Alaska News Nightly: October 5, 2007

A Shell oil executive talks about the company’s future in Alaska. Plus, the Alaska SeaLife Center rescues its first ribbon seal. The animal was found far off course — on the edge of Cook Inlet in Wasilla. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Rebuffed Shell tries to find future in Alaska
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Shell Oil returned to Alaska a few years ago enthusiastic about the potential for finding and developing offshore oil and natural gas reserves. But since then, it has tangled with North Slope Natives worried about the impact more oil development might have on subsistence whaling, and a renewed fight with Bristol Bay fishermen over new leasing in the North Aleutian Basin. But has all of that soured the company’s interest in Alaska?

Bering Strait bridged with culture and science
Amy Flaherty, KNOM – Nome
The National Park Service’s Shared Beringian Heritage Program unites Russians and Americans for cooperative discussion and management of the Bering Strait. NPS held Beringia Days late last month in Anadyr, Russia with support from the Chukotka Autonomous Region. It was the third time Russia hosted the annual gathering and over two days representatives of both countries gave nearly 50 cultural and scientific presentations.

Photo by Tim Lebling, Alaska SeaLife Center

SeaLife Center rescues ribbon seal from… Wasilla
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska SeaLife Center is taking care of its first Ribbon Seal. The 220-pound female was rescued yesterday from a muddy area at the tip of Cook Inlet, near Wasilla. She was stranded about 400 yards from the closest water at high tide. Tim Lebling is the Center’s stranding coordinator; he says the Seal was far off its normal course.

Freight barge runs aground near Unalaska
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
A freight barge ran aground early this morning at Humpy Cove on Unalaska Island, northeast of the town of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. Tugboat crews were working this afternoon to pull the 271-foot vessel loose from the shore, where it drifted after breaking free of a nearby mooring buoy early in the morning.

Greenpeace advises fisheries managers to protect Pribilof canyons
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Greenpeace staff gave a presentation last evening to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council on the preliminary findings from research conducted this summer in enormous underwater canyons off the Pribilof Islands.

AKRR and MatSu to build Port MacKenzie rail spur
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Matanuska-Susitna Borough
The Mat-Su Borough and the Alaska Railroad are partnering in a project to build a railroad spur connecting Port MacKenzie to the existing Interior rail system. Public meetings held in the Valley this week were aimed at gathering information about the pros and cons of three proposed railroad routes.

August 16 float plane crash claims final victim
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
A three-year-old Oregon girl who survived a float plane crash near Ketchikan two months ago died yesterday at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Allison Smith had remained in critical condition at the hospital for the past seven weeks.

“Bones” Alaskan art show opens in Fairbanks
Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks
An art show opening in Fairbanks tonight — the Well Street Art Companies “Bones” Show — is employing a seasonal theme to showcase the work of Alaskan artists.

McCandless bus parts sold on eBay

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The instrument panel from the Stampede Trail bus where Christopher McCandless died recently sold for $177 on eBay. The sale has generated outrage from some who see the bus as a memorial site. Pennsylvania-based investment bank analyst Bernie Maletsky says he emailed news outlets and authorities in Alaska after spotting the listing.

Images from eBay listing: