Alaska News Nightly: May 22, 2009

Flooding Still A Worry
Flooding is Still A Worry for Russian Mission

Photo by Gabriel Duny

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Yukon Floodwaters Are Receeding Near Russian Mission but Still Pose Threat
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Yukon River floodwaters are beginning to receed in Russian Mission, although the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings in effect through today from Russian Mission to Pilot Station. A significant ice jam is lodged about five miles upriver from Pilot Station. And flood watches are in effect until Monday from St. Mary’s to Emmonak and Alaganuk on the Bering Sea coast.

Denali Climber Remains Missing, Search Continues
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
No sign so far of a missing solo climber on Denali.i National Park Service spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin says there was
no sighting of 41-year-old Gerald Myers during an aerial search on Friday. The two-hour search found no sign of the Centennial, Colorado man.

Missile Defense Agency Defends Opposition to New Silos at Ft. Greely
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The head of the Missile Defense Agency made his case before Congress yesterday [Thurs] for the program’s upcoming budget – which will stop construction on new missile silos at Fort Greely. Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly’s plans did not go down well with some members of the House Armed Services subcommittee, but others thought they were right on track.

Conference Holds Hearings on Arctic Ocean
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
It’s day two of the annual conference of the Center for Ocean Law and Policy and people are gathered in Seward. They’re hearing about changes in the Arctic Ocean.

Congressman Don Young Crosses Party Lines to Support FAA Funding Bill
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska Congressman Don Young crossed party lines yesterday [thurs] to be one of only four Republicans who voted for an Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill. The bill would fund the FAA to modernize air traffic control and improve airline safety. Reauthorization has been delayed for two years. But top Republicans on the House Transportation Committee said the bill could kill American jobs and start a trade war.

Immersion School in Kotzebue is Set to Expand
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The Inupiak immersion school in Kotzebue is getting ready to expand. The tiny one-room school currently teaches pre school, kindergarten and first grade. But next year teachers and students will move to a two room building and accept second graders for the first time. Its an important step for an institution that’s playing a crucial role in keeping the endangered language alive.

Fish and Game Officials Worried About Lack of Processing Capacity
Mike Mason,  KDLG – Dillingham
Sockeye salmon will be heading into Bristol Bay nets in a few weeks. And the the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is worried that there may not be enough processing capacity there to handle the runs. The agency has releaseda document highlighting the probability of sockeye harvests in the Bay exceeding the processing capacity this season.

Wet Dog Competition Delayed Again
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The jet skiiers set to participate in the the Wet Dog expedition are delaying their departure from Anchor Point. After working until the early morning hours separating water from their gas and replacing fouled fuel injectors, the five jet-skiers are ready to go back in the water. But according to team leader John Lang, they feel the need for a shakedown cruise before hitting the open ocean.

Skagway Police Want to Reduce Bike Accidents
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Police in Skagway are trying to reduce the number of impaired pedalers. Chief Ray Leggett says drunks riding around town on bicycles are a problem for emergency responders. Leggett says police also have to deal with bike thefts on a daily basis. He asked the Skagway assembly to pass a motion that would allow police to fine impaired bikers $300 dollars. That was voted down but police and politicians say they’re now exploring other ways to deal with the problem.