Alaska News Nightly: January 9, 2009

President Bush signs new arctic policy into law. Also, the US Supreme Court will hear the case on Kenisngton Mine tailings. And the Copper Basin 300 gets set to run despite frigid temperatures.

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President Bush signs new arctic policy into law
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
President George W. Bush has signed into law a new policy for the Arctic, just 10 days before he leaves office.  The policy has not yet been made public – the White House is expected to release it on Monday.

Legislature busy churning out bills for the session
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
This year’s legislative session is starting to ramp up in Juneau.  Lawmakers today  released the first batch of bills available for consideration this year and next – the first of many.  Among the 121 bills and resolutions are some we’re sure to hear about in the future.

US Supreme Court will hear case on Kenisngton Mine tailings

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday on a case that decide if the  Kensington Gold Mine can discharge tailings in a fresh water lake.

Sitka’s Japonski-Island boathouse restoration moves into new phase

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Sitka’s historic Japonski-Island boathouse is moving into the architectural phase of its planned restoration. The garage-like structure at the foot of the O’Connell bridge is one of the dwindling number of small, utilitarian buildings that comprised the Sitka Naval Air Station during World War II.

Final results in from US Cross Country Ski Championships

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The U.S. National Cross Country ski championships wrapped up in Anchorage yesterday.  The temperature warmed enough to get in a sprint competition, with Olympians Kris Freeman of New Hampshire and Kikkan Randall of Anchorage, easily winning the men’s and women’s events

Copper Basin 300 set to run despite frigid temperatures
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The weather likely won’t stop the 20th running of the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog race.  The season’s first big mid distance event is scheduled to get underway tomorrow at Lake Louise.  Temperatures along the race trail have been as cold as 50 below zero.  Organizers met last night to talk about contingencies if things don’t warm up, and race board president Marty Karjala says the event will go off in some form.

Free Free-Tibet concert in Anchorage

A concert tomorrow night at Atwood Concert Hall in
Anchorage is highlighting the struggle for freedom in Tibet. A Tibetan man who has lived in Alaska for more than a decade is helping organize the event. Karma Lama grew up in India and Nepal after his parents fled Chinese rule in Tibet. He says he hopes to raise awareness about the plight of people in his homeland