Alaska News Nightly: June 25, 2009

The USS Stennis, a nuclear aircraft carrier, visits Alaska waters as part of exercise Northern Edge 2009.

Photos By Patrick Yack, APRN – Anchorage

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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Health Care Reform Heating Up in DC
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
On Capitol Hill work on health care reform is reaching a fever-pitch, but with Congress going on recess next week, crafting a health care bill will continue next month.

President Obama Opens Local Push for Health Care Reform
Annie Feidt, APRN – Washington DC
President Obama’s grassroots team in Alaska launched an effort on Thursday to convince state residents to back health care reform. The state office of “organizing for America” says it wants to make sure Alaskan voices are heard in the national discussion.

Huge Military Exercise Wraps Up in Alaska
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The annual military training exercise known as Northern Edge wraps up on Friday. It is the largest training held by the military in Alaska. 9000 active duty, National Guard and reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines participate.

Murkowski Elected to GOP Leadership Post
Libby Casey, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski was elected into Republican leadership on Thursday.   Murkowski won the unanimous support of her colleagues to become fifth-in-line in Senate Republican leadership.  As Vice Chair of the Senate Republican Conference she is expected to help craft party message and strategy.

Eagle Residents Rushing To Beat Winter
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Plans are moving ahead in Eagle to replace homes destroyed by this springs epic flood. Local builder Andy Bassich is organizing the effort to get up to 20 houses constructed before winter.

Chefs to Visit Alaska to Learn More About Seafood
Alex Hotz, KFSK – Petersburg
A group of chefs from the Lower 48 are visiting Petersburg and Juneau this month to learn more about Alaska’s fishing industry. The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is hoping to educate the chefs about the seafood they’re serving.

Gulkana River Closing to Sport Fishing
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state is closing the Gulkana River to sport fishing for king salmon.  Area management biologist Mark Sommerville says the closure, which takes effect June 29th, is in response to an apparently very weak Chinook return on the Copper River tributary.

King Runs Remain Low in Southcentral
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
King salmon runs remain slow in Southcentral Alaska.  Sport fishing for kings was curtailed on many salmon streams in mid-June, although state Fish and Game managers are keeping their fingers crossed that escapement goals will still be met.