Alaska News Nightly: April 17, 2009

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Court Halts Offshore Drilling Plans
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A federal appeals court today put a stop to the Bush administration’s off shore lease plan that would have allowed oil and gas exploration and development over millions of acres of the Outer Continental Shelf or OCS area of the Chukchi, Beaufort and Bering Seas.

Recession Takes Big Bite Out of State Tourism
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Alaska tourism businesses are bracing for a rough season. With start up about a month out, it’s clear that the recession will have a big impact on visitor numbers.

Lawmakers Approach Session Deadline
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislature is still on track to adjourn by Sunday night. And as the House and Senate go into the final weekend of work, members are either involved in intense negotiations over a few remaining issues, or they’re sitting around waiting for committees and session.

Rural Residents Push for Investigation of High Fuel Delivery Costs
Shane Iverson, Bethel – KYUK
The City of Bethel is asking the State’s Attorney Generals office to look for anti-trust violations in Western Alaska. The Bethel City Council is concerned that there is a lack of competition in the delivered fuel market.

Forum Describes Lack of Support for Bush Sexual Violence Victims
Len Anderson, KSKA – Fairbanks
Coinciding with the latest report on sexual violence in Anchorage, various groups battling the problem gathered at a public forum this week to compare their individual efforts and challenges, including those that reach beyond the city.

Mud Slinging Continues at Electric Association
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
An ugly situation at Matanuska Electric Association got a little uglier this week, as utility board members prepared to fire a long term general manager. As APRN’s Ellen Lockyer reports, mud slinging and negative allegations have marred an upcoming board election.

Volcanic Light Show Wows Scientists
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Although Mount Redoubt is not causing any flight delays currently, the volcano is still erupting and the Alaska Volcano Observatory website says lava dome building continues.