Alaska News Nightly: February 21, 2008

The House is holding hearings on a new building for the legislature, but where? Meanwhile, environmental groups call for investigation at the Department of the Interior. Plus, the Bering Sea Opilio crab harvest could be twice as large as last year. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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House talks about new building for legislature – but doesn’t say where
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The House today opened hearings on a plan that would set the parameters of providing lawmakers a new building – in a so-far undecided location.

Senate and House divided over injured workers’ privacy

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The State House today refused to agree with a Senate plan that would force Alaska to hide the names of workers injured on the job.

Senator Stevens tells Southeast natives to support resource development

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Ted Stevens is urging Southeast Alaska Native groups to organize in support of resource development. He told Native activists and leaders attending this week’s Native Issues Forum in Juneau that they need to fight what he calls “environmental extremists.”

Environmentalists call for investigation at Interior Department
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Six environmental groups are calling on watchdogs at the Interior Department to investigate the delay in making a decision on whether polar bears should be listed as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act.

Moore Creek latest mineral exploration project in Y-K Delta
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
There will be yet another mineral exploration project in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta this year.  The newest one is at Moore Creek, located in the Kuskokwim Mountains, Northeast of Crooked Creek and Southeast of McGrath.   An exploration team  plans on drilling 10,000 feet of earth in search of gold and quartz deposits.

Opilio crab harvest looking strong

Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
The Bering Sea opilio crab, or snow crab, fleet is more than halfway through its 2008 harvest. So far, the season has been going very well for fishermen and processors. It’s believed the haul will be nearly twice as much as last year

Yukon Quest teams continue into Whitehorse
Dan Bross, KUAC – Whitehorse and Libby Casey, KUAC – Fairbanks
The top nine teams have crossed the Whitehorse finish line in the Yukon Quest. Healy’s Dave Dalton won the competitive race for third place last night at 10:44 local time.  Yukoner Michelle Phillips trailed him in to Whitehorse 45 minutes later.  Fairbanksan Brent Sass took fifth place at 1:27 a-m.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough backs away from new ferry service to Gravina Island

Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
The Ketchikan gateway borough is no longer recommending that the state pursue enhanced airport ferry service in its effort to improve access to Gravina island.

Job fair season in full swing in Anchorage
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
The first three months of the year normally feature at least a half dozen gatherings in Anchorage designed to bring perspective employees and employers together.   Even in fairs devoted to a specific industry– such as air transportation–multiple businesses participate – but there are execptions.