Alaska News Nightly: July 13, 2009

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Settlement Will Provide Better Yup’ik Voting Assistance in Bethel
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The City of Bethel has settled a lawsuit with Yup’ik voters. The agreement will increase oversight of translation services during municipal elections. The State of Alaska is also named in the lawsuit, but is not included in the settlement. The Attorney General’s office is ready to take the case to trial.

Mount Spurr Could be Huge Geothermal Energy Source
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Over the past few years, people who live along Alaska’s Railbelt have begun to worry about the lifespan of the system that delivers energy to their homes and businesses. A brighter future could be on the way through steps the legislature and the administration are taking to find alternatives. Their work is centering on new sources and on delivery of natural gas. But another, renewable, energy project is in the works – geothermal.

Firefighters Focus Attention on New Blaze near Healy
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
To date, 393 forest fires this year have consumed some 765, 573 acres of Alaska wild lands. Fires burning on the Kenai Peninsula, have destroyed more than 14 thousand acres, while the Minto Flats fire near Fairbanks has burned more than 151 thousand acres.

Governor Palin’s Political Action Committee Raises More Than $700,000
The Associated Press
A report says Governor Sarah Palin’s political action committee raised nearly $733,000 in its first five months. A report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission shows receipts totaled 732,867 dollars in the period between January 1st and June 30th.

Juneau Residents Ask Next Governor to Live in Capitol City
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Alaska’s incoming governor says he will not move to the capital city full-time for the remainder of Governor Palin’s term. But if he’s elected in 2010, Sean Parnell says he will make Juneau his home.

Senate Super Majority Spotlights Alaska Senator This month U.S.
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, D.C.
Senate Democrats got another colleague in Minnesota Senator Al Franken, which pushed them to the magic super-majority number of 60. That’s how many votes it takes to shut down a filibuster. There are now technically 58 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with them.

Eagle Rebuilding Begins
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Work is getting underway on new homes for some Eagle residents displaced by this spring’s record flooding. Eagle recovery team leader Andy Bassich says the federal emergency management agency, or FEMA, has released funds to 13 local families who lost their houses.

Anchorage Residents Debate Homeless Problem
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The recent deaths of seven homeless men over a two month period drew dozens to the Fairview Recreation Center meeting room Friday afternoon, where professionals and members of the public looked for solutions for a growing Anchorage problem.