Alaska News Nightly: June 29, 2009

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US Supreme Court to Hear Weyhrauch Appeal
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear Bruce Weyhrauch’s appeal. Weyhrauch is one of the former Alaska state legislators charged with corruption.  He was indicted but never tried.  He appealed his mail fraud charge to the Ninth Circuit Appeals court and lost.

Exxon Not to Appeal Spill Decision
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
Plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case got some good news over the weekend. Exxon has decided not to appeal a recent ruling by a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court, giving victims of the spill interest on their punitive damages dating back to September.

Legislators Looking at Rewriting Tax on Natural Gas
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Legislators are beginning to take a look at rewriting parts of the state tax on natural gas during next year’s session, in particular removing some elements of the current tax structure that could end up reducing the state’s revenue if gas were actually put in a pipeline from the North Slope to the Lower 48.

Young Wants Another Term in Congress
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Congressman Don Young (R) announces he will seek seek reelection.

Redoubt May Be Settling Down
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Scientists keeping a close eye on Mount Redoubt are starting to see signs the volcano may be settling down. But the aviation alert level is still at code orange. And staff at the Alaska Volcano Observatory plan to continue monitoring Redoubt 24-hours a day.

Scientists Mapping Canyon Near Pribiloff Island
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
The abundance of the Pribiloff Island ecosystem is linked to a nearby but poorly understood canyon. A team of researchers is mapping the canyon and some of the surrounding ecosystems to understand what happens in the biologically diverse Bering Sea Islands.

Crews Resume Work on Recovering Fuel From Sunken Ship
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
Crews have resumed work preparing to recover fuel from the sunken ship Monarch in Cook Inlet. But they now have a new strategy after initial difficulties, and more delays as a diver had medical concerns.

BIA – Alaska Region – to Get New Leadership
Adam Kane, KDLG – Dillingham
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Region, will soon be under new leadership.