Alaska News Nightly: June 8, 2009

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Gas Pipeline Up Before US Senate Committee
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington
Provisions that would help finance an Alaska natural gas pipeline are in the US Senate energy bill being hammered out this month. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R)  says she has support from Energy Committee Democrats to insert the proposals in the base text of the oil and gas part of the bill. At this stage, the gasline provisions have bipartisan support. They would sweeten loan guarantees and speed up the process to get them.

Mat-Su Borough Votes for Mayor Tuesday
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Seven candidates are vying for the Matanuska-Susitina Borough mayor’s seat. The outcome of Tuesday’s election could hold long range implications for changes in the area’s lifestyle, economy, and maybe it’s government.

Diesel Fuel Spills Near Illiamna River
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A fuel mishap on the Southwest Alaska Pile Bay Road resulted in as much as 2500 gallons of diesel fuel being spilled near the Illiamna river.

More Summer Work Underway Ft. Wainright’s Housing Development
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Another summer of work is scheduled for the Army’s contaminated Taku Garden housing development at Ft. Wainwright. The new 110 unit family housing project has been the subject of an investigation and clean up since P.C.B.’s and other pollutants were unearthed during final stage of construction in 2006. Thousands of tons of tainted soils have since been excavated from the site. Ft. Wainwright spokeswoman Linda Douglas says testing, remediation and construction work will continue this summer.

Unique Program Develops Professional Interpreters
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Although English dominates, Anchorage is a multi-cultural community that often can experience language difficulties–whether legal, medical, educational and commercial. Last week an Anchorage organization continued its statewide efforts to counter the language barriers with a five day workshop.

Denali Climbers Found
Sue Deyoe, KTNA – Talkeetna
National park service rangers have located the remains of 2 Japanese climbers who went missing last year on Denali’s Cassin Ridge. Rangers employed aerial photography to aid their search.

Black Rapids Lodge Opens For First Summer
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Richardson highway lodge in the works for 10 years is open for its first summer season. The Black Rapids Lodge sits on a hillside along the Delta River in the Alaska Range, 3 hours south of Fairbanks. The luxury lodge is owned by Mike and Annie Hopper of Fairbanks. Mike Hopper says the project grew out of a love for the area’s natural beauty.

Tenakee School Ends Classes – Perhaps Forever
Rebecca Sheir, KTOO – Juneau
In Tenakee Springs — 45 miles southwest of Juneau on Chichagof Island — classes ended May 22nd. But now that school’s out for summer, it could be out forever.