Alaska News Nightly: April 23, 2010

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White House Wooing Murkowski
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is among the Republicans the White House is trying to work with and mollify over a pending financial regulatory bill. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made the rounds on Capitol Hill this week to talk financial reform, and stopped at Murkowski’s office Thursday evening.  Senate Democrats plan their first test of legislation Monday, which will force Republicans to vote on whether to move forward.  At least one Republican will have to side with Democrats to stop a filibuster.  Murkowski says the main concern she brought up with Secretary Geithner is over community banks and credit unions, and how they could be caught up in regulations designed for big Wall Street banks.  She says small banks in Alaska could get unnecessarily squeezed.

German Shepherd Leads Troopers to Rescue
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
An Easter Sunday tragedy was averted, thanks to the actions of a very unusual hero. That’s what Alaska State Troopers are calling Buddy the German Shepherd, whose quick action led to his master’s rescue.

Rabbi Sees Common Struggles Over Identity
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The name Michael Krauss may not be immediately recognizable to all Alaskans, but the map of Native people and languages he developed in the mid 70s probably is familiar.  Professor Krauss is the founder of the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He recently gave a talk about his work in an interesting setting- the Alaska Jewish Historical Museum and Cultural Center. Before he spoke, Rabbi Joseph Greenberg, the president of the museum said while researching the history of Alaska Jews he discovered that Krauss and more than half of the other professors involved in the Alaska Native language center are Jewish. He said it symbolizes the struggles both Jews and Natives have had in trying to hold on to their cultural identity and world view.

Juneau Documentary Gives Students Firsthand Look at Drinking and Driving
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
A Juneau film about a real-life tragedy that has changed the lives of many people, and is now giving Juneau high school students an important firsthand lesson in the dangers of drinking and driving. Last June, shortly after graduating from Juneau Douglas High School, Taylor White went to a bonfire party out the road. At some point he and some friends decided to go for a drive. Tyler Emerson was at the wheel of his 1999 Audi, travelling in excess of 80 miles per hour, when he lost control and crashed into some trees. Both Emerson and White were thrown from the vehicle. Emerson survived. White did not. The Taylor White Foundation — set up by White’s parents, Kevin and Carol — has produced a short documentary about the accident, which was shown to students at Thunder Mountain High School on Wednesday.

BLM Eyeing Impact of Plant Eradication Along Dalton Highway
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Bureau of Land Management is looking at the impacts of invasive plant eradication and control measures along the Dalton Highway. The B.L.M. is taking public input on potential means and effects outlined in a draft management proposal.  B.L.M. wildlife biologist Ruth Gronquist says the plan includes a range of measures starting with improved surveillance for non indigenous plants, followed by basic mitigation techniques.

New Cruise Line to Test Alaskan Waters
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
Just days after the Alaska Legislature passed a bill rolling back part of a 2006 voter-approved head tax on cruise ship passengers, a new cruise line has announced it will test Alaskan waters for the first time in 2011.

Day 2: Native Youth Olympics Features Stick Pull
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The second day of the Senior Native Youth Olympics in Anchorage featured the Eskimo stick pull in the morning. There’s also a version called the Indian stick pull and Elia Tulik from the Nelson Island community of Nightmute has competed in both. He’s a junior this year and says he’s tried all the events but he qualified for the Indian stick pull which in a way he’s been practicing for a long time.