Alaska Nightly News: May 5, 2009

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Flooding Yukon River Devastates Eagle
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Flood water and chunks of ice from the Yukon River have caused major devastation in Eagle. The river has risen 40 feet above normal, well beyond the previous historic peak set in 1937. Local resident and National Weather Service observer John Borg says high water and heavy
ice have swept through the lower part of the community.

Kuskokwim’s Breakup Threatens Downriver Village
Shane Iverson, KYUK -Bethel
Meanwhile, breakup on the Kuskokwim River is now threatening the downriver village of Kwethluk. Water has come over the bank at the lower section of the village. And the Slough behind the village is also filling up.

Cost of Living Varies Wildly Across Alaska
Dave Donalson, APRN – Juneau
Life in Alaska is expensive – most Alaskans agree with that. But until recently, no one knew exactly how expensive. A new report for the state’s Department of Administration shows that the cost of living varies widely around the state.

Supreme Court Asking for Additional Briefs in Mine Case
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The U.S. Supreme Court is requesting supplemental briefs on the Kensington Mine case. The high court yesterday (Monday) asked attorneys for mine owner Coeur Alaska and conservation groups to answer two additional questions on the tailings discharge into Lower Slate Lake. The State of Alaska joined with Coeur in the case.

Debate Continues on Why Cruise Ships Skipping Alaska
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Some cruise industry officials say a head tax on passengers is scaring ships away from Alaska. Authors of the fee say that’s not the reason ships are heading elsewhere. And an independent analyst says the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Trident Seafoods to Pay $112,000 for Failing to Report Hazardous Chemicals
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Trident Seafoods will pay more than 112 thousand dollars for not reporting large quantities of hazardous chemicals to the EPA. The company violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act by not telling local emergency response teams that they had large quantities of ammonia, a hazardous chemical, at processing plants in Akutan, Kodiak,
Petersburg, and Seattle.

Albatross Species Making Comeback
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
A species of Albatross that at one time was thought to be extinct is slowlymaking a comeback. with a little help.

Floating Minstry Hitting Rough Waters
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
A floating southeast ministry has hit some rough waters. Since 1988, the motor vessel Christian has traveled to southeast Alaska’s most isolated communities, providing pastoral care, vacation bible camps and sacraments.