Alaska News Nightly: August 3, 2009

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Massive Search Launched by Coast Guard
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The Coast Guard is searching for a 45-year-old woman missing from a cruise ship in Southeast Alaska. The woman was last seen just after midnight today, when she ordered room service. Her stateroom partner reported her missing this morning. Helicopters, airplanes and boats are canvassing an extensive area.

Spill and Disaster Veteran Retires
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Friday was the last day of state employment for Ed Meggert, a 20 year veteran of spill and disaster response. His career started with the Exxon Valdez oil spill and ended when he quit in frustration over the state’s handling of the ice flooding disaster in the village of Eagle and other Yukon River communities this spring.

Weather Giving Firefighters Reprieve
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The weather is giving firefighters in Interior Alaska a bit of a reprieve today. Over the weekend, the Bluff Creek fire advanced rapidly. It grew by 10 thousand acres and is now just three miles from the town of Circle. Cooler, calmer weather is allowing crews to protect homes and structures near the town.

Lu Young Dies in Her Sleep
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The wife of Alaska Congressman Don Young has died.  Lu Young, 67, died in her sleep at the couple’s home in Great Falls, Virginia outside of Washington late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, according to the Congressman’s office. The exact cause of death is not yet known.

Sealaska Adds Youth Advisor to Board
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast Alaska’s regional Native corporation has increased the age spread on its board of directors. Juneau-based Sealaska has added a youth adviser to its 13-member governing panel.

Begich Introduces Arctic Bills
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska Democratic Senator Mark Begich introduced on the Senate floor today a set of seven bills dealing with the Arctic.  He’s calling the whole package “Inuvikput,” after an Inupiaq word that means, “the place where we live.”

DOT Hosts Dust Control Workshop
John Francis, KNOM – Nome
The Department of Transportation hosted a Dust Control Workshop in Nome last week, educating and training representatives from villages to ready them for a influx of cash and machinery.

Haida Language Film Wins Indie Award
Jay Marble, KRBD – Ketchikan
A short film, made about the Haida language, as it is spoken in Kasaan (on Prince of Wales Island) has won the 2008 Indie Best Documentary Award. It was made by Fred Olsen Jr.