Alaska News Nightly: January 7, 2008

US Fish and Wildlife Service delays decision on Polar Bears. Plus, Crash investigators look at failed latch on plane, and the Joshua Wade federal fraud trial is moved to Fairbanks. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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US Fish and Wildlife delays decision on Polar Bears

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
The head of the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, Dale Hall, says the agency will miss this week’s deadline for deciding whether to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. But in a teleconference with reporters today, Hall said he expects a decision will made public within the next month.

Crashed plane’s failed latch gets scrutiny

Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The make and model of airplane that crashed Saturday killing six in Kodiak has a history of problems with the latch on the forward cargo hold coming loose, which investigators are looking into as a possible cause for the accident.

Ballot initiatives carve a place in legislative process
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The legislature will have plenty of work to get through during the ninety-day session that begins next Tuesday. But several issues are now in the hands of the public – in the form of ballot initiatives that can overrule the legislative process.

Wade fraud trial moved to Fairbanks
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The trial of Joshua Wade is being moved from Anchorage to Fairbanks.

Theives target Fairbanks stoves
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Small furnaces and woodstoves are being targeted by thieves in the Fairbanks area. State Trooper Michael Wery says rural residential properties outside of town are being hit

Making the Richardson highway a scenic byway

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A planning effort is underway to develop the northern part of the Richardson Highway as a state scenic byway. Department of Transportation Scenic Byway Coordinator Anita Synan says the Corridor Partnership Plan will be put to together with help from residents along the route between Ft. Greely and Fairbanks.

Legislature files an amicus brief on Exxon Valdez damage case
Casey Kelly, KMXT – Kodiak
The Alaska State Legislature will file a friend of the court brief in the Exxon Valdez punitive damage case that’s scheduled to be heard later this year by the U-S Supreme Court.

Southeast native students vie for Sealaska scholarships
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Alaska Native students with roots in Southeast have another chance to get financial assistance for their studies. The Sealaska Heritage Institute is taking applications for its annual scholarship program.