Alaska News Nightly: February 18, 2010

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Murkowski: DC Not Helping Fix Economy
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Senator Lisa Murkowski on Thursday gave her annual report to the state legislature,   focusing on the national economy and pointing at what she called the federal government’s “flawed,” short-term approach to fixing it.

Groups Appeal EPA’s Red Dog Decision
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Canada’s Teck Resources Ltd. says environmental and Native groups have appealed a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to renew a permit for the company’s Red Dog mine in Alaska. Teck said Wednesday that several environmental and tribal groups appealed the EPA’s renewal of a water discharge permit for the mine. Teck says the entire permit will be stayed.

Conference Opens on Fetal Alcohol
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Alaska has the highest rate of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the nation. The preventable lifelong disability – caused by a mother drinking alcohol while pregnant – is the most common known cause of cognitive disabilities. Medical experts, parents, judges and FASD victims gather in Juneau on Thursday for a three-day conference on the disorder.

Petersburg Asks DC Decision to Postpone Action on Sealaska’s Land Plan
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Petersburg’s city council is asking Alaska’s congressional delegation to postpone action on a Sealaska lands bill. The legislation would allow the regional native corporation to select its remaining land entitlement from acreage outside of boundaries specified under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement act.

Some Toyota Owners Facing Challenge
Adam Kane, KDLG – Dillingham
Toyota owners in rural Alaska face a challenge in getting their vehicles fixed.

Musher Scratches in Yukon Quest after Dog Dies
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A dog has died in the Yukon Quest.  Rookie musher Terry Williams of Fairbanks scratched from the race yesterday after an 8-year-old male suddenly died.

Parnell Defends His Scholarship Plan
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Governor Sean Parnell – a Republican – has fired back at legislative critics of his proposed scholarship program for college-bound students. Parnell was in Sitka, speaking before the chamber of commerce.

Alaska and Horizon Go to Electronic Boarding Passes
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Passengers flying on certain Alaska Airlines and Horizon flights will no longer be required to carry paper boarding passes. The parent company of the two airlines on Thursday announced the introduction of electronic boarding passes in seven communities, including Anchorage and Seattle.