Alaska News Nightly: April 5, 2011

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Only Two Bills Passed So Far This Session
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
With less than two weeks remaining in this year’s legislative session, lawmakers don’t have much to brag about when they go home this year. So far, only two bills and a handful of resolutions have passed both the House and Senate. That’s out of nearly 350 bills that have been introduced.

Fairbanks Union Members Rally for Worker’s Rights
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks area union members rallied Monday in support of worker’s rights. National Education Association Alaska President Barb Angaiak says the event at Pioneer Park was part of a national call to action to highlight the importance of organized labor.

Over 1,000 Labor Rallies Held Across Nation
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Across the country Monday more than 1,000 labor rallies were held, including six in Alaska.

The events marked the anniversary of Doctor Martin Luther King Junior assassination 43 years ago when he was in Memphis to support striking garbage collectors trying to establish union rights.

Regulators May Set Hard Cap on Chinook Bycatch
Jacob Resneck, KMXT – Kodiak
Federal regulators are moving toward setting a hard cap that would limit Chinook salmon caught as bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska. If a fishery exceeds the cap it would trigger an automatic closure and the fleet would have to stop fishing. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council met over the weekend in Anchorage but final action will wait until June when the council reconvenes in Nome. The cap could come into effect as soon as next year.

Lost Chevak Travelers Survive in Snow Cave
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Two men from the Bering Sea village of Chevak survived two stormy nights in the wilderness.  The barren coastal flats where they were lost left no cover and strong winds kept aerial search teams at bay.  According to the volunteer searchers that found them, they’re alive only because they listened to advice they got from their elders.

Mountain Rescue Nearly Ends in Tragedy
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks
The story of the two North Pole men rescued last week after losing their way in a snowstorm on Mount Hayes could have been tragic – if not for the skill of an Eielson based helicopter pilot and the mountain climbers’ experience.

Health Snack Program Expanding
Daysha Eaton, KDLG – Dillingham
A program that provides healthy snacks to elementary school kids is expanding. KDLG’s Daysha Eaton explains how it will affect kids in rural Alaska:

Colon Cancer Screening Efforts May Grow
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. This year alone the society estimates 141,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and nearly 50,000 people will die from it.