Alaska News Nightly: December 24, 2014

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Officials Warn of Botulism Outbreak in Twin Hills

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

Health officials are warning of a botulism outbreak from a batch of seal oil produced recently in the Bristol Bay village of Twin Hills, near Togiak. A state investigation into the outbreak says more than 25 people may have consumed the seal oil, and they’re working quickly to track them down.

Investor Pulls Out Of Tulsequah Mine In BC

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, DC

The company trying to re-open the controversial Tulsequah Chief mine in British Columbia announced a setback on Tuesday. It says a big investor is pulling out of the project. Chieftain Metals Company says it will use a bridge loan to repay a $10 million advance from Denver-based Royal Gold. Chieftain had been counting on another $45 million from Royal Gold to develop the mine, according to a July agreement that Royal Gold has now scrapped. The Tulsequah is one of five proposed mining projects near the Taku River that have Southeast Alaskans and fishermen worried.

Alaska LNG Export Project Hits A Couple Of Bumps In D.C.

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, DC

Gov. Bill Walker Tuesday announced an agreement that could help sell Alaska liquefied natural gas in Japan, but the effort to build a trans-Alaska gas pipeline is meeting some resistance in Washington, D.C. Lack of political support there is forcing the federal coordinator for the Alaska gas pipeline to close up shop. Also, opponents of gas exports are raising their voice, and their targets include the pipeline Walker and many Alaskans pin their economic hopes on.

Generators Going Again; Lights Back on In Ft. Yukon

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The lights are back on in Fort Yukon, including the Christmas trees, now that three of the village’s four electrical generators are functioning again. A couple of weeks ago, the holidays didn’t look so happy for the remote Yukon River community, when all but one of its generators broke down. But the community got through by cutting back and helping each other out.

No White Christmas in the Aleutians?

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska Winter usually has a different feel in Unalaska compared to the rest of the state. The days aren’t as short, and the temperatures are nowhere near as cold. But as Alaska faces yet another year of below-average snowfall, the Aleutians are beginning to look a lot less exceptional.

Local Organizations Pitch In to Help Haines’ Homeless

Emily Files, KHNS – Haines

Haines doesn’t have a shelter or official service for people who are homeless. There are local organizations that do what they can to help – a lot of the time that means providing a one-way ferry ticket to Juneau, the closest town with a homeless shelter.

Fish Skin Art Combines Past with Present

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska Natives have tanned fish skins for centuries to make bags, shoes, and other useful items. Now fish skin leather is appearing on high-end products from Prada, Nike, and Dior. Commercially produced salmon leather is made in mass in Europe and Chile, but in Alaska, it’s still made by hand, one fish at a time.

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