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ANCHORAGE — Alaska officials on Friday hailed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit decision that will open up drilling at the Point Thomson petroleum field, creating hundreds of jobs and providing key infrastructure that could advance prospects for a large-scale natural gas pipeline.

The corps issued a permit, and its Record of Decision explaining it, to ExxonMobil Corp. and PTE Pipeline LLC allowing the companies to fill 267.1 acres of North Slope waters and tundra wetlands to construct the drilling project.

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan said a corps decision was expected 18 months ago, which delayed construction for a year, but he welcomed the announcement.


Missing infant found dead; family friend arrested

KING OF PRUSSIA — Authorities recovered the body of a 10-month-old girl not far from where her grandmother was slain and arrested a family friend who investigators said killed them in a botched ransom kidnapping.

Saanvi Venna’s body was found at about 4:30 a.m. Friday in the basement of a building in the same Upper Merion Township apartment complex where she lived. Investigators had been searching for her since Oct. 22.

The family friend killed Satyavathi Venna, 61, while trying to abduct the girl, whom he planned to hold for ransom, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said. Ms. Ferman identified the suspect as Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26. He lives in the apartment complex and was acquainted with the family as a member of the Indian community.


More men identified in Zumba prostitution case

KENNEBUNK — Maine police have released another round of names of alleged clients of a woman who authorities say used her Zumba dance studio in Kennebunk as a front for prostitution.

None of the 18 men whose names were released Friday was from the small town of 10,000 residents. They came from Maine, New Hampshire and Boston, and apparently didn’t include anyone widely known. Twenty-one names released weeks ago included a former mayor and the local high school boy’s ice hockey coach.

The men are charged with engaging a prostitute.

Dance instructor Alexis Wright was charged with engaging in prostitution. She and her business partner have pleaded not guilty.

From wire dispatches and staff reports