Alaska News Nightly: December 4, 2007

The Coast Guard is searching for an air ambulance helicopter that went missing between Cordova and Anchorage last night with four people on board. Plus, dog owners in the Fairbanks area are being forced to protect their animals from a roaming pack of wolves. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Search continues for missing Medivac flight

David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
The search continues this evening for medical helicopter that went missing last night on its way from Cordova to Anchorage’s Providence Hospital. There were four unidentified people on-board the ambulance flight, which is thought to have gone down somewhere near Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Gasline plans causing controversy
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Two of the five applications the state received for assistance in developing a gas pipeline from the North Slope would open the possibility of exporting liquefied natural gas while not making it exclusively for use in domestic U.S. energy markets. But the possibility of that happening is not sitting well in the nation’s capital.

Land swap could lead to protection
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg
Top managers with the Alaska Mental Health Trust and the Forest Service have been discussing a land swap in southeast Alaska. The details are still in the works, but it could result in some protections for thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive trust land in Petersburg.

Stevens pushing for erosion funding
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Following recent meetings in Anchorage about how to tackle erosion caused by climate change, Senator Ted Stevens is pressing the Army Corps of Engineers and the White House Office of Management and Budget to be more open to long-term funding.

Projects may boost ferry usage
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
State and federal officials expect to complete two key southeast Alaska highway projects next summer. Both could increase use of the region’s newest ferry route.

Rare waterspout sighting in waters north of Juneau
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
A seldom-seen and almost-mythical object of mariner lore was spotted several times in Lynn Canal yesterday. A pilot reported observing a waterspout about seven miles northwest of Point Bridge, adjacent to Berner’s Bay.

Wolves worrying pet owners
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A wolf pack roaming an area east of Fairbanks has likely figured out that dogs are an easy meal. Wolves there have killed 2 pet dogs in recent weeks and tried to carry off a third.

GCI to compete in the bush
Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
That state has given telecommunications company GCI the go ahead to compete in rural Alaska.

Film highlights HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The cold and dark of the Alaska winter may seem very far removed from South Africa. But a documentary showing tonight as part of the Anchorage International Film Festival is aimed at bringing the AIDS crisis in that country closer to home.