Alaska News Nightly: June 22, 2007

This is the complete story list and audio recording from today’s Alaska News Nightly, as broadcast on APRN stations statewide.

Caribou Hills fire on Kenai peninsula rapidly grows past 50,000 acres
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
Several homes in the Ninilchik 40 subdivision burned down Thursday night as the growing fire threatens more homes and cabins on the Kenai peninsula. The “very active” fire was fueled by continuing dry conditions and winds as more than 160 firefighters attempt to contain the blaze.

Susitna River fire grows, but moves away from area homes
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Weather is beginning to cooperate with firefighters in the Mat-Su Borough. One home has been destroyed so far, but 40 more homes that had been threatened appear safe for now.

Air quality alerts issued for much of southcentral Alaska as fires burn
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)
The fires have caused various state agencies to issue air quality warnings across much of the region. Portions of the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage bowl, and Mat-Su Valley could potentially be under a cloud of smoke until the fires are extinguished.

Alternative energy bill passes U.S. Senate
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, D.C. (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)
Thursday night (6/21) the U.S. Senate passed comprehensive energy legislation that would boost the use of renewable sources and biofuels, promote more energy efficiency and step up research on the capture and storage of greenhouse gases. Senator Ted Stevens helped pass the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards — calling for a 35 miles per gallon average by 2020. Meanwhile Senator Lisa Murkowski fought to secure support for small hydroelectric projects.

Alaska Native Corporations speak out on proposed 8(a) contracting limits
Weld Royal, KTOO – Juneau
Federal contracts to Alaska Native corporations are now worth more than $1 billion per year. The Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act passed the U.S. House in May and is now up for consideration the U.S. Senate. The proposed law would limit the amount of contracts won through the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program. CEOs of Alaska Native Corporations warn of negative consequences for shareholders if the bill becomes law.

Yakutat withdraws borough manager job offer to Ogan
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Former Mat-Su legislator Scott Ogan will not become Yakutat’s borough manager after all. The Gulf of Alaska community’s assembly withdrew its job offer at a Thursday night meeting. Ogan’s choice was controversial.

Murkowski focuses IAC on sexual violence
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, D.C. (read by Lori Townsend, APRN)
Lisa Murkowski used her first hearing as the acting top Republican on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to further investigate issues surrounding sexual violence against Native women.

Without a regulated creamery, Alaska’s milk cows likely to be slaughtered
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The newly-appointed state agriculture board members are working to find financially sound processing ideas for the Mat-Su valley dairy industry. State veterinarian Bob Gerlach’s office oversees regulation and sanitation inspections of dairy operations in Alaska. He chats with us about the risks of raw milk and the difficulty Alaska would have in restarting in-state dairy operations if Matanuska Maid goes out of business.

Mountain View community icon Clark Middle School torn down
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
After nearly 60 years at the corner of Bragaw Street and Commercial Drive, Clark Middle School had become a Mountain View fixture, if not symbol. Yesterday well over 200 people turned out to celebrate the destruction of that community icon, which like the neighborhood itself, is undergoing major changes.

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