Alaska News Nightly: August 5, 2008

State Senate leaders roll out their energy-relief legislation for the House. Plus, President Bush makes a short stop at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks. Plus gasoline theft is plaguing the Bethel boat dock.  And a “super pod” of Killer Whales visits Kachemak Bay. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Senate brings House up to date on energy-relief bill
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
State Senate leaders this afternoon explained the principles behind the energy relief bill they passed last night. Senate Finance Co-chairmen Bert Stedman and Lyman Hoffman – testifying before the House Finance Committee – said their goal was to assist as many people as possible.   Hoffman said when the price of oil is high, Alaskans hurt.

High fuel costs worry many in Kodiak

Mary Donaldson, KMXT – Kodiak
The continual rise in home heating fuel is causing concern for some Kodiak residents for this coming winter, especially for low and fixed income families.

President Bush stops in at Eielson AFB

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
President Bush met with Fairbanks area military personnel yesterday during a brief stopover at Eielson Air Force Base.

House Republicans remain in DC to push for ANWR and offshore drilling
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Two-dozen Republicans in the US House are continuing their protest this week in Washington, DC, refusing to go home for the August recess.  Even though Congress started its five-week break last Friday, about 25 Republicans returned to the Capitol yesterday and today to demand action on off-shore oil drilling – and increasing domestic oil supply by opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Hot commodity goes missing at the Bethel docks
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
The Bethel boat harbor is a crowded place this time of year as hundreds of travelers head to and from the villages. But the harbor has become an easy target for theft.

Cleaning up the former Susitna Gunnery Range
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
The US Army Corps of Engineers is asking the public’s help in putting together a plan to determine if  a  cleanup of  the former Susitna Gunnery Range will be necessary.

Biologist catch up with super pod of Killer Whales
Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
Biologists with a non profit research group had a rare treat yesterday- the chance to study a “super pod” of Killer Whales in Kachemak Bay. The North Gulf Oceanic Society is doing whale research this year in Lower Cook Inlet. After a local tour boat called in a killer whale sighting,  the biologists found more than they bargained for.

A new hydropower project for Juneau
Weld Royal, KTOO – Juneau
A new hydropower project set to go online in 2009 could wean Juneau from expensive diesel fuel supplements and serve as a back up if the much larger Snettisham plant goes down again.