Alaska News Nightly: August 29, 2012

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Young, Cissna To Face Off In General Election

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

The turnout was considered low in Tuesday’s primary election. But voters turned out in enough numbers to defeat both ballot propositions.

Some race outcomes were predictable. Incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Don Young got close to 80 percent of the vote, and Democrat Sharon Cissna prevailed in a field of five. She’ll be traveling the state and personally contacting as many voters as she can, she says Young is out of touch.

Valley Upset Unseats Menard

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

In state races, Republican Mike Dunleavy is heading to Juneau.  Dunleavy’s upset of incumbent Wasilla Senator Linda Menard has big implications for next year’s legislature.

Davis Leads Crawford With 800 Absentee Ballots Left To Count

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

Other Senate races saw Fairbanks Republican Ralph Seekins fail in his bid to return to the Legislature.  Former state labor commissioner Click Bishop won that race.  Lesil McGuire held off Jeff Lanfield,  Bob Bell defeated Liz Vazquez, and, on the Democratic side, by a margin of less than a hundred votes, Anchorage Senator Betty Davis looks to have withstood a challenge from Harry Crawford.

Crawford said he’s very used to close contests.

More than 800 absentee ballots still need to be counted. Whoever prevails will face Anna Fairclough in the general election.

Kenai Incumbent Loses To Soldotna Mayor

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

After a long summer of heated campaigning, the Senate race on the Kenai Peninsula ended with the incumbent defeated. The winner, Soldotna Mayor Peter Micciche does not face a challenger in November.

Barrow’s Ben Nageak Wins House District 40 Race

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

In rural House races, Democrat Ben Nageak of Barrow will be going to the state House. He defeated three opponents and will be unopposed in the general election.  And Neal Foster beat Woodie Salmon.

On the Kenai Peninsula, Republican Paul Seaton prevailed over challenger Jon Faulkner, and Kurt Olson over Gary Knopp.

In Anchorage house races, there was a tight one between Democrats Cal Williams and Geran Tarr, and it see-sawed in the night, with Tarr emerging a hundred votes ahead.

Her opponent will be Republican Cean Stevens.

In Fairbanks, Republican Doug Isaacson is at the top of four contenders for House District One. And in District Five, Republican Pete Higgins is ahead of Aaron Lojewski by a hundred and one voted. The Democrat in that race will be David Watts.

Coastal Management Issue Likely To Reemerge During Legislative Session

Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

Despite the failure of Ballot Measure Two, Alaska could still reestablish its Coastal Management Program. Lawmakers on both sides of the vote expect to work on the issue again next legislative session.

Election Results Impact Alaskans

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

APRN’s Dave Donaldson joins us from Juneau, answering questions on what the defeat of Ballot Measure 2, and other primary election results, will mean for Alaskans.

Homer Bans Plastic Shopping Bags

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

The City of Homer has joined a growing list of American cities to ban the use of plastic shopping bags.

Tsunami Debris Threatens Marine Life, State Budgets

Sarah Cuiksa, KRBD – Ketchikan

When a 66-foot long dock landed on an Oregon beach this summer, scientists and environmentalists were alarmed. The nearly 5,000-mile voyage the dock made, in-tact, was impressive. But more impressive, and more alarming, is what lived on that dock.

There are two docks, and about 1.5 million tons of debris, still afloat in the Pacific.

Alaska Native Leaders Take Cautious Approach To Arctic Development

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Will future industrial development of the Arctic benefit Alaska Natives, who now suffer the highest gas and electric power prices in the state?  Arctic Imperative Summit  organizers say, yes.  But some Alaska Native leaders who have been on the forefront of the battle to preserve Native culture are taking a more cautious approach.