Alaska News Nightly: July 10, 2008

State Senator John Cowdery is indicted for bribery and extortion. Plus, Former Governor Wally Hickel advises legislature to reject AGIA. Also, 30,000 Atlantic salmon escape from a British Columbia fish farm. Plus, the Stryker brigade at Fort Wainwright prepares for deployment.  Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Senator Cowdery indcited on Federal corruption charges
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
State Senator John Cowdery has been indicted for bribery and conspiracy.  The federal charges were made public today.  The Senator is in Juneau for the special session.  He referred all questions to his attorney.  The indictment is no surprise to those who have been following the federal corruption probe that has sent three former state legislators to prison so far.

Legislators react to Cowdery indictment
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
News of the indictment jolted legislators meeting in Juneau this morning – with Blackberries becoming more popular than the ongoing gas pipeline testimony.

Former Governor Hickel asks legislature to reject AGIA

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Former Governor Walter Hickel today urged Alaskans to contact their legislators and tell them to vote against Governor Palin’s proposed AGIA gas line project with TransCanada.  Hickel  supported Palin when she was running for Governor and thinks she’s doing fine in many areas.

Legislators ask tough questions about Denali Project
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The head of the pipeline company put together this spring by BP and ConocoPhillips to carry natural gas to the lower forty eight met his toughest critics today.

30,000 Atlantic salmon escape from British Columbia fish farm
Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg
Fishermen in Alaska could be seeing more farmed Atlantic salmon turning up their nets and on their hooks this year. Nearly 30-thousand adult salmon escaped from a farm site on the British Columbia mainland Northwest of Vancouver on July 1st.

Escaped Canadian farmed salmon a concern for Alaska

Emily Schwing, KBBI – Homer
The escaped salmon are causing concern in Southeast Alaska. And despite the distance from the fish farm in British Columbia, Alaska department of fish and game biologists in Southcentral Alaska say it’s not impossible that the fugitive fish could turn up across the gulf.

Stryker brigade at Fort Wainwright prepares for fall deployment to Iraq

Associated Press – Anchorage
Most of the roughly 4,000 men and women that make up the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Stryker Brigade Combat Team are now in Southern California prepping vehicles and equipment for several weeks of intensive training. The brigade is scheduled to deploy to Iraq this fall for a 12-month mission.

Energy Authority reneges on grant to the Juneau Airport

John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
The Juneau Airport thought they had received as much as half a million dollars from the Alaska Energy Authority’s alternative energy fund. Authority officials told airport manager Dave Palmer his grant request for a geothermal energy system was approved. But the Energy Authority giveth and the energy authority taketh away.

Kodiak warned to watch out foraging bears
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Kodiak has put out another warning for residents of the city’s north end neighborhoods to keep an eye out for foraging bears.