Alaska News Nightly: June 27, 2008

The US Supreme Court will take up Kensington Mine tailings case. Also, Alaska’s US Senators push for a tax break for commercial fishermen to help cover rising fuel costs. Plus, Human remains excavated from Unalaska and Amaknak Islands in the 1950s and 60s will soon be returned to the Qawalangin tribe. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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US Supreme Court will take up Kensington Mine evironmental case
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court could take place as early as  January on the Kensington Gold Mine’s tailings plan. The high court this morning agreed to step into the environmental dispute that has kept the mine north of Juneau on hold.

Alaska senators look for tax break for commercial fishermen
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Commercial fishermen around the country would receive a tax credit to help cover high fuel prices under legislation introduced this week by Alaska’s senators. The bill would provide a two-year tax break.

Anthropologist hopes to return evacuated Aleuts to Unalaska

Anne Hillman, KDLG – Dillingham
More than 60 years ago, the residents of three Aluet villages on Unalaska Island were evacuated. Now an anthropologist wants to help them return.

Governor Palin’s visit to Homer dominated by Exxon Valdez ruling
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
The Governor went to Homer yesterday for a bill signing, and arrived in a community still reeling from this week’s Supreme Court Exxon Valdez verdict.

Kodiak Native communities hit hard by Exxon Valdez ruling
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
This week’s Supreme Court decision to reduce punitive damages in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case comes as a blow to many in the Alaska Native communities around Kodiak that were affected by the spill.

Prince of Wales road work damages fish habitat
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Road work on part of Prince of Wales Island is damaging fish habitat. The Forest Service and other government agencies are looking for a solution. But residents of nearby Coffman Cove worry delays will hurt their community.

Interior power Co-op gets grant to pursue alternative energy
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Golden Valley Electric Association has received grants to pursue of slate of alternative energy projects.  The interior power coop is being awarded  more than $200,000 in state and federal funds to look at hydro, and solar and wind projects.

New book provides roadmap to Kenai trails
Duncan Moon, APRN – Anchorage
Summer is hiking season in Alaska and a new guidebook will help outdoor enthusiasts enjoy one of the state’s most scenic playgrounds: the Kenai  Peninsula. The book bill’s itself as the first to  comprehensively cover the Peninsula’s best trails. Its called “50 hikes in Alaska’s Kenai

Big 50th Anniversary celebration this weekend in Anchorage
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage is gearing up for a  “We’re In!” weekend celebration marking the June 30, 1958 Congressional approval of Alaska statehood. The fun starts  tonight with Operation Gratitude, a live concert by country star Wynonna Judd at Elmendorf Air Force Base.