Alaska News Nightly: August 27, 2007

The leaky Governor’s mansion in Juneau is about to get an expensive — but much needed — renovation. Plus, a scientist recounts an exciting trip on Pavlof volcano, which is spewing ash right now on the Alaska Peninsula. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Bob Barker and ‘PAWS’ offer to take Alaska Zoo’s ‘Maggie’ south to sanctuary — for free
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
An animal sanctuary in northern California has offered to take Maggie the elephant and pay for all costs of her relocation. The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) held a press conference in Anchorage this morning to make the offer official.

Governor’s mansion in Juneau slated for major repairs in multiple phases
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The governor’s residence is Juneau is getting ready for significant repairs that are likely to take until next summer to complete. The expensive project is the result of major problems that have been put off too long.

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel brings Presidential campaign to Alaska
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska’s former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel returned to Alaska this week and many of the state’s political veterans turned out for his speeches and fundraisers.

Pavlof volcano continues rumbling after 18,000-foot ash explosion last week
Johanna Eurich, KDLG – Dillingham
Pavlof Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula keeps on burbling and puffing. It is Alaska’s most active volcano and it can provide challenges for those working on its flanks.

Toshiba moving ahead with nuclear power proposal for Galena
Tom Bodony, KIYU – Galena
Toshiba is ready to move forward with seeking a license for the nuclear reactor proposed for Galena. The Japanese corporation announced its intentions in a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week.

Governor Palin revising staff lineup
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Palin Administration staff is getting a shakeup — including a complete revamp of the Legislative Liaison office that proved successful during this year’s session.

Evenson not guilty of first-degree murder; may face second-degree murder trial
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
A Sitka jury has found a 42-year old Petersburg man not guilty of first-degree murder, but jurors were not able to agree on a verdict for the second-degree murder charge against Thomas Evenson on Friday. He may face another trial on that charge.

Valdez developer jumping through local hoops to pursue ski resort
Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
The idea of a ski resort in Valdez has attracted considerable community support, but it’s been slow going to get it approved by the authorities. Some say this is typical of what happens when entrepreneurs in the town try to diversify the economy there. The area has some of the most attractive extreme skiing environments in the world and much of the extreme ski footage seen worldwide is filmed there. But Ryan McCune still has to get the necessary permits to access the area where the resort would be built.

NPS funds two Alaska park projects in advance of 2016 centennial celebration
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Two Alaska National Park projects are among those selected nationwide for funding as part of the Park Service’s 10-year celebration of its centennial coming up in 2016. NPS Alaska spokesman John Quinley says one of the Alaska proposals is a $1.5 million partnership with the Alaska Travel Industry Association to promote visitation to Alaska’s lesser-known park assets.