Alaska News Nightly: January 20, 2009

Many Alaskans flocked to Washington, DC to witness the inauguration of Barak Obama as the nation’s 44th President. Plus, the state Legislature opens it’s 2009 session in Juneau. Also the state sends an emergency delegation to the village of Emmonak,  and Mitch Seavey wins the Kuskokwim 300.

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Alaskans bear witness to historic inauguration
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Alaskans crowded onto the Washington Mall today, along with people from across the country and around the world, to watch Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States.

Mitch Seavey wins Kuskokwim 300
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Mitch Seavey is the Kuskokwim 300 Champion. Seavy crossed the finish line in Bethel with 7 dogs at 2:30 this morning. He was just 8 minutes ahead of Martin Buser.

Salvage of Monarch a challenge in icy Cook Inlet
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The supply vessel that went missing for a time after it sank in Cook Inlet has been located and appears to be staying put. The Monarch was delivering supplies to the Granite Point platform in western Cook Inlet when it was pinned against the platform by ice.

2009 Legislature opens in Juneau
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
This was a day of formalities in Alaska’s legislature as Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell opened the new legislative session this afternoon.

Legislature tries bipartisan organization

Anne Sutton, KTOO – Juneau
The State House and Senate have organized into bipartisan majorities this session, but House Republicans aren’t offering the same power sharing agreement that exists between Senate Democrats and Republicans.  The Senate has organized around Kodiak Republican Gary Stevens as Senate President, with both Democrats and  Republicans sharing committee leadership positions.

State sends delegation to Emmonak

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The State sent a delegation to Emmonak today to assess the economic crisis in the Western Alaskan community. Five representatives from a diverse array of state departments met with community leaders and residents this afternoon.

Senate confirms members of President Obama’s cabinet
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
The Senate confirmed six of President Obama’s cabinet members today, all by unanimous vote.  They include Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Steven Chu as Energy Secretary.  Both men now oversee departments that have a significant impact on Alaska.  Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Energy Committee ran their nomination hearings last week.  As the ranking Republican, Murkowski took a lead role in their questioning.

Students in Unalaska play president

Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Students in Unalaska are celebrating today’s inauguration by impersonating all of the U.S. Presidents and teaching the community about our nation’s history.