Alaska News Nightly: July 25, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

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US House Passes Bill Speeding Up Alaska Oil Lease Sales

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill today that would grant states a portion of oil revenues from off-shore drilling. It comes the same day the House passed its own bill that would expand off-shore drilling.

Hilcorp To Reopen Drive River Terminal Oil Storage Facility

Shaylon Cochran, KDLL – Kenai

This spring, Hilcorp, Alaska announced plans to reopen the Drift River Terminal oil storage facility on the west side of Cook Inlet.  Hilcorp’s announcement raised concerns about the safety of the terminal because it’s at the base of Redoubt Volcano. Calls have been made for construction of a pipeline to transfer oil to the east side of the Inlet for processing, most recently by the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council or CIRCAC.

Committee Approved Money For Inspection Of State Capitol Building

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The committee that handles the year-round business affairs of the legislature approved money for an in-depth inspection and report on the structural integrity of the state Capitol in Juneau on Wednesday. The Legislative Council agreed to pay $149,000 for design development to follow up on studies done in 2006 and 2010. Those studies found problems with the old masonry and were heightened recently when a legislative staff employee was nearly hit by a falling piece of the building.

Robert Reich Speaks In Anchorage

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Public Policy professor and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich is in Anchorage this week. The Berkeley economist is a prolific author and commentator on the current plight of the global economy. He has some thoughts about Alaska’s economy too. He thinks natural gas is set to become a primary energy source for developed nations. And given that, he doesn’t think Congress should ban natural gas exports, as one Democratic Representative has proposed.

Alaska Ranks Among Highest In Work-Related Fatality Rates

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

New data released by the Alaska Department of Health continues to show that Alaska has among the highest work-related fatality rates in the nation.

Bear Mauling Victim In Critical Condition

The Associated Press

A 50-year-old Eagle River man is listed in critical condition Wednesday, three days after he was mauled by a bear. His injuries are more serious than first believed.

Bob Eder was taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage following the Sunday attack about two miles from the Eagle River Nature Center.

Police at the time said he was transported with non-life-threatening injuries. His scalp and leg were clawed by the brown bear, which was thought to have three cubs with it. The animal ran off after the attack.

Report Says Mat-Su Seniors Not Getting Adequate Access To Care

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A report commissioned by a private non-profit suggests that seniors in the Matanuska Susitna Borough are not getting adequate access to care facilities.  Many of the Borough’s small town senior care centers are banding together to help cut costs and facilitate deliveries, but those efforts are not enough in the face of a rapidly growing senior citizen population.

New Computer Models Predict Climate, Ecosystem Changes For Alaska

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

New computer models predict climate and ecosystem changes for Alaska and western Canada.  The “cliomes” models were produced by University of Alaska Fairbanks and U.S. Fish and Wildlife service scientists. One of the primary creators, forest ecologist Nancy Frescoe with UAF’s Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, says the models confirm climate driven change.