Alaska News Nightly: May 21, 2009

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Governor Palin Vetoes $28 Million in Stimulus Money
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau and Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Governor Sarah Palin today on Thursday followed through on her threat to veto federal stimulus money for energy conservation projects. The Governor is giving up more than $28 million from the U-S Department of Energy.

Ocean Conference Opens in Seward
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
The 33rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans and Law Policy is underway at the Marine Education Center in Seward. The conference in previous years has been in Singapore, Germany, and Ireland. Organizers say it’s an attempt to bring together people from a variety of fields such as law, science, and politics to discuss the status of oceans.

Floods Trap Eagle Couple at Homestead
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An Eagle area couple is trapped at their homestead on the Yukon River by ice and high water. Wayne and Scarlett Hall live about 6 miles downstream from Eagle, near the site of an ice jam that caused the worst flooding on record earlier this month.

Air Force Still Examining New Energy Plant at Eielson
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Senator Lisa Murkowski has received assurance from the Air Force that it will work with the Fairbanks Borough on a coal-to-liquids study. Borough and Air Force officials have been looking at the potential of a coal-to-liquids plant at Eielson Air Force Base, but Murkowski says there’s been little action since the Air Force got a $10 million earmark for research a year ago.

Feds Researching Impact of Proposed Angoon Airport
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Federal crews are conducting research in Angoon this summer on possible impacts of a community airport. State officials have proposed building the facility in a wilderness area near the Admiralty Island village.

Obama Group On Alaska Listening Tour
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
An offshoot of Barack Obama’s grassroots campaign organization is gearing back up in Alaska, just in time to help support the president’s agenda as it goes through Congress. Jonathan Teeters is the director of Organizing for America in Alaska. Teeters has embarked on a five-city listening tour around the state.

Doyon Moving Ahead with Gas Exploration in Nenana Basin
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Interior regional Native corporation Doyon and several partners are moving ahead with natural gas exploration in the Nenana Basin. Doyon Vice President of Lands and resources Jim Mery says the company and partners Usibelli, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Rampart Energy of Colorado are undertaking an exploratory drilling operation starting next month.

Juneau Transportation Center Draws Debate
Rebecca Sheir, KTOO – Juneau
Construction on the new Downtown Transportation Center in Juneau may be a go, but not everyone in the neighborhood – Telephone Hill – has been keen to green-light the project.

Air Search Underway for Denali Climber from Colorado
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
An air search is underway for an overdue climber on Denali. An Air National Guard HC 130 Hercules was dispatched this morning in efforts to locate Gerald Myers, a 41 year old solo climber form Colorado. Cloud cover and high winds at the mountain’s upper elevations prevented a sighting of Myers.

Jet-Ski Marathon Delayed
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The five jet-skiers blazing the trail for a 2,000-mile race from Anchorage to Bristol Bay were waylaid before they got out of Cook Inlet, and it looks like they’ll be onshore until Friday morning.