Alaska News Nightly: January 13, 2010

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Murkowski Defends Ties with Lobbyists
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
The environmental group Greenpeace has filed a Senate Ethics complaint against Senator Lisa Murkowski for consulting lobbyists as she wrote an amendment.  But Murkowski, a Republican, and her staff say the criticism is overblown, and that her office did nothing wrong.

Tribal and State Summit Focuses on Suicide Prevention
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A three-day gathering of tribal and state agencies focused on the staggering numbers of suicide in Alaska wrapped up today in Anchorage. Brenda Moore, chair of the statewide suicide prevention council says the summit is the first time such a broad cross section of people have gathered to focus on what works and how to replicate it.

Fairbanks Examining New Ways to Help Homeless Inebriates
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Thirty below temperatures in Fairbanks this week underline the urgency of getting homeless people off the streets.  State housing officials met with local service providers on Tuesday to discuss a new approach to dealing with homeless inebriates.

Three Groups Sue to Block SE Timber Sale
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Three environmental groups are suing to block the Logjam timber sale on Southeast’s Prince of Wales Island. They say the Forest Service’s timber-cutting plan would threaten wolves, deer and salmon. The timber industry says the lawsuit threatens one of the last mills operating in the Tongass National Forest.

Anchorage Nearing End of Giving Swine Flu Shots
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The city of Anchorage is preparing to end its campaign to inoculate residents against the H1N1 flu. Anchorage will hold its last two free clinics this month. City officials are considering the vaccination push a success.

Navy Wants More War Games in Alaska Waters
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The Alaska Marine Conservation Council is questioning the Navy’s plan to conduct more extensive war games in the Gulf of Alaska. The Navy is presenting a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal to a handful of Alaska’s coastal communities. But Dave Kubiak, the chairman of the board for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, says the Navy could not have picked a more problematic place.

UAF Wins Grant to Study Invasive Plants
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to study the impacts of some invasive plant species.