Alaska News Nightly: May 15, 2008

Governor Palin announces plan to help Alaskans weather the energy crisis. Plus, legislators begin planning for the Special Session in June. Also, the Coast Guard pays tribute to the Alaska-Ranger rescue crews. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Governor Palin announces plan to help Alaskans weather the energy crisis

David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin has unveiled her plan to curb Alaska’s growing energy crisis. If  passed by the legislature, the plan would put thousands of extra dollars into the pockets of the average Alaskan family. It would also subsidize electric companies, which could reduce your monthly bill by nearly 60%.

Statewide climate-change group meets in Anchorage

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The Governor’s Sub-Cabinet on Climate Change began its meetings today in Anchorage.  The group plans to pull together a strategy for dealing with Alaska’s carbon emissions, and adapting to a changing climate.  It has involved about a hundred business, government and interest group leaders from all over the state.

Arctic Research Consortium focuses on climate change tipping points

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States wrapped up its annual Washington, DC meeting today. This year scientists and others attending the conference focused on the ‘tipping points’ of climate change.

Legislators begin making plans for special session

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The leaders in the House and Senate have begun making plans jointly for handling the work required of them during the special legislative session that begins next month. The session will deal with the Palin Administration’s gas line proposal.

Juneau residents wonder if electricity crisis could have been avoided
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Many Juneau residents are asking what could have been done to prevent the city’s energy emergency. They are facing electric rates nearly five times higher than before snow slides destroyed the main transmission line serving the capital city.

County Payments program tied up in war bill
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A funding program key to Southeast Alaska schools has been tied to an Iraq-war bill. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has added the Secure Rural Schools Program to the high-priority war-funding bill. But the Senate, the House and President Bush differ on the measure’s size.

Congress forms task force to investigate violence against Native women

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A new task force created by Congress will examine the extremely high rates of violence, rape and sexual assault perpetrated against Native women throughout the country. Alaska Native Justice Center President Denise Morris was selected as the Alaska representative on the task force.

Coast Guard honors Alaska-Ranger rescue crews

Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The Coast Guard today honored the crews involved in the rescue of 42 fishermen and processing workers from the factory trawler Alaska Ranger, which sank Easter morning in the Bering Sea.