Alaska News Nightly: September 23, 2009

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Senate Rejects Bush Plan for Offshore Drilling
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The Senate has voted down a Republican-led attempt to install a Bush administration plan for offshore oil and gas drilling. The legislation would have immediately approved a five year plan to expand outer continental shelf development, including off Alaska’s coast.

Legislators Criticize Enstar Plan to Recover  From Error
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
Two Alaska state legislators are criticizing Enstar Natural Gas Company for what they say is a $6-million error.

Permanent Fund Dividend Announced: $1,305
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Gov. Sean Parnell (R) announced Wednesday that 628,499 eligible Alaskans will receive a 2009 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) in the amount of $1,305.

Census Launch Draws Closer for Alaska
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The nationwide launch date of the 2010 U-S Census count is still 6 months away, but it looms much sooner for Alaska. The count will start in the state in January, when the Inupiat village of Noorvik in the Northwest Arctic Borough becomes the first community visited by Census workers.

Lawmakers Hear Arguments on Cruise Tax
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Lawmakers (on Tuesday) heard arguments yesterday about the legality of Alaska’s cruise-ship-passenger head tax.

Shrinking Glaciers Point to Global Warming
Tom Banse, Northwest News Network
Shrinking glaciers have turned out to be one of the clearest harbingers of global warming.

Search Launched for Missing Cruise Passenger
The Associated Press
A search has been launched in the waters of Southeast Alaska and Canada for a 67-year-old woman reported missing from a cruise ship.

Disaster Policy Cabinet Meets on Seafoods Plant
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
The state Disaster Policy Cabinet has met to discuss a crisis at the Pelican Seafoods Plant. Flooding damaged the plant’s water supply in August and endangered the cooling system that contains anhydrous ammonia. Whether or not the town wins a formal disaster declaration remains up to the governor.

Northern Outside Streams Becoming Too Salty
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
A government study of northern states says many urban streams have become salty enough to harm aquatic life—except in Alaska. The U.S. Geological Survey studied urban streams and groundwater in 20 states, including Alaska, for levels of chloride, a component of salt. In more that 40 percent of the streams tested, the agency found chloride levels above federal recommendations designed to protect aquatic life. Most of those streams, however, are in the Northeastern part of the country and around the Great Lakes.

Bethel Church Gets Yup’ik Bible
Alice Criswell, KYUK – Bethel
The Moravian Church in Bethel was the first church to translate the Bible into the Yup’ik language.