Alaska News Nightly: April 14, 2009

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Salazar Hears Alaskans on Offshore Development
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited Anchorage today to collect Alaskan’s views on off shore oil and gas development. Its part of a series of meetings he is holding around the country to gather more public input on a five year draft lease sale plan the Bush Administration implemented days before leaving office. It includes sales in Bristol Bay and the Beafort and Chukchi Seas. Salazar heard a range of views on the issue from Alaskans and says he will have a tough decision to make.

Palin Wants Changes on Spending Plan for Stimulus Funding
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Palin administration today (Tuesday) presented changes it wants in the way the legislature spends the federal economic stimulus money that the state can claim. The bill passed the House on Friday. Director of Management and Budget Karen Rehfeld told the Senate Finance Committee that the state can use the federal money to extend the state’s money.

Stimulus Money May Help Remove Derelict Fishing Gear
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve is seeking federal economic stimulus package money to clean up derelict fishing gear and crab pots from the bay.

Stevens Has Law License Again
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington D. C.
Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens can practice law again in the nation’s capital. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has reinstated his license, a week after his felony conviction was dismissed.

Bizarre Patrol Vessel Story Ends Well
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
The state of Alaska has won a lawsuit over the shoddy construction of a southeast patrol vessel, winning an award that’s double the original construction cost. But it’s unclear whether the state will ever get the money.

Pebble Mine Protesters Take Their Cause to London
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A group of Bristol Bay commercial fishermen and Alaska Natives are in London to let Anglo American corporate leaders know about their concerns over the Pebble mine proposal near Illiamna.

Spring Conditions Create High Flood Potential
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Deeper snow, thicker ice, and cooler than normal temperatures indicate high flood potential in several areas of the state. That’s according to the National Weather Service, which has issued its annual spring breakup outlook for Alaska.

Students Perform Sea Lion Necropsy
Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, KCAW – Sitka
Jr. and Sr. Marine Biology Students at Mt. Edgecumbe had the opportunity this week to perform a necropsy on a sea lion that was found floating near Thomsen Harbor. The National Marine Fisheries Services allowed the students to take samples from the animal, for both education and possibly to discover the cause of death.

Humor Mixes With Alaska History on Kenai Peninsula
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
Three comic actors from New York have been spending time on the Kenai Peninsula over the last few weeks. The improv group Sidecar is presenting a commissioned work “Eight Stars of Comedy Gold” about the history of Alaska. They have spent time at area schools, including Soldotna High School this week.