Alaska News Nightly: January 18, 2008

The  Alaska Senate revamps its leadership structure, and takes a look at the problem of village public safety.  Also, the village of Nikolski struggles to get fuel, and the ALCAN 200 snowmachine race is ready to get underway tomorrow. . Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Alaska Senate revamps leadership structure

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Senate today reorganized its leadership structure following Anchorage Republican John Cowdery’s resignation as Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee. Cowdery has been ill and his return to the capitol has been delayed. In his place, the Senate chose Kodiak’s Gary Stevens, the majority leader, to take over the job of deciding which pieces of legislation will be heard on the floor. Stevens has been acting as Rules Chairman in Cowdery’s absence since the special
session that began in October of last year.

Senate Task Force grapples with village public safety issues

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Senate Task Force looking into improving the state’s Village Public Safety Commission took its hearings to the capitol today. The task force is considering actions that would increase the number of communities with VPSO’s – as well as improving planning with native non-profits and coordination with the troopers.

Nikolski struggles with fuel crisis

Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
The Aleutian village of Nikolski has been hovering on the edge of a fuel crisis for months. For the second year in a row, the shipment of fuel that Delta Western Fuels was supposed to deliver in the early fall didn’t arrive. Local authorities are now spending huge sums of money to get a few barrels of heating oil at a time delivered on planes and fishing boats.

More cuts for Southeast halibut fishery

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
Southeast Alaska halibut fishermen will see a big cut to their catch this year. The International Pacific Halibut Commission this week went with its staff recommendations for a 27 percent reduction in the regions commercial quota. That follows last year’s 20 percent cut. This years lower harvest target will also affect the Southeast halibut charter fleet.

Military flights in Fairbanks give some the jitters

Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
Military operations over Fairbanks this week concerned some locals, as Fort Wainwright helicopters flew over downtown to practice urban scouting.

ACVB plans to build on big, wild year
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The final numbers are not yet in, but Anchorage’s visitor industry enjoyed a fine year in 2007.  And according to the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2008 will likely build on that

The 39th AlCAN 200 snow machine race begins tomorrow
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
The race runs from the Canadian border at 42 mile on the Haines Highway to Dezadeash Lake, and then returns to the border.

The day for the Little People

Anne Hillman, KDLG – Dillingham
According to Yu’pik tradition, the little people come out today, but who are the little people and what are they up to.