Alaska News Nightly: March 30, 2010

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Lawmakers Unlikely to Approve Parnell’s Scholarship Plan
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Lawmakers aren’t likely to approve Governor Sean Parnell’s scholarship program this year. They’re still looking for money to pay for the plan.  The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday will take a look at what originally was proposed as a $400 million endowment to help pay university costs for students who qualify.

Corrections Department Closing Last Prison Industry
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The Alaska Department of Corrections is closing the last of the state’s prison industries. A garment shop and a furniture factory shut down on Wednesday.  An industrial laundry closes in September.

Researchers Studying Sea Lions’ Diet
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Researchers are trying to figure out how Stellar Sea Lions react to changes in their diets. The information might help scientists understand the population decline in the wild.

Sealaska to Pay Out $8 Million to Shareholders
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Sealaska will distribute almost $8 million to shareholders. The Southeast regional Native corporation has about 20,000 tribal members, more than half living outside the region.

Less Snow Might Mean Less Flooding
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
This winter’s well-below normal snowfall could help reduce flooding during breakup. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb says run off from snowmelt is one of the factors that affects spring flood potential.

Sales Tax Dropping in Wasilla
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Wasilla consumers will be paying less in sales taxes come this summer.  A one-half percentage point cut takes effect in July.  The reduction comes about a year early, since city voters raised their sales tax by half a percent in 2002, to pay for the Wasilla Sports Complex.

Pratt Museum Featuring Special Show
Marcia Lynn, KBBI – Homer
From now through mid-May the Pratt Museum in Homer is featuring a special show that combines slices of Alaska history with the talents of two local artists to create a stunning and thought provoking exhibit.

Nome: Artists Love the Vistas
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Nome Alaska is noted as a historic gold rush town, and as the final checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. But there is another side to the rugged city on the state’s northwestern coast: artists find expression in the breathtaking, but sometimes brutal, environment.