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Alaska Digest

Staff reports from around the state
Native voters, corporations provide key Murkowski support

An extraordinary effort by Alaska Natives, particularly Alaska Native Corporations, looks to have swung state's U.S. Senate race from enemy Joe Miller to ally Lisa Murkowski.
Labor shortage expected to worsen

Alaska's construction industry is facing a worsening shortage of laborers as a result of the field's growth and an aging work force.
Arts council announces new state writer laureate

The Alaska State Council on the Arts has chosen Fairbanks writer Peggy Shumaker as the new Alaska state writer laureate 2010-2012. She will serve a two-year term, which begun Oct. 1, 2010. She succeeds Homer writer Nancy Lord.
Students fight for more UA funds

When University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton lobbied the Legislature for an increased budget today, he was backed up by some of his students.
Disctrict helps Alaska kids get construction jobs

ANCHORAGE - Gary Abernathy has his work cut out for him.
Point Thomson settlement agreement questioned, defended

Alaska stands to gain big from Exxon Mobil Co.'s Point Thomson settlement agreement, but some think that it could lose big as well.
Alaska drops statewide preferential hire for public jobs

ANCHORAGE - Alaska labor officials have dropped statewide preferential hiring of residents for public jobs, saying that including larger cities can no longer be justified because they have healthier economies than communities still eligible for employment preference.Officials said 15 areas still qualify as "zones of underemployment" because their unemployment rates are at least 10 percent higher than the national rate.Under state law implemented in mid-1980s, those zones qualify for at least 90 percent of state jobs in various trades.
Official: Construction activity slows down statewide

ANCHORAGE - Overall construction in Alaska is down an estimated 10 percent statewide this summer from the same time last year, an industry official said Tuesday.
Session ended well for Juneau

The Alaska Legislature didn't need help from Juneau's weather to turn into a rainmaker before wrapping up its regular session last week.


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