Alaska News Nightly: January 20, 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)Parnell Opens Session
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Governor Parnell will make his first State of the State speech Wednesday night to a joint session of the House and Senate, here the Republican governor will show the direction he wants to take the state in the coming year.

Murkowski Pushing to Challenge the EPA
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is pushing forward with her controversial move to challenge the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency. In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday Murkowski plans to announce exactly what method she’ll use to fight the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gasses endanger the public health.  The endangerment finding allows the EPA to restrict emissions under the Clean Air Act, but Murkowski says stationary sources, such as power plants and factories, should NOT be included. The Senator can either introduce an amendment that would strip the E-P-A of its powers, or she can offer up a “resolution of disapproval.”  That’s a seldom-used tactic that could overturn the EPA’s endangerment finding. Murkowski said on Wednesday that she’s leaning toward using the resolution.

Murkowski’s EPA Battle Draws Fire from Environmentalists
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Environmentalists and watch-dog groups have slammed Murkowski for her plans.

NOAA Extends Comment Period on Belugas
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the agency is extending the comment period on its proposal to declare Cook Inlet critical habitat for the region’s beluga whales.

Bethel Advisory Vote Slams Alcohol Sales
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Bethel Residents voted against every type of alcohol sales in a special election held on Tuesday.

Fallout from GOP Victory in Mass. Uncertain
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska’s Senators say it’s too early to tell what impact Tuesday’s Republican Senate seat victory in Massachusetts will have on national politics.

Groups Sue to Block Shell’s Arctic Plans
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Environmentalist and Alaska Native groups have filed a lawsuit to stop Shell Oil from drilling in the Chukchi Sea.

Wainwright Getting Strykers Back
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Ft. Wainwright based soldiers are getting their Stryker vehicles back.  The 8-wheeled armored trucks used during the brigade’s year long deployment to Iraq, that wrapped up last fall, have begun coming back to Fairbanks.  Ft. Wainwright spokesman Captain David Mattox says Strykers are initially shipped to Ft. Lewis Washington for post deployment service.

Animal Shelters Full This Time of Year
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
The Homer Animal Shelter is bursting at the seams this time of year. It’s a familiar story throughout the state.