scene they’ve built up is unusual for a town of Juneau’s size, so far north of the border. Now some Juneau dancers wonder whether the steamy tropical dance will wither on the vine after the energetic couple moves away