Alaska News Nightly: July 6, 2009

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Parnell Assembling New Administration
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Since Friday’s announcement that he will take over the governor’s office in less than three weeks,  Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell has been very busy putting together an administration for the next year and a half that he will serve.

Murkowski “Deeply Disappointed” in Palin
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
One of the strongest responses to Governor Palin’s decision to resign came from Senator Lisa Murkowski.  Her office put out a statement, saying the Senator was “deeply disappointed” in the Governor for deciding to “abandon the state and her constituents.”  Murkowski says after a couple days reflection, her reaction has not changed.

State GOP Responds to Palin’s Departure
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska Republicans are issuing a blanket statement in the wake of Governor Palin’s resignation, calling Palin a “valued public servant.” Although the party is trying to switch it’s focus toward Lt. Governor Sean Parnell’s taking the reins of government, Palin’s abrupt departure leaves some lead Republicans a bit at sea.

Two Fort Richardson Troopers Killed In Afghanistan
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Two Fort Richardson paratroopers were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday. Private first class Justin Casillas and Aaron Fairbairn were killed on July 4th, when a combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan came under attack. Thirteen other soldiers were also injured.

Wildfires Springing Up
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer and Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge continues to monitor a wildfire that was started by lightning last week and is now burning more than 700 acres. Dozens of wildfires are also burning in the interior, as hot dry weather continues.

Water Bill Specifies Industry Standards
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
A bill before Congress would clarify exactly what kind of industries can dump material into a body of water.  The Clean Water Protection Act would differentiate between “fill” and waste.  Its supporters hope it would prevent mining companies, coal-fired power plants and industrial farms from dumping their waste into waterways.

Scientists  Might Redraw Map for Ice Age
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
The Ice Age must have been icier than we thought – at least in Alaska.  A new find by permafrost scientists on the North Slope is likely to re-draw the map of where the ice was ten to thirty thousand years ago.

Salmon Run Mixed
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
It’s been a pretty good King Salmon run on the Lower Kuskokwim River this year, but escapement in the mid-river tributaries is not so impressive. Some are starting to wonder what’s happening to the Kings between the Kuskokwim Bay and the Kuskokwim Tributaries.