Alaska News Nightly: January 5, 2010

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Criminal Charges to Be Filed in Animal Deaths
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
Last month’s tragedy at the Dillingham Animal Shelter where six dogs died while in the care of the city will result in criminal charges.

Government to Limit Halibut Charters in 2011
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
The federal government will start limiting the number of halibut charter boats in Alaska next year. The national marine fisheries service on Monday announced it will require the charter operators to obtain a federal permit.

Fairbanks Suffering from Poor Air Quality
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Fairbanks air quality has been horrible in recent weeks. The federal fine particulate pollution standard was exceeded on 19 days in December and has done so every day so far this month.  Borough Air Quality technician Jim McCormick says smoke from wood burning and atmospheric conditions are combing to degrade local air. McCormick says recent conditions have been the worst since 2008, when the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the fine particulate standard from 65 micrograms per cubic meter to 35.  McCormick says Fairbanks would have been in violation on only five days last month under the old standard.  The borough monitors air quality in several spots in Fairbanks and North Pole. McCormick says particulates are primarily an urban problem.

State Troopers Investigating Shooting of Swan
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
State troopers are investigating the shooting death of a swan near Sitka over the weekend. The incident was likely a violation of both state and federal wildlife laws.

Resolution No. 1: Be Careful of New Year’s Resolutions
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
With the holiday food temptations and parties pretty much over, a lot of us are now pursuing resolutions seeking weight loss, better physical fitness and a more active life style.  On Monday, the Better Business Bureau office for Alaska issued a warning to health seeking consumers to make certain their desire for physical fitness doesn’t result in financial injury.

CIRI Buys Eagle River Clean Up Company
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A company that had its modest beginnings in Eagle River a dozen years ago and grew to more than $100 million in revenue this year was just purchased by Cook Inlet Region Incorporated or CIRI, an Alaska Native Corporation. North Wind Incorporated was started by Sylvia Medina in Eagle River in 1997 and now has its main headquarters in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The company specializes in environmental clean up work, engineering and construction for federal contracts with the department of Defense and Energy. Greg Razo is Vice President of government contracting for CIRI. He says North Wind began as an environmental remediation services company with a focus on nuclear waste.

Sealaska Heritage Institute Hoping to Increase Student Success
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A Southeast Native cultural organization is releasing a series of books it hopes will increase student success rates. Sealaska Heritage Institute is presenting the books, and what’s called the Developmental Language Process, to educators in four of the region’s communities.

Observatory Lowers Alert Level on Redoubt
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Volcano Observatory is lowering the alert level on Redoubt Volcano from yellow to green. Scientists say seismic activity at the volcano is low and there aren’t any visible signs of unrest. A swarm of earthquakes a week ago prompted the Observatory to raise the alert level. Redoubt erupted last spring.