Alaska News Nightly: August 5, 2009

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Attorney General Wants Changes to Ethics Act
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Attorney General Daniel Sullivan on Wednesday recommended largely procedural changes in the state’s Executive Ethics Act to cut down on what have been called “frivolous” complaints against public officials.

Heavy Smoke Spreading Across Interior
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Heavy smoke is spreading over large areas of the interior as hot dry weather allows wildfires to proliferate in the region. The first structures to be lost this summer to wildfires in Alaska were taken out by a blaze in the Fairbanks area.

Eagle Needs Volunteers for Rebuilding
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Yukon River community of Eagle is working to get debris removed and new cabins built before winter weather begins and the road in to Eagle closes for the season. Volunteers are working throughout the community and volunteer coordinator Rob Paire says they could use more help.

Conservationist Applaud Court Ruling on Forest Roads
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Conservation groups nationwide are hailing a federal appeals court ruling that reinstates a ban on road construction in more than 50 million acres of America’s national forests.

Forest Service Shuts Down Old SE Logging Roads
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The Forest Service has decided to shut down some old logging roads in northern Southeast. It’s part of a larger effort to examine agency roads throughout the region. Subsistence and recreational hunters are most affected by the process. Timber-cutters could also feel the impact.

Trident Seafoods Opens in Wrangell
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
After a few months of uncertainty, Wrangell officially became the newest home for Trident, bringing Trident’s total number of plants in the state to thirteen. Trident took over the fish processing plant formerly owned by Wrangell Seafoods, Inc. Since then, Trident’s been busy making upgrades to the plant and, as of the end of the July, processing fish.

Quota Group Approves Outlay for Combating High Energy Costs
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
One of Western Alaska’s six Community Development Quota groups has approved a $15-million outlay for the region to tackle the chronic high costs of energy in the bush.

Wind Farms Springing Up in Western Alaska
Jesse Zink, KNOM – Nome
Wind farms are going up in communities around Western Alaska. They bring with them the hope of cheaper electricity but also the fear they might end up unused, like wind projects of years past.

Bug Attacking Alaska Willows
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The lush green of summer in Fairbanks is being marred by dying willow leaves. The browned out willows are the victim of a bug called, leaf blotch miner. The bug eats chlorophyll, killing the leafy portion of the tree.