Alaska News Nightly: December 6, 2007

The state is suing the consulting firm it says is responsible for the multi-billion dollar retirement system shortfall. Plus, the University of Alaska is offering its first Bachelors Degree in the Yupik language. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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State files lawsuit against Mercer for shortfall
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The state today filed suit against the consulting firm that was monitoring and advising the state employees’ and teachers’ retirement systems when the current $8.4 billion funding shortfall developed.

Decision could drop pollock catch limit
Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
Federal regulators are poised to approve a large drop in the catch limit for Bering Sea pollock, Alaska’s largest fishery.

Kenai plant closure leaves 150 jobless
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
One of the largest employers on the Kenai Peninsula closed its doors for good today. The Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski is laying off its 150 workers.

Conoco chief visiting DC for pipeline plan
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The President of ConocoPhillips Alaska, Jim Bowles, is in the nation’s capitol today rounding up support for the gas pipeline proposal that was given to the Palin administration last week.

Alaska seabird moves closer to endangered listing

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Kittlitz’s murrelets have been waiting a long time to be considered for an Endangered Species Act listing. Today, the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service formally moved them up a few notches on the candidate list.

Majoring in Yupik; UA offering degree

Kenny Steele, KYUK – Bethel
The University of Alaska Board of Regents agreed today to offer a new bachelors degree in the Yupik language.

Senator working to change tax structure
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
Alaska employers will pay lower unemployment insurance taxes next year, but that doesn’t mean people who lose their jobs will see a change in benefits.

Fairbanks draws up energy plan

Ben Markus, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Fairbanks Borough released its blueprint to deal with skyrocketing energy costs.

Group hopes to use snow gun

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
An evolving plan is aimed at improving snow conditions for cross country skiers in Fairbanks.