Alaska News Nightly: March 9, 2011

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U.S. Senate Rejects Two Proposed Budgets
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The U.S. Senate rejected two budgets today (Weds) that would keep the federal government running through September. One would have cut 57 Billion dollars from current spending. That failed 44 to 56, with all Democrats against it claiming the cuts go too deep and are driven by ideology.

Congressional Delegation to Introduce Whaling Legislation
Jake Neher, KBRW – Barrow
Alaska’s Congressional delegation are saying they hope to introduce subsistence whaling legislation in the coming weeks. The move comes in response to a resolution passed by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission last month calling for domestic policy.

Mackey Says Dog Troubles are Hampering His Iditarod Chances
Ellen Lockyer and Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Martin Buser is enjoying his 24 hour layover in the Iditarod checkpoint town of Tokotna, on the Kuskokwim river. The Big Lake musher arrived last night a little after 10 o’clock with 15 dogs.

Unisea Pays Big Fine for Dumping Waste in UnAlaska Harbor
Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB– Unalaska
The seafood company UniSea has agreed to pay nearly $2 million in state and federal fines because of ammonia discharges at its Unalaska processing plant.

Fishery Council Targets Chum Salmon Waste
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
New King Salmon bycatch regulations went into effect this year for the Pollock fishing industry operating in the Gulf of Alaska. Now the North Pacific Fishery Management Council is deciding what to do about chum salmon that are wasted in the fishery.

Kodiak Researchers Conduct Marine Mammal Survey
Jacob Resneck, KMXT – Kodiak
Researchers in Kodiak routinely survey the archipelago’s marine mammal population. Migrations of whales and populations of harbor seals help biologists help track the health of the ecosystems which are indicators for things like climate change and other phenomena.

Fairbanks Borough Proposes Increased Fines for Burning Prohibited Fuels
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Amendments proposed to a Fairbanks Borough air pollution law would up fines for burning prohibited fuels in high impact areas. The changes would increase the fine for burning wet wood, trash, tires and other banned fuels from the current 30 dollars, to 60 dollars, or 100 dollars if the offense occurs during an air quality alert.

Bill Concerning the Controversial Susitna Dam Moves Forward
Sue Deyoe, KTNA – Talkeetna
The bill that examines the power of the Alaska Energy Authority to study and construct energy projects along the Alaska Railbelt finally moved out of the House Energy Committee late Tuesday. The legislation doesn’t mention the proposed Susitna Dam, but it would help move the controversial project forward.

Tom Busch Honored by Iditarod
Diana Haecker, KTNA – Talkeetna
Each year in the Iditarod sled dog race, an honorary musher is the first to leave the ceremonial start line in Anchorage, wearing bib number One. This year, it was Florence Busch, widow of the late Tom Busch. Tom Busch died unexpectedly last November, but he left a legacy in the Iditarod sled dog race as well as Nome radio station KNOM.