Alaska News Nightly: June 29, 2010

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Senators Debate Climate Change, Energy Legislation With President
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Both of Alaska’s Senators attended a White House meeting Tuesday on climate change and energy legislation. They were among a group of 23 Senators summoned by President Obama to the closed-door meeting to talk over policy. The White House called it a “constructive exchange” and said the President is still pushing for putting a price on carbon. The White House says that would make clean energy profitable, and hold polluting companies responsible.

Begich said in advance of the meeting that he thinks momentum is growing to move forward on a climate bill. He says Republicans are dangling “Cap and Trade” as a target because it’s language that’s politically unpopular, but he says that’s not productive, because there are other ways to go about pricing carbon.

Two Communities Begin Using River Turbine
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks
A small hydroelectric generator has begun powering two remote communities in eastern Alaska as part of a project to develop a cheaper and cleaner alternative diesel fire generation.

Doogan Begins Treatment of Tumor
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Anchorage Democrat Mike Doogan has begun treatment to remove a brain tumor. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday. Announcement of the condition came from House Democrats Tuesday morning that explained the meningioma tumor is usually non-cancerous and was discovered during an examination earlier this month.

UA Employees Interested in Union Representation With ASEA
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
More than 2,600 University of Alaska employees have said they’re interested in voting on union representation with the Alaska State Employees Association or ASEA. At least 30% of the employees had to weigh in to trigger the process for a vote. That threshold was reached last Friday. Now a 15-day process is underway, after which the Alaska Labor Relations Association will hold a pre-election conference. After that a date will be set for the ballot election.

Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenges Hits the Spit
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer
Two men simultaneously finished the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge on the Homer Spit early Monday morning, staking their claim to the half-million-dollar prize money in the 8,000 mile endurance race. The Hoka Hey has not been without controversy, however, as some riders – including a Homer man who finished the race Monday afternoon – are claiming the whole thing might be a scam. At least six Hoka hey participants have been hospitalized due to accidents along the route and one of them – Charles C. Lynn of Florida – was killed Saturday, following a crash in Wyoming.

Juneau Man Sets Record in Ultra Marathon
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
A Juneau man has set a record in one of the oldest and most challenging mountain runs in the world. In a race that must be completed within 30 hours, Geoff Roes on Saturday ran the one-hundred-mile Western States Endurance Run in half that. As KTOO’s Rosemarie Alexander reports, Roes is considered one of the top three ultra-marathon runners in the world.

Rural High School Students Take Wing
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A unique program is getting started next month to help high school students in rural Alaska find success with post secondary education. Take Wing Alaska is an intensive three-year effort that will try to address the culture shock students often face at a big city campus. 30 high school juniors from the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta will begin the program with a 12-day camp at the University of Alaska Anchorage on July 7. They will have additional immersion experiences over the next two years and support during their first year of college.