Alaska News Nightly: July 8, 2009

Cmdr. Tim Gallaudet Talks of the Navy’s Plans for the Arctic.

Photo By Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

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Dept. of Energy May Not Wait for Legislature
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The US Department of Energy appears unwilling to wait for next year’s legislative session for a possible override of Governor Sarah Palin’s veto of $28 million in federal stimulus money set aside for energy programs.

Navy Laying Out Plans for Arctic
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The US Navy is laying out plans for the warming waters above Alaska as shipping and resource development opportunities increase. Climate models predict the Arctic Ocean will be ice free in summer in less than three decades.  Cmdr. Tim Gallaudet works in the office of Oceanography for the Navy and he just finished a collaborative workshop on arctic issues in Anchorage.

Lower 48 Crews Coming to Fight Alaska Wildfires
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Lower 48 crews are being tapped to battle Alaska wildfires for the first time this summer. Alaska Fire service spokesman Doug Stockdale says crews from Idaho arrived yesterday to begin working the Minto Flats south fire, west of Nenana.

Anchorage Fire Units Fight Blaze
Suzanna Caldwell, APRN – Anchorage
Dry conditions sent extra fire department units and a helicopter to control a blaze in Anchorage on Wednesday.

Former House Speaker to Run for Governor
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Candidates have begun to come forward to try for the job now held by Governor Sarah Palin.  And former House Speaker John Harris is the first name on the list.  He announced on Wednesday his plans to run in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial Primary.

Hearing to Clear Up Confusion over Lt. Governor Designee
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Lieutenant Governor-designee Lieutenant General Craig Campbell on Monday in Fairbanks. The hearing is designed to clear up the legal confusion over who will assume the number two spot in the administration, once Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell takes over for Gov. Palin.

Judge Sets Sentencing Date for Bill Allen
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Judgment day for former Veco executives Bill Allen and Rick Smith may come in about three months.  On Tuesday, District Judge John Sedwick set October 28th as the sentencing date for the two men.  Each pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy, bribery and fraud more than two years ago.

Princess Cruise Ships End Declaration Display
Rebecca Sheir, KTOO – Juneau
Wednesday is the final day Princess Cruise ships in Juneau are displaying the Declaration of Independence.  The document is one of 200 broadside copies distributed across the Thirteen Colonies and read to the public on July 4th, 1776.

Part of Tongass Set Aside as Experimental Forest
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
A 25-thousand acre parcel of the Tongass National Forest near Juneau has been set aside as an experimental forest.  It’s part of a network of more than 80 experimental forests and grasslands across the country.