Alaska News Nightly: September 3, 2007

Tonight we look at the status of the $100 million claim state and federal governments have made against ExxonMobil. Plus, scientists work out the mystery of why walrus are disappearing from haul-outs in Bristol Bay. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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State and federal governments waiting for $92 million from ExxonMobil
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Last summer, the state of Alaska and the federal government asked ExxonMobil to pay an additional $92 million to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The so called “re-opener” was part of the original settlement. But more than a year later, the outcome is still uncertain.

Anchorage Police and FBI take Wade into custody
The Associated Press
Joshua Wade has been taken into custody by Anchorage police and the FBI after a standoff outside a south Anchorage apartment yesterday. He was charged with bank fraud. Wade was also wanted for questioning about the disappearance of Mindy Schloss, a nurse who lived next door to him. Schloss has been missing for nearly a month.

Juneau seeking solutions to predicted personnel shortage
Weld Royal, KTOO – Juneau
The state’s new cabinet-level working group is not the only organization trying to figure out how to recruit and retain workers. The City and Borough of Juneau is looking at how to manage a coming personnel shortage.

Scientists exploring why walrus populations are dropping around Bristol Bay
Anne Hillman, KDLG – Dillingham
Cape Pierce and Round Island in Bristol Bay are famous for their large walrus haul-outs. But these days, walrus are going elsewhere and scientists aren’t exactly sure why.

Anchorage commission says buying city hall appears better than renting
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Early this summer Mayor Mark Begich asked the municipal Public Facilities Advisory Commission (PFAC) to investigate whether or not the city should look into buying City Hall. The municipality currently has a long-term lease. Last week, the commission said “yes,” but with reservations.

Two Fairbanks residents going solar at nearly 30,000 kilowatt hours per year
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Two well-known Fairbanks area residents are going solar. State Representative Jay Ramras and dog musher Sonny Lindner’s solar power systems will be the first large scale projects feeding the Golden Valley Electric’s Sustainable Natural Alternative Power Program (SNAPP).

Alaska Guard nearing end of deployment
Duncan Moon, APRN – Anchorage
The 600 soldiers serving with the Alaska Army National Guard in Kuwait are nearing the end of their year-long deployment. It’s the largest deployment for the Alaska Guard since World War II. Specialist Charles Styver, from Anchorage, is an information management officer for battalion and spoke with us about the deployment.

Biography of elder Sidney Huntington headed to the stage
Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena
The popular biography of Galena elder Sidney Huntington is being turned into a play. The book — Shadows on the Koyukuk — was first published in 1993. And now the Fairbanks-based Native organization Denakkanaaga is starting a project to bring Sidney Huntington’s life story to the stage.