Alaska News Nightly: January 8, 2009

Legislators debate over whether there will be a PFD this year.  Also, the temperatures  in Anchorage ease just enough to resuem  the US Cross-Country Ski Championships. Plus, Wasilla High School goes into lockdown after a threat and former state legislator, Bruce Weyrauch says he plans to appeal his case all the way to US Supreme Court

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PFD not a sure thing this year
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
While all of us are applying for our Permanent Fund dividends and wondering how large the checks will be in October, legislators and analysts are working over the question of whether there will be any dividend at all.

Weyrauch to appeal his case to the US Supreme Court
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Former State Representative Bruch Weyhrauch plans to appeal his corruption case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Weyhrauch was originally scheduled to go to trial in September – but U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled that evidence relating to state ethics violations could not be used in the trial. Prosecutors appealed and in November a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court reversed Sedwick’s opinion and said the evidence could
be submitted.

Cold weather eases enough for US Cross Country Ski Championships to resume
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The final day of racing at the U-S Cross Country Ski Championships in Anchorage went ahead today. Half of the races had to be canceled this week because of abnormally cold temperatures. But the men’s and women’s one-point-five kilometer classic sprint went ahead this afternoon. Event finals were scheduled for this evening. Anchorage based skier- and U-S Ski Team member, Kikkan Randall is competing. The sprint is generally considered her best event.

Cold spell winding down across the state
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The National Weather Service is predicting an end to the cold snap.  Meteorologist Bob Fischer in Fairbanks says warmer temperatures and clouds from the Gulf of Alaska will move in in the coming days. Fischer says temperatures will remain cold today and tomorrow with lows down to 50 below in interior valleys, but begin to moderate over the weekend.

Senator Murkowski becomes ranking Republican on Senate committee
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski took her seat for the first time today as the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s top Republican.

Senate looks a link between green technology and economic recovery
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Concerns about energy security and its connection to the economic crisis are reverberating through Washington.  Not only are members of the Energy Committee talking about how to make the country more energy independent and efficient.  Yesterday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a briefing about how green technology can help the country’s economic recovery.

Wasilla High goes into lockdown after threat
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Wasilla High School went into lock-down this morning after the school received a printed threat.

NOAA ranks states on job creation and sales genearion in Fishing industry
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released new data on job creation and sales generation by the commercial and recreational fishing industries. Alaska does not rank number one. Of the $103 billion dollars in commercial fishery sales for 2006, the year data was complied from, only $3 billion came from Alaska.

Board of Fisheries reconsiders Upper Cook Inlet decision

Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
The Alaska Board of Fisheries has rescheduled its consideration of a controversial proposal that would limit fishing effort in the Upper Cook Inlet Central District salmon fishery.

New Fish and Game regulation would protcet glacier bears

John Hunt, KHNS- Haines
A proposed change to a Fish and Game regulation would offer new protections to white colored black bears near Skagway. A so-called “glacier bear” was killed in the area last summer.