Alaska News Nightly: March 5, 2009

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Senate clears way for changes in Endangered Species Act
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The Senate has cleared the way for the Obama Administration to reverse changes made to the Endangered Species Act under President Bush.  Today the Senate voted down an amendment sponsored by Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich that would’ve slowed down the reversal process.

Legislature reaches halfway point

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislature today has passed the half-way mark of this year’s 90-day session.  So far, members have passed and sent to the governor one bill – a housekeeping measure that extends the Joint Armed Services Committee.   Meanwhile,  nearly half the members are in Washington, DC and no committees, meetings, or hearings are scheduled until next Monday.

State Department of Transportation receives $175 million in stimulus funds
Rebecca Sheir, KTOO – Juneau
The state Transportation Department has received one-hundred-seventy-five million dollars in economic stimulus funds from Congress.

5 men rescued off grounded fishing vessel
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
The Coast Guard successfully rescued 5 men off of a grounded fishing vessel this morning on St. George Island. The 112-foot Mar-Gun contacted the Coast Guard at 4:11 am saying they were grounded near the bering sea island

Radid dog discovered in Anchorage
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
State health officials say a trainer and five others who had close contact with a rabid dog are receiving shots to prevent rabies. The dog was rescued from a village in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, where it was in a group of other dogs attacked by a fox. The dog showed no signs of being bitten.

Alaska Airlines begins in-flight Wi-Fi service

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Alaska Airlines has begun offering wireless internet service on one of its jets. But it will be about a year before Wi-Fi is available on most Alaska routes.

Anyone for candidate speed dating

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Last night in Anchorage, young professionals offered a glimpse into the tech savvy generation’s idea of a candidate’s forum. An evening of Mayoral speed dating was organized by Institute of the North’s Alaska dialogue coordinator Nils Andreasson.  Andreasson put out the notice through the online social networking site Facebook and nearly 100 young professionals signed up.

Senator Murkowski receives national NCAI award

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski was honored by the National Congress of American Indians this week.  NCAI gave Murkowski its Congressional Leadership Award at a Washington DC ceremony Monday night.  It’s the first time an Alaskan has won the award.  NCAI is the nation’s oldest and largest Indian organization, and advocates on behalf of American Indians and Alaska Natives.