Alaska News Nightly: September 24, 2009

Polar Bear 1 0924

Photo by Eric V. Regehr. Marine Mammals Management, Polar Bears. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The US/Russia bilateral polar bear commission is getting underway in Moscow to discuss bears in the Chukchi Sea.

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Masek Gets Six Months Prison Term
The Associated Press
A former Alaska lawmaker will serve six months in a federal prison following her conviction on corruption charges. Beverly Masek, a Republican who had represented Willow, was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

Polar Bear Commission Meets in Moscow
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The first meeting of a US/Russia bilateral polar bear commission is taking place in Moscow this week. State and federal game managers are meeting with their Russian counterparts to work on developing a framework for how to manage the shared polar bear population in the Chukchi Sea for long term sustainability.

Human Remains Undergo DNA Testing; Council Hopes for Clues
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
The Knik Tribal Council is anticipating  that DNA testing will reveal more information on 100-year old human remains recently unearthed near Wasilla.  An excavation project at the old Knik town site brought the remains to light in August.

Murkowski Loses Bid to Limit EPA
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski’s attempt to temporarily limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s power died on the Senate floor today. Democratic leadership blocked a vote on the Alaska Republican’s amendment. It would have kept the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like industrial plants.

Congress Told Rockets in Alaska Key to Overall Defense
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The directors of the US missile defense program assured Congress on Thursday that interceptor rockets in Alaska are a key component to the country’s overall defense strategy.

Wrangell Walks for Child with Rare Disorder
Tom Gorman, KTSK – Wrangell
Wrangell residents were geared up last weekend in support of a local child who has a rare disorder.  Carter Hammer was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech or CAS when he was three years-old.  Since then, his family had to make adjustments and receive outside help in order to accommodate his needs.  The 2009 Wrangell walk for CAS took place last weekend in an effort to raise awareness about Carter’s disorder.

Fairbanks Considering Recycling Commission
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Fairbanks Borough Assembly considers an ordinance tonight that would re-establish a long dormant recycling commission.  Thursday night’s action follows the assembly’s passage earlier this month of a 5-cent plastic shopping bag fee to fund recycling.

Homer Film Festival Kicks Off
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
The 6th annual Homer Documentary Film Festival kicks off Thursday night at the Homer Theater. The festival brings some of the year’s most acclaimed documentary films to town.