Alaska News Nightly: April 8, 2009

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Lawmakers question Palin’s Attorney General Pick
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau and Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Wayne Anthony Ross today (Wednesday) had his first hearing before state lawmakers. He is Governor Sarah Palin’s pick for Attorney General. Ross reiterated his opinion that Alaska should not be the only state to have the federal government managing a large part of its fish and game resources. Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French pointed out that the litigation on the subject has been settled and asked: how do we unify the people now.

Restarting Drift River Oil Terminal Uncertain
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington D.C.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is holding a series of field hearings this month about the country’s offshore energy resources. He’ll be in Anchorage next Tuesday. He’s also visiting the East and West Coasts, and spent today in New Orleans talking about Gulf Coast development. In preparation for the hearings, the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service released a report this week compiling information about offshore potential.

Report details fossil fuel and renewable offshore resources
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Restarting the Drift River oil terminal at the base of Mount Redoubt is a complicated process that would take months and may not happen at all. Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin says there’s no guarantee Chevron will decide its worth the expense to bring the facility on line again after the volcano quiets down.

Interior River Makes National Endangered List
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An environmental group has selected an interior Alaska river as one of 10 in the nation it considers endangered. Washington D.C based American River’s says Beaver Creek, north of Fairbanks, is threatened by development.

Healy Residents Worry About Coal Plant Pollution
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Denali Citizen’s Council is raising concerns about pollution from the Healy Clean Coal plant. The Healy based environmental organization wants Golden Valley Electric Association to get a new air quality permit for the long idled facility before it comes on line.

Rachelle Waterman Arraigned in Ketchikan
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Rachelle Waterman was arraigned in Ketchikan superior court yesterday (Tuesday) on first degree murder charges in the death of her mother.

State Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Alaskans at the lowest pay levels will get a raise if a bill that passed the Senate today gets through the House and is signed by the governor. A measure by Anchorage Democrat Bill Wielokowski would raise the minimum wage on July 24th to match the federal rate of seven dollars and twenty five cents an hour and it would get another fifty cent increase on January 1st to seven-seventy-five an hour.

Anchorage voters squelch bonds, extend mayor race
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
If voters in yesterday’s Anchorage municipal election still have to decide the ultimate winner of the mayor’s office, they certainly had no qualms about sealing the fate of all but one of the bond propositions.

Public Health Nurses Focus on Prevention
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Preventative medicine is a luxury in our current health care system. But that’s exactly the focus of more than 100 public health nurses in two dozen communities across the state. For a series of interviews marking National Public Health Awareness week we called one of those nurses in Petersburg.