Alaska News Nightly: December 21, 2009

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Senate Prepares for Health Care Vote
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The Senate took a key vote on health care legislation early Monday morning that sets up passage of the bill on Christmas Eve.

Researcher Gets Mixed Results on Fish Quota Work
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
A researcher who said he wanted to get a “fisheye view” of whether it helps or hurts fish stocks to parcel out fishing quotas in shares got mixed results when he studied fifteen different fisheries.

Crippled Freighter Heads to Portland
The Associated Press
The crew of a crippled freighter adrift in the North Pacific has repaired its engines and the vessel is on its way to Portland, Ore.

Anchorage Gets New Police Chief
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan has selected the city’s new police chief. The mayor announced today that Mark Mew will take over as the Anchorage Police Department chief next month.

Kodiak Aiming for More Energy Efficiency
Diana Gish, KMXT – Kodiak
The success of Kodiak Electric Association’s wind and hydroelectric plants has made Kodiak a state leader in the production of renewable energy. The utility cooperative plans to continue developing more sources to make the island energy efficient.

Skagway Gets More Protections for Harbor
Tara Bicknell, KHNS – Haines
The city of Skagway has a new system in place to protect the small boat harbor from wave damage.

Kodiak Strikes Out in Mr. Fur Face Contest
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
In a chilly, damp and windy location like Kodiak, facial hair is far more common than elsewhere, even the icy arctic. But nobody from the island has ever won the “Mr. Fur Face” state championships.

Bear Cub Released from Otter Trap
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
An Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist was called to Tenakee Springs last week to free a bear whose toes had become caught in an otter trap. The cub was caught in the trap on a rocky point in Long Bay, which is about 15 miles northwest of Tenakee Springs.

Holiday Legends: What’s Unique About Santa’s Reindeer?
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
This time of year, there’s no end to the stories involving reindeer.  One urban legend making the rounds recently makes note of the fact that all the reindeer pulling Santa Clause’s sled are female. Why?