Alaska News Nightly: August 21, 2008

The otter population in Kachemak Bay has risen dramatically.  Plus, Fairbanks, Nenana and Salcha struggle to overcome the aftermath of flooding. Also,  APOC dismisses a complaint against the state. And an agreement clears the way for Chichagof Island timber sale. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Kachemak Bay otter population on the rise
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A new survey shows the Kachemak Bay sea otter population has increased dramatically since 2002. The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has been paying close attention to the otters in recent years, because hundreds in the area have died of a heart infection called valvular endocarditis. Biologists are still trying to figure out how the bacteria is infecting the otters.

Fairbanks struggles with aftermath of flooding

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Areas hard hit by flooding earlier this month are still struggling to recover.  The highest water on the Tanana River in 41 years flooded homes in parts of Salcha and Fairbanks, and Nenena, where nearly the entire town was inundated.

Berkowitz vs. Benson

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The two Democrats running for Alaska’s lone seat in the U-S House of Representatives are already setting their sights on Washington.  Incumbent Republican Don Young’s ethics troubles have left him vulnerable, and both Ethan Berkowitz and Diane Benson believe they can defeat either him, or whichever of his opponents might win the  Republican Primary.

Ballot Measure 2 puts aerial wolf control back in front of voters
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The state’s predator-control program would be changed if on Tuesday voters approve Ballot Measure Two. The initiative is the latest in the back-and-forth battle between urban and rural views of big game.

APOC dismisses complaint against the state

Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
The Alaska Public Offices Commission has dismissed a complaint filed against the state of Alaska related to the education materials they have released outlining the state’s predator control program.

Agreement clears the way for Chichagof Island timber sale

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
An agreement between the Forest Service and two environmental groups has cleared the way for a timber sale on Southeast’s Chichagof Island. Those involved expect the logs will go to a small, locally owned mill in Hoonah.

Renovations get underway for Y-K Village Public Saftety buildings
Alice Criswell, KYUK – Bethel
Renovations have been underway to several Village Public Safety buildings in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.  The newer buildings are already having a positive impact on one of the region’s toughest job.