Alaska News Nightly: January 4, 2008

TransCanada is the only company to meet AGIA. Plus, Healy gets its first bank and a polar bear wanders up river to Noorvik. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Trans Canada the only company to meet AGIA requirements
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
Governor Sarah Palin has named a Canadian company as her choice to build a natural gas pipeline for the state. Five different companies had applied for the rights to the multi-billion dollar project, but only one met the requirements of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, or AGIA.

Second sea turtle washes ashore in Southeast
Melissa Marconi-Wentzel, KCAW – Sitka
A female green sea turtle found dead near Sitka last week traveled thousands of miles to reach Southeast Alaska shores. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the turtle likely originated from Mexico or the Galapagos Islands. About four weeks earlier, a sea turtle was recovered near Ketchikan.

Legislative Session has full plate

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
This year’s legislative session begins on January 15. Some important decisions will made – on the gas pipeline from the North Slope, on major budget innovations, ethics and health care interests – all while trying to deal with a shorter-than-usual session length of ninety days. However, with today’s release of sixty-five pieces of new legislation, lawmakers are reminding the public that the routine business of the state will continue, too.

Holiday job fair well attended
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Several hundred job seekers descended on the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage this week to meet with two dozen potential employers at the 9th Annual Holiday Break Visitor Industry Job Fair.

Healy gets it’s first bank
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
First National Bank of Alaska announced plans this week to set up shop in the Park’s Highway community, near the entrance to Denali National Park.

Harbor repair program may have new legs
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
The state’s two-year-old harbor repair program could finally go into full operation this year. Governor Sarah Palin’s spending plan proposes full funding for the program. That comes after she vetoed half its appropriation last year.

Polar bear strays up river to Noorvik

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The village of Noorvik in Northwest Alaska has taken its first polar bear. The community is located inland on the Kobuk River, about 40 miles east of Kotzebue Sound. Last year, the town had another first when a local hunter killed a walrus.