Alaska News Nightly: July 31, 2012

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Shale Oil Conference Addresses Resource Potential, Challenges

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

There’s growing interest in developing shale oil on Alaska’s North Slope. A conference on the topic in Anchorage Tuesday drew a sell-out crowd. The potential resource on the North Slope is enormous, but there are also big challenges that may make it hard for companies to economically develop the oil.

Gas Taxes Will Be Part Of Getting New Pipelines

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

The Parnell Administration is beginning to consider what needs to be done with the state’s tax on gas production. Currently it is coupled with the oil tax regime, but legislators were told Monday that it’s time to begin planning  a new system  to encourage gasline development  for in-state use – as well as for export.

Point Thompson Nears Final Permitting Steps

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

Exxon’s Point Thomson gas and oil project is being prepared for the final step toward getting approval from the federal government.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday released its environmental impact study on the project that Exxon says has cost the company a Billion dollars in investment so far.  The study is the result of three years of review.

Soldier Sentenced In Death Of Fellow Stryker Brigade Member

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A military jury has sentenced a Fort Wainwright based soldier in the death of a fellow Stryker brigade member.  Sgt. Adam Holcomb of Youngstown, Ohio will forfeit about $1,200 in pay, have his rank reduced, and serve 30 days in confinement.  He was convicted yesterday in Ft. Bragg North Carolina of maltreatment of a subordinate, and assault, in the death of Private Danny Chen last year in Afghanistan.  Holcomb was found not guilty of negligent homicide.

New Methane Power Plan Fires Up In Anchorage

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Officials fired up the state’s first methane power plant at the Anchorage regional Landfill Tuesday. Doyon Utilities built the $26 million plant this summer. It uses methane gas created by decomposing garbage to create electricity. Doyon Utilities, The Municipality of Anchorage and Joint-Base Elmendorf Richardson partnered on the project.

New Aquatic Center Opens In Ketchikan

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

The brand-new Gateway Aquatic Center in Ketchikan held its grand opening last weekend. The $24 million center was swamped with people eager to swim, slide, splash and play.

‘Bye Bye Birdie’ Opens In Sitka

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

At the high school level, putting on a musical can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks. At the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, it takes two. A group of high school-age students completed the ambitious rehearsal schedule at the camp’s first-ever two-week musical theater session last week. KCAW’s Ed Ronco visited rehearsals for “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Mary Louise Rasmuson – 1911-2012

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau

One of the pillars of Alaska’s philanthropic community died Monday at her home in Anchorage.  Mary Louise Rasmuson was 101. Along with her husband Elmer, she had been active in the work of the Rasmuson Foundation, and was responsible for influencing the direction of community work within Alaska, first, and also expanding the Foundation’s work throughout the nation.