Alaska News Nightly: April 23, 2008

A U.S. House committee approved a land swap today that would allow a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Plus, 100 federal researchers have just wrapped up a three-week survey of the arctic atmosphere. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Land swap leading to road for King Cove and Cold Bay at cost to Izembek refuge
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Today the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee easily approved a bill that would swap land and allow for a road to be built through what’s now designated wilderness in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

Governor’s disaster cabinet reviewing Juneau power crisis
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The governor’s disaster policy cabinet met for nearly 2 hours this morning to discuss Juneau’s request for state disaster funds to help the town through its energy emergency. But the cabinet will meet again next week before making any recommendations to Governor Palin.

Survey finds nasty mix of global pollutants in Arctic air
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Federal scientists have completed a 3-week survey of the arctic atmosphere. 100 NASA, NOAA and Department of Energy researchers flew aboard specially-outfitted aircraft to assess air quality over an area stretching from Alaska to Greenland.

Petersburg may raise rates 50% for some assisted living residents
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
The cost of living at Petersburg’s assisted-living home could get a lot more expensive for residents who pay their own way. The City Council is considering a 50% increase in rent and service charges for part of the city-owned facility.

University using federal grant to fight fat in Alaska
Lacey Grosvold, KUAC – Fairbanks
The University of Alaska’s Interior-Aleutians Campus is using a $1 million federal grant to address the issue of obesity in rural Alaska. The award is funding a nutrition education program aimed at turning back statistics showing Alaskans getting fatter.

Wrangell mayor resigns, citing messy politics
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
The mayor of Wrangell resigned yesterday in a surprise move. He made the announcement at last night’s city council meeting.

Rebounding bowhead whales may drop off Canadian endangered list
Laurie Sarkadi, CBC – Yellowknife, NWT
Bowhead whales may be coming off the endangered list in Canada, thanks to some new population estimates. For decades, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans insisted the bowhead were on the brink of extinction.