Alaska News Nightly: February 17, 2009

A routine traffic stop led to the discovery of several pipe bombs in Anchorage this morning. Plus, an ingredient in herbal tea might help slow the forest devastation wrought by the spruce bark beetle in Alaska and Canada.

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Anchorage traffic stop finds apparent bombs, closes roads
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
On Anchorage’s east side, an early morning traffic stop led to a bomb-squad call out and a five hour street closure.

Stevens prosecutors replaced amidst ethics accusations
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The Justice Department has replaced the lawyers who prosecuted former Senator Ted Stevens with a new team for the post-trial proceedings. They’ve been accused of misconduct by an FBI agent who worked on the case. Whether the agent’s allegations have merit is still being investigated.

Senator Murkowski shares federal stimulus concerns
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski says it remains unclear just how much money the state will receive from the federal stimulus package.

Senator Begich talks with Alaska veterans
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Senator Mark Begich held listening sessions with veterans today in Fairbanks and yesterday in Anchorage. His office says about 60 people attended the Anchorage meeting, and around 40 showed up in Fairbanks today.

Herbal tea extract might slow spruce bark beetle damage in Alaska
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A substance found in herbal tea could help prevent the type of beetle infestation that has devastated forests in the west, including Alaska. A recent study from the U.S. Forest Service shows an aerial application of a pheromone was effective in keeping beetles off trees in California and Idaho.

Ski team headed to Arctic to measure sea ice from the surface
Peter Sheldon, CBC – Yellowknife
A research team is skiing to the top of the world to measure arctic sea ice.

Alaska Legislature working on sub-disaster funding system
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Work began today in Juneau on a bill that would give the state the legal ability to assist in humanitarian needs that fall short of qualifying as a state or federal disaster.

Cruise industry may have waste water rules lifted in new bill
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
An Alaska House bill changing cruise ship waste water discharge rules is on the fast track.

Yukon Quest about half done with Jon Little in the lead
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Quest front-runners are on the final 100 miles of trail heading into the race’s halfway point at Dawson City. Jon Little left the Scroggie Creek dog drop first at 4:00 this morning, but was followed by Sebastian Schnuelle, William Kleedehn and Hugh Neff over the next 5 hours.