Alaska News Nightly: January 14, 2010

Scientists and Polar Bears 20100114 ANN

Photo By Pamela Manns – U.S. Coast Guard

A National Geographic film crew records Dr. Eric Regehr of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as he takes a sample from a sedated polar bear.

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DEC and EPA Investigating Chevron’s Alaska Facilities
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
State and federal officials are tight lipped about federal search warrants that were issued for Chevron’s Alaska facilities in Cook Inlet on Tuesday and Wednesday. John Kuterbach with the state department of Environmental Conservation’s division of Air Quality confirmed that both DEC and the EPA began investigating a potential non-compliance issue with Chevron in 2008.

Alaskan Woman OK after Haiti Quake
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
An Alaskan woman who was caught in the earthquake in Haiti is in good spirits today, even though she had to have her foot amputated. Christa Brelsford was teaching adult literacy south of Port-au-Prince when the quake hit. She fell running down a set of stairs and her legs were trapped under the crumbling building.

Plan Announced for Optic Highway
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
The proposed ArcticLink fiber optic cable from Japan to the United Kingdom would bring faster internet to Unalaska and Prudhoe Bay but not to other parts of western Alaska. The Kodiak Kenai Cable Company announced a plan to build a fiber optic express highway that connects Europe and Asia by passing through the Northwest Passage.

Judge Says Kott’s Trial Not Hurt by Lack of Evidence
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Judge John Sedwick has ruled that the evidence prosecutors failed to turn over to Pete Kott’s defense was not enough to have made a difference in his conviction on corruption charges.  The former state legislator will remain free pending appeal.

Parnell to Give Oil Companies More Incentives, Tax Credits
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Gov. Sean Parnell (R) on Thursday said he will introduce legislative amendments to the state’s petroleum revenue structure to give more investment incentives and tax credits to oil producers and explorers – in exchange for new jobs he anticipates would come from increased development.

Scientists Get New Insights into Polar Bear Life
Annie Feidt, APRN – Juneau
A recent expedition over the deep waters of the Arctic ocean is giving scientists new insight into how polar bears exist in that extreme environment. An icebreaker equipped with a helicopter made it possible for biologists to capture bears for the first time in the middle of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas last fall.

Crew Checks Out Donated WWII Bomb
Diana Gish, KMXT – Kodiak
A group of soldiers in the Fort Richardson Explosive Ordnance Detail arrived in Kodiak on Wednesday afternoon to inspect an unexploded World War 2 bomb. The ordnance was donated to the Kodiak Military History Museum by a local resident.

Snow Can Cripple Juneau’s Power System
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
A year ago, sliding snow severed the capital city from low-cost hydroelectric power for 21 days, forcing Juneau’s utility company to burn expensive diesel fuel.  The January 2009 avalanche was the second in a year along the Snettisham transmission line.

Homeless in Sitka
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
In November, Raven Radio brought you a series on homelessness in Sitka. Just two days after that series aired, one more Sitkan became homeless. Here’s KCAW’s Ed  Ronco with a story about a man named Rusty Sutton, a boat called the Sea Dog, and the storm that changed everything.