Alaska News Nightly: December 30, 2008

The Alyeska pipeline reopens after an overnight shutdown.  The State gets Federal funds to stave off the foreclosure crisis.  Also, Gang-related violence ebbs in Anchorage, but no one’s declaring victory yet. And Anchorage prepares for a giant 50th Anniversary of statehood celebration.  Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

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Pipeline reopens after overnight shutdown

AP – Anchorage
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline has reopened after an overnightshutdown and tankers began taking on oil at the Valdez tanker dock after the weather calmed down mid-morning.   Operators stopped pumps along the 800-mile pipeline at 8 p.m. The line was reopened at 2 a.m., but transferring oil to the two tankers berthed in Valdez had to wait until later in the morning.

State gets Federal funds to stave off foreclosure crisis

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Alaska has almost twenty million dollars in federal funds to help neighborhoods where foreclosures and declining home values are a problem. The money is part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush this past summer.

Assessing Gang-related violence in Anchorage

Len Anderson, KSKA- Anchorage
Gang violence has tapered off in Anchorage in recent months, but those who are fighting gang violence are not letting up.  On Monday, the Tri Borough Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Policy Team issued a report of its successes along with a battle plan for the future.

Deadline arrives for seniors Medicare drug benefits program

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Tomorrow  is the deadline for seniors to sign up for prescription drug benefits from Medicare.  Under the system set up by Congress, if you’re over 65 and worked for ten years or more in a covered job, you are eligible to sign up for a private-sector insurance program that is partially subsidized by the federal government.

New Research explores how Polar Bears cope on land

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
New research is providing a unique glimpse into how polar bears in Alaska cope on land when the sea ice retreats. Biologists tracked the movements of more than a dozen bears this fall on the North Slope. There was a lot of variation in how the bears appeared to fare during the second lowest arctic ice extent on record.

Haines students invited to watch the US Supreme Court in action
John Hunt, KHNS – Haines
Six students from Haines will get the rare opportunity to see firsthand how Alaskan issues are handled at the federal judicial level.

Anchorage preps for big 50th Anniversary of statehood celebration
Duncan Moon & Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
On January 3rd, 1959 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Alaska’s statehood proclamation. The ceremony was the culmination of Alaska’s struggle to become the 49th state. Anchorage is celebrating the 50th anniversary of that day with a long list of events this weekend.