Alaska News Nightly: April 6, 2009

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Volcano Halts Oil Production in Cook Inlet
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Chevron has halted its oil production in Cook Inlet because of continuing threats from the Mount Redoubt eruption. The company stores its oil at the Drift River terminal about 22 miles from the volcano.

Stevens’ Judge Pushes for Information from Justice Department
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington D. C.
The judge who presided over the trial of former Senator Ted Stevens is continuing his push for information from the Justice Department, even as the government seeks to dismiss the case. Judge Emmet Sullivan filed orders yesterday that indicate he may want to pursue what went wrong at the Department of Justice.

Senator Begich Stresses Importance of Missile Defense System
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Freshman Senator Mark Begich is in Alaska this week on break from Washington Congressional duties. Begich will be talking to Governor Palin and the state legislature tomorrow about the Stimulus Bill and how dollars will flow to Alaska. Palin has yet to agree to accept all provisions of the stimulus package for Alaska.

Lawmakers Study State Energy Needs
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislature is continuing its study of the elements of a long-and-short term plan for the state’s energy needs.

Bill Would Create New State Department of Energy
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
As a result of the weekend meeting, the Energy Committee today (Monday) introduced a bill that would create a new cabinet level Department of Energy. Committee Co-chair Charisse Millett said the goal is to streamline energy programs by putting them all in one place.

Anchorage Voters Head to Polls Tomorrow
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Tomorrow Anchorage holds its municipal elections. As KSKA’s Len Anderson reports, there are an unprecedented number of candidates.

Obesity is Focus of Public Health Week
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage and Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Alaskans are getting older and fatter, and that is worrying state health officials. To mark National Public Health Week, we called Doctor Jay Butler, Chief Medical Officer with the Department of Social Services for a check-up on where Alaskans stand on the national health scale. He says there are three big emerging public health challenges in Alaska.

National Guard Program Helps Rural Vets Access Services
Paul Korchin, KNOM – Nome
The Alaska National Guard has created a Yellow Ribbon program to acquaint Guard members and their families with the array of services available to those who’ve served their State and country.