Alaska News Nightly: March 28, 2008

Governor Palin calls for a special session of the legislature. Plus, a formal inquiry looks into the sinking of the Alaska Ranger. And Anchorage municipal election campaigns head in their final days. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Governor calls for special session

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The Palin administration plans to have made a decision by May 19on the next step in the development of a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. And the Governor says she will call the legislature into special session to review and make the final decision on June third.

Investigation into loss of Alaska Ranger begins

Charles Homans, KIAL – Unalaska
A formal inquiry into the sinking of the Alaska Ranger got underway this morning in Unalaska. Several high-ranking Coast Guard officers, joined by representatives of the National Transportation Safety Bureau, are convening what’s called a Marine Board of Investigation.

Anchorage municipal election campaign enters the home stretch
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Anchorage is in the final days of its municipal election campaigns and yesterday one of the assembly races wound up in the Alaska Supreme Court

Blackwater takes up private security duties in Juneau
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Security guards wearing badges that say “Blackwater” have been spotted in Juneau. They’re employees of a joint venture between the global military contractor and the Anchorage-based Chenega Native Corporation.

Creeping towards a southeast regional landfill
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast community leaders have taken another step toward creating a regional landfill, or other trash-disposal system. But they’re still several years away from coming up with a lower-cost method of handling garbage.

New cold-weather concrete being tested in Fairbanks

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A cold weather concrete mix being tested in Fairbanks this week promises to make winter construction easier in Alaska. The mix, which has been poured at temperatures down to 20 below zero, is being used for a slab at Ft. Wainwright. The project is part of a collaborative effort to promote the concrete developed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Leaders on last leg of All Alaska Sweepstakes
Jacob Buckenmeyer, KNOM – Nome
A record finish of the All Alaska Sweepstakes Sled Dog Race is only hours away. Three mushers have risen to the top of the pack, competing for the $100,000, winner-take-all purse. The historic, 408 mile race through the Seward Peninsula was last run in 1983.

Irene Bedard lays out plans for documentary

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Tonight the Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation will hold their inaugural Raven’s ball. A formal event at the Captain Cook hotel in Anchorage is a fund raiser for the foundation that has an ambitious goal of making Alaska Natives the healthiest people in the world. Alaska Native actress and musician Irene Bedard will be on hand to help promote healthy lifestyles tonight. She’s also in town to talk about her upcoming Alaska documentary project.