Alaska News Nightly: January 12, 2010

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via email, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio (MP3)Fuel Leaks at Underground Tank in Adak
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
A leaking underground tank spilled 134,400 gallons of diesel fuel in Adak yesterday evening. Most of the fuel was absorbed into the ground, but about 1,000 gallons leaked into the small boat harbor in Sweeper Cove.

General Warns of Missile Threat
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The head of the US Missile Defense Agency Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly was in Anchorage today speaking to Commonwealth North about plans for upgrades at Clear Air Force station located about 80 miles Southwest of Fairbanks and plans for Fort Greeley. O’Reilly first talked about threats from other nations. He said the growth has been steady for 20 years and is accelerating, saying there are nearly 6000 missiles and nearly a thousand launchers in countries other than the US, Russia, China and NATO. O’Reilly says it paints a disconcerting picture for the future. He says he’s continually asked why there isn’t a build up on the east coast rather than Alaska to defend against Iran. He says he has to remind people that maps are flat but the world is not.

Nome Contributes $50K to Iditarod
John Francis, KNOM – Nome
The Iditarod Trail Committee received another $50,000 donation Monday night from the City of Nome’s Common Council. This comes after four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King personally donated $50,000 to the ITC.

Murkowski: More Troops in Afghanistan Paying Off
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) says she believes the troop surge in Afghanistan will be effective, although it will likely cost more American casualties. Alaska’s senior Senator returned from a brief visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday  She and three other Republican members of Congress went on the five-day trip at the invitation of the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.  Murkowski says they saw evidence that President Obama’s recent decision to boost troops in Afghanistan is already having positive results.

Dillingham City Council Probes Dog Abuse
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
The recent tragedy at the Dillingham Animal Shelter that resulted in the death of six dogs was discussed at length during last week’s city council meeting.

Fish and Wildlife Propose Eradication Programs
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a plan to eradicate hoary marmots from one of the Barren Islands north of Kodiak, and European rabbits from a pair of islands near Akutan. All three islands are uninhabited, save for the furry little mammals, and the native bird populations. It’s those birds which the service hopes to help by removing the marmots and rabbits. Steve Delehanty is the manager of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. He says the marmots were likely introduced to Sud Island in 1930.

Two Alaskans Make Olympic Biathlon Team
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Two Alaskans are heading to the Vancouver Olympics with the U-S Biathlon team. Both Jeremy Teela and Jay Hakkinen are veteran Olympians. Vancouver will be Teela’s third Olympics and its a venue he is very familiar with. He had his best world cup result in Vancouver last year, placing third. Teela graduated from Service High School in Anchorage, but now lives in Utah. He and several other members of the team have a shot at medaling in Vancouver. That would be a first for U-S biathlon. Kasilof resident Jay Hakkinen came in 10th at the Torino Olympics in 2006. He says all of his efforts in the last four years have been directed towards one goal.

Sitka Examining Anti-Bullying Techniques
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
Students across the Sitka School District are learning about anti-bullying techniques using a new curriculum called OLWEUS. With the halfway point of the school year approaching, KCAW’s Ed Ronco decided to take a look at the curriculum, and whether district staff think it’s working.