Alaska News Nightly: August 4, 2008

State lawmakers are haggling in Juneau over how to help Alaskans with the high cost of energy. Plus, an Eagle River man survived a brown bear attack early this morning. Those stories and more tonight on Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Senator Stevens campaigning in Alaska in wake of indictment
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is back in the state after last week’s indictment on seven felony charges.

Don Young raises $54,000 to start payments on $1 million legal bills
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, DC
Congressman Don Young has raised about $54,000 for his Legal Expense Fund. Alaska’s Republican representative is the subject of a federal investigation and started the fund in January in order to raise money for his legal costs.

Legislators still in Juneau debating ‘resource rebate’ concepts
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The special session of the State House and Senate is still going on at the Capitol in Juneau today — with members trying to come up with measures that would help people pay their energy bills this year while also taking steps that would lead to a future reduction in the amount of energy people use.

Eagle River bear attack is Anchorage’s fourth in 2008
Eli Menaker, APRN – Anchorage
An Eagle River man fended off a bear attack earlier this morning. This marks the forth frightening encounter between bruins and Anchorage residents this summer.

Governor declares emergency following Interior flooding tour
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Governor Sarah Palin was in Fairbanks today to sign a disaster declaration for flooded areas of the Borough. State officials toured the flood area from a helicopter Saturday.

Fairbanks dam piling up with river debris; free firewood coming soon
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Lowering of the gates at the Chena Flood Control dam last week has left behind a massive pile of wood. Project manager John Schoke says the dam strains out trees floated by high water.

Alaskan teacher turnover steady at 14% annually
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) has issued a research summary regarding the turnover of teachers in Alaska.

BP testing ‘heavy oil’ extraction technologies on North Slope
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
BP is beginning a $100 million experiment to test drilling techniques for raising heavy oil on the North Slope. BP spokesman Steve Rinehart says the ultra thick crude cannot be freed with traditional drilling techniques.

Wrangell seafood plant on brink of foreclosure
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
Last week Wrangell Seafoods International got a foreclosure notice from its biggest creditor, Alaska Growth Capital. But the company’s Chairman, Doug Roberts, says they have found a way to pay that debt and keep the plant operating.

Japanese drumming group thumps Anchorage library
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage’s Tomadachi Daiko Taiko (toe-mah-DA-chi DIE-ko TIE-ko) drum ensemble rocked the house at Loussac Library last week. The percussion group has about 90 members ranging in age from third graders to adults.