Deal to keep fertilizer plant running for year
JUNEAU - Agrium Inc. has made a deal with Cook Inlet gas producers to keep its Nikiski fertilizer plant running until November 2006.
The agreement was announced Thursday by Gov. Frank Murkowski. Details were not disclosed.
The Nikiski plant will operate at about half capacity, said Agrium spokeswoman Lisa Parker. The facility for the past year has been working at 58 to 85 percent capacity.
The fertilizer plant had been slated to close Oct. 31 because it was not able to secure enough natural gas to continue operations. Gas is a main ingredient in the production of ammonia.
A task force appointed by Murkowski had been looking for ways to keep the plant open.
Bob Popp, a member of the task force, called the announcement a reprieve that will allow more breathing room.
Murkowski said aggressive gas exploration in Cook Inlet was needed to keep the plant open permanently, and that the work of the task force would continue.
Work begins to create Kenai sports venue
KENAI - The Kenai City Council awarded the first of what is expected to be a series of construction bids for work to prepare for next year's Arctic Winter Games.
The $33,650 bid is for new bleachers that will allow 300 spectators at the Kenai Mulipurpose Facility to watch hockey and speed skating events during the weeklong international competition to be held next March.
The city has an agreement with the local Arctic Winter Games host society to get reimbursed for the work being done to remodel the facility as it is completed.
N. Pole man charged in sled dog death
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man who allegedly struck a sled dog in a hit-and-run accident last October has been charged with reckless driving.
Andre Tanner, 23, faces up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine for causing a driving accident that injured musher Jeff Holt's lead sled dog so severely, the animal had to be put down.
Tanner is already in jail on drunken driving and drug charges in connection with two other cases.
According to Holt, Tanner ran through the intersection of Peede and Brock roads last October and struck Goose, a leader, shattering his jaw so severely the dog had to be euthanized.
Tanner left his truck, pet the dog, apologized to Holt and left the scene, Holt said.
"I'm obviously a little bit frustrated," Holt said of the charge. "Why didn't they charge him with a felony?"