Alaska News Nightly: May 21, 2010

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Alaska‘s Senators Split Their Votes on Financial Reform
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska’s Senators split their votes last night on a financial reform bill that passed 59 to 39.  Democrats largely supported it, and all but four Republicans were against it.

Bethel Senior Center Slashes Services
Angela Denning- Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
The Eddie Hoffman Senior Center in Bethel means a lot of things to a lot of elders: It’s food, it’s transportation, its friendship. But starting Monday, these services are being dramatically cut back.

3-year-old Killed by Dog in Napaskiak
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
A 3-year-old girl was mauled to death by a dog in Napaskiak. It happened Thursday evening. Alaska State Troopers responded to the village to investigate.

Buckland Assess Flooding, Braces for More
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Flooding has damaged some streets and power poles in the community of Buckland,  southeast of Kotzebue. Darlene Hadley, acting city administrator, says the water came up earlier this week, starting on Sunday, when a jam on the Buckland River broke free.

BP Shareholders Sue Company Executives
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
BP shareholders filed suit in Anchorage Superior Court yesterday (Thursday) alleging serious mismanagement at the company has led to reckless environmental and safety practices.

Commerce Secretary Approves Chinook Bycatch Plan
Laureli Kinneen, KNOM – Nome
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently approved the Chinook salmon bycatch plan proposed by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Low Water on the Copper River Could Hamper Fishery
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Unusually low water on the Copper River could be a factor as salmon move upstream. Upper river state management biologist Mark Somerville says the Copper River is the lowest it’s been in many years, and that could accelerate or slow fish movement.

Alaska Supreme Court Decision Settles Riverboat Dispute
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Alaska Supreme Court has handed down a decision in a long running dispute between the state and the owners of the Riverboat Discovery in Fairbanks.  The court says the Binkley family owned company has to pay the state for operating a wharf on the Chena River, but not as much as the state wants it to.

New Law Sends More Local Produce to Alaska Schools
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
The state’s efforts to boost markets for locally grown products include a program to include Alaska produce in schools.  Governor Sean Parnell has signed into law a bill that would create a Farm to School Program to improve nutrition in elementary school student diets.

Book Project Shows Off Kids’ Creative Talents
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Preliminary results from spring standardized testing of Alaska’s school children are in with mixed results.
The state Department of Education released the statewide figures Tuesday, reporting gains in the number of students passing the reading, math and science tests, but declines in writing. In an age of text messages and twitter, the long form story may be in danger of extinction. But at the Pacific Northern Academy in Anchorage, Sarah Mariner’s fourth grade class loves writing.