Alaska News Nightly: March 25, 2010

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Hostility Remains Over Health Care Bill
Libby Casey, APRN – Anchorage
President Obama may have signed major health care legislation into law two days ago but debate – and hostility –continues in the nation’s capital.  The Senate passed on Thursday a bill of “fixes” to the health care legislation, on a vote of 56 to 43, despite Republican attempts to stall passage or derail it by introducing a series of amendments.

Rural Schools Bill Clears First Hurdle
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
A bill aimed at revamping construction funds for rural schools has passed its first hurdle in the Legislature.

Shell’s Drilling Plans Yet to Receive Final OK
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Shell Oil’s drilling plans for this summer in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas are not yet fully approved, so it’s not certain that they will be bringing vessels and business to Unalaska.

Committees Hear Testimony on Large Scale Mineral Projects
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
The Alaska House Fisheries Committee and the Senate Resources Committee held a hearing last week at which they discussed the state regulations and statutes related to the permitting and development of large scale mineral developments in Alaska.

Sitka Herring Fishery Nets 5,000 Tons
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
The first opening of the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery netted 5,000 tons of herring. That’s the preliminary data from Fish & Game area management biologist Dave Gordon after Wednesday’s harvest near the Gavanski and Siganaka Islands.

Alaska and Kentucky Utility Customers Protest Loans for Coal Plants
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Some electric utility customers in Alaska and Kentucky have joined forces to protest federal loan guarantees for coal fired power plants.  Rate payers alliances representing Fairbanks, the Matanuska Valley and Homer, and similar organizations in Kentucky, are working with watchdog groups to protest U.S. Department of Agriculture’s issuance of $900 million in lien accommodations for a coal burning power plant in the
southern state.

Craig Finishing New Medical Building
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
The city of Craig is wrapping up work on a new medical building. The new building will house the town’s medical clinic, community connections and the state department of public health.

Japanese Climber Back from Mt. Hunter
Sue Deyoe, KTNA – Talkeetna
Japanese climber Masatoshi Kuriaki is back from his 5th attempt at Mt. Hunter.  The 37-year old didn’t summit, but spent 83 days trying.