Alaska News Nightly: July 20, 2009

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Legislature Holds Hearings on Next Lieutenant Governor
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The State House Judiciary Committee held a hearing in Fairbanks on Monday on the man chosen by Gov. Sarah Palin to be the state’s next lieutenant governor. Army National Guard Major Craig Campbell, has served as Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Gov. Palin Continues Last Tour of State
Jesse Zink, KNOM – Nome
Gov. Sarah Palin is touring the state in her final days in office. In the last few weeks, she’s visited Kotzebue and Fairbanks to sign legislative bills. And on Friday, she was in Unalakleet to sign an expansion of the Power Cost Equalization program into law.

Ft. Richardson Soldier Held by Taliban
Doug Nadvornick, Northwest News Network
A soldier based with Fort Richardson in Anchorage is being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Private Bowe Bergdahl is a 23-year old from Hailey, Idaho. A video shown on the Internet shows him eating and saying he fears never going home again. The town of Hailey is in the national spotlight today. A local coffeehouse has become the community’s portal to the world.

Smoke Advisories Are Posted
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Smoke advisories are in effect for travelers driving the Edgerton Highway to McCarthy, due to the Chakina fire within the Wrangell St. Elias National Park.  The fire is still on the south side of the Chitina River, away from historical structures, but it is spreading to the west.

St. Lazaria Island Celebrates Refuge
Shaleece Haas, KCAW – Sitka
One hundred years ago, Teddy Roosevelt set aside St. Lazaria Island in the Sitka Sound as a wildlife refuge. Today the island is the nesting site for more than half-a-million sea birds. To celebrate its centennial, local agencies teamed up to lead the first-ever public walking tour of the island.

Nicer Weather Brings Out Dip Nets
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
At the mouth of the Kenai River, huge crowds have been dip net fishing.  The season opened earlier this month with light turnout, but with nicer weather and reports of good salmon returns, the beach was busy this weekend.

Bethel Voters To Decide Local Alcohol Laws
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Bethel voters will have a chance to revoke the town’s damp status in an upcoming election. Eleven Bethel residents submitted a petition aimed at doing away with local option alcohol laws. Petition sponsors say that the state has taken gone too far in trying to control local option communities.

Alaska Native Heritage Center Serves as Education Center
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Since opening 10 years ago, the Alaska Native Heritage Center has become well-known as a primary visitor attraction.  Less well known is that the center has also developed into one of Anchorage’s most effective educational facilities.

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