Alaska News Nightly: May 4, 2010

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Groups Speak Out on ANWR
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Twenty-five people turned out in Washington on Tuesday to speak on the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comments as is prepares to update its comprehensive plan for the Refuge, which was last completed more than two decades ago.

McGrath Gets Reprieve at the Gas Pump
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
McGrath residents have had a bit of a reprieve at the gas pump. Crowley Maritime Corporation says a communication error caused them to charge too much. So they lowered the price by 72 cents per gallon. Still, the mayor of McGrath is working on finding an alternative for the community.

EPA Challenged on Permits for Shell
The Associated Press
Alaska Native and conservation groups are challenging a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant Clean Air Act permits to Shell Oil for the drilling offshore exploration wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

Exxon Valdez Official Sees Parallels with Gulf Spill
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The man who was initially in charge of the Exxon Valdez oil spill response says he sees some parallels with the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Former State Department of Environmental Conservation On Scene Coordinator Dan Lawn says the oil industry in the Gulf is again underequipped for dealing with a large spill.

Cruise Ship Season Gets Underway in Juneau
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Cruise ship season gets underway in Juneau on Tuesday. The 965-foot Norwegian Pearl — with capacity for more than 24-hundred passengers – docked this morning at about 8 o’ clock.

Herring Gillnetters Have Fast and Furious Season
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
It was a fast and furious season for southeast herring gillnetters this year. Their two sac roe fisheries opened a lot earlier than usual, fishermen had little waiting time on the grounds, and the fishing itself went quick. Roe percentages were reportedly good, which makes the catch more valuable.

Whaling Season Starts for Alaska Hunters
Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome
The spring bowhead whale hunt is on for the 10 whaling communities in Alaska authorized to harvest the bowhead whale. One community on St. Lawrence Island had a festive day with a bountiful harvest.

Legendary Feedstore Closes in Bethel
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
The K-300 Feedstore in Bethel closed its doors last month. The store had been supplying area mushers and pet owners for 17 years.