Alaska News Nightly: June 11, 2009

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Exxon-Mobil Joins TransCanada on Pipeline Project
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Exxon-Mobil has joined in the plan to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to North American markets.   In an announcement today (Thursday) with Exxon-Mobil and TransCanada announced on Thursday they will work together toward developing the state’s AGIA project approved by the legislature in 2007 and awarded to TransCanada and its partner, Foothills, last year.

Exxon Deal Prompts Positive DC Reaction
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Reaction in the nation’s capital to the TransCanada deal with Exxon was positive.

Former Lawmakers to Be Released From Prison
Annie Feidt and The Associated Press
U.S. District Judge John Sedwick today ordered former Alaska lawmakers Pete Kott and Vic Kohring to be released immediately from prison. He asked the United States Marshall for Alaska to provide airline tickets for the men to travel home at the earliest time possible.

Fairbanks Priest Accused of Abusing a Minor
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Catholic priest who serves the University of Alaska Fairbanks St. Marks Parish is accused of sexually abusing a minor.  A civil lawsuit filed against the Reverend Gerald Ornowski, claims he sexually abused a young girl in the Bering Sea Coast village of Stebbins, while serving there in the 1990’s.

Shelter Space in Anchorage Reaching Critical Levels
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Of all those seeking refuge at Anchorage shelters, among the most desperate are those escaping domestic violence.  In recent months, their numbers have increased to the point that space has become critical at the shelter created to protect them.

President Barack Obama OKs Disaster Relief for Alaska
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration on Thursday for villages devastated by ice jam flooding along the Yukon river this spring. The action frees up federal funding for individuals and businesses. The aid can include grants for temporary home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to assist in the recovery effort.

Stimulus Funds Support Fire Break Projects
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
State forestry plans to get right to work on federally funded wildfire fuels reduction projects  around Fairbanks.  Area forester Marc Lee says work on the economic stimulus funded fire break projects will get underway this summer.

Sealaska Board Members Could Face Term Limits
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Sealaska board members could face term limits under a measure before shareholders. If it passes, the regional corporation for Southeast Natives would see a major change in its elected leaders.

Senator Murkowski Wants Calories Listed on Menus
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington
Senator Lisa Murkowski is part of bi-partisan trio sponsoring a bill that would require restaurants to list calorie counts in menus or on signs. It would affect restaurants that are part of a chain with 20 or more Locations.