Alaska News Nightly: January 14, 2013

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28th Alaska Legislature Convenes Tuesday

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The 28th legislature gets underway Tuesday afternoon. With Republicans holding a majority in both chambers, significant changes are likely for how lawmakers will work together. Oil tax reform proposals will be a big focus. I sat down in the Speaker’s chamber with Majority leaders Kenai Representative Mike Chenault, the house speaker, and Wasilla Senator Charlie Huggins, Senate President, to ask how they see the debate over oil taxes playing out this session. I asked Huggins if there were any deal breakers for him.

Lawmakers Make Final Preparations For Session

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Even though the legislative session doesn’t start until tomorrow, lots of behind the scenes work is underway at the state capitol. APRN’s Annie Feidt wandered the halls today looking for activity and has this story.

ANC’s Holmes Surprises Democrats, Switches to GOP

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Republicans in the legislature just upped their numbers after an Anchorage Democrat switched parties.

Integrity Of Preserved Evidence Questioned In 30-Year-Old Double Homicide Case

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey is considering whether to order DNA testing in a 30-year old double homicide in Juneau. It could be one of the first tests of a new Alaska law that allows state-funded examination of DNA evidence after a convicted felon has been sent to prison.

Anchorage Police Investigate Double Homicide

The Associated Press

Divers and remotely operated underwater vehicles have completed a review of the hull of a Royal Dutch Shell drill barge that ran aground two weeks ago on a remote Alaska island.

A spokeswoman for the joint information center on the Kulluk grounding says information gathered by divers and the ROVs is being analyzed.

The Kulluk is a circular barge 266 feet in diameter with a 160-foot derrick.

The Kulluk drilled last year in the Beaufort Sea. It was being towed to Seattle on Dec. 27 when it lost its tow line. Reattached lines also broke and the vessel ran aground New Year’s Eve.

The drill vessel was refloated Jan. 6 and towed to Kiliuda Bay, a sheltered bay on Kodiak Island.

Allen Moore Wins Copper Basin 300

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

Allen Moore is the 2013 Copper Basin 300 Champion.  The Two Rivers musher crossed the finish line around 11:22 Monday morning. Moore’s victory is an unprecedented fourth in the race’s history.

Government Peak Trails Attract Nordic Skiers

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A little rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of cross country skiers enjoying the Matanuska Susitna Borough’s second Winter Trails Day this season at the Government Peak Recreation Area near Palmer.