Alaska News Nightly: December 18, 2009

Aniak Freezer

Photo By Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Aniak resident Dee Matter takes storing food for the winter to a new level.

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Hate Crime Charges Filed in Anchorage Case
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Federal hate crime charges have now been filed against an Anchorage couple who allegedly harassed a Native man downtown.

Obama Releases Disaster Funds for Kodiak
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
President Barak Obama on Friday declared a major disaster for the Kodiak Island Borough in the wake of October storms. The declaration will allow Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to come to the borough to help pay for the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding, mudslides, and rockslides. Kodiak Island Borough Manager Rick Gifford said the designation will allow a complete survey of the damage and costs of repairs, but that probably won’t be done now until the spring.

New Energy Company Starts Operations in Cook Inlet
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
A new oil and gas company has begun operations in Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet Energy has acquired the assets that were abandoned by Pacific Energy Resources.  The history of the assets shows it changed hands several times, partially due to bankruptcies.  But the new owners are optimistic about the future of Cook Inlet oil and gas.

Alaska Unemployment at 8.8 Percent
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 8.7 percent. State Economist Dan Robinson says Alaska’s unemployment rate is up by about two percent since last year. But it hasn’t changed much in eight months.

More Federal Health Funds Coming to Alaska
The Associated Press
Alaska is among nine states being rewarded by the federal government for enrolling more uninsured children in Medicaid. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Alaska is receiving a $789,000 bonus for boosting health insurance coverage for children. The payouts were part of the Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization signed into law in February by President Barack Obama.

Some Juneau Families Looking for New Childcare Options
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
About 60 Juneau families are looking for new childcare options after the Valley Youth Club announced this week that it will close its doors January 29th.

New Women’s Shelter Opens in Bethel
Angela Denning-Barnes, KTOO – Juneau
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new Tundra Women’s Shelter in Bethel on Thursday.

Legislation Aims at Protecting Recreation Area Near Fairbanks
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Legislation is in the works to maintain protection for a popular recreation area north of Fairbanks.

Aniak Resident Takes Freezing to a New Level
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Many Alaskans rely on carefully stocked freezers to get them through the long winter. But Aniak resident Dee Matter takes it to a new level.

The Holidays: A Time for Singing
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska Sound Celebration, the local chapter of the Sweet Adelines, a barber shop style women’s a cappella singing group has been working with some guest vocalists over the past 6 weeks. Friday night in Anchorage, the group will team up with other local choruses to sing some holiday tunes.