In gearThe Craig Community Association and the Organized Village of Kasaan have formed a new information technology company, Prince of Wales Tribal Enterprise Consortium LLC. POWTEC is a state of Alaska limited liability company established by two federally recognized Indian tribes located on Prince of Wales Island, and n-Link Corp., a state of Washington employee-owned information technology corporation. POWTEC plans to provide quality information technology and professional engineering services to the federal government. The information technology department of POWTEC will be based at the Craig Native Tribal Center in Craig, and the professional engineering services department of the corporation will be located at the David S. Peele Community Hall in Kasaan.Scientific Fishery Systems Inc. has completed negotiations with SEA Corp. of Ichikawa-City, Chiba, Japan to become the exclusive distributor of the SciFish 2000 broadband sonar systems for the Japanese marine science market. SciFish’s products use broadband sonar to improve fish detection as well as provide species identifications and size estimation. SciFish will provide support and training to assist SEA Corp. in marketing and sales.Ribelin Lowell & Co. Insurance Brokers Inc. has become the prime sponsor of the Excellence in Construction awards for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska for the next 10 years. The awards are presented annually to recognize projects in Alaska exhibiting the greatest challenge to the contractor and the construction team. Seven award categories consider project location, climate, construction challenges encountered and innovative construction techniques utilized with winners announced at the AGC annual conference in November.Fred Meyer has installed U-Scan checkout stations at its 1000 E. Northern Lights Blvd. location in Anchorage. The fully automated checkout system, the seventh in Alaska, enables customers to scan, bag and pay for small purchases. U-Scan Express features a group of four checkout stations. Each station is equipped with a bar-code scanner, weighing platform with three bagging racks, touch-screen monitor, debit/credit terminal, and bill and coin acceptor and dispenser.LocatorThe URS Corp. offices located at 5600 B St. and 3501 Denali St. in Anchorage are consolidating operations. The offices will move into a newly constructed building Sept. 17 at 2700 Gambell St., Suite 200, in Anchorage. The telephone number is 907-562-3366, and the fax number is 907-562-1297. URS Corp. is a professional services firm. The Alaska Region’s primary office is located in Anchorage with satellite offices in Fairbanks, Haines, Homer, Juneau and Ketchikan.GrantsThe Alaska Congressional Delegation announced Aug. 22 a series of funding grants and loans totaling more than $24 million. The Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Assistance to Firefighters Program for personal protective equipment awarded Old Harbor Fire Department, $72,297; Funny River Emergency Services in Soldotna, $33,449; Willow Fire Service Area, $17,836; and City of King Cove, $17,616. Department of Housing and Urban Development Indian Housing Block Grants were awarded to Orutsaramiut Native Council, $1,971,450; Point Hope, $387,665; Selawik, $399,082; Tanacross, $87,069; Tyonek, $127,489; and Unalakleet, $338,513. The Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Native Americans awarded grants in the amounts of $122,395 to Allakaket Tribal Council; $100,000 to Barrow; $124,909 to Calista Elders Council Inc.; $89,800 to Chilkat Indian Village; $90,834 to Circle Tribal Council; $300,000 to Kawerak Inc.; $118,650 to Nanwalek; $295,790 to St. Michael; and $201,668 to Stevens Village Council. The Department of Health and Human Services Head Start grants were received by the Association of Village Council Presidents, $161,468; Southcentral Foundation, $150,282; and Kawerak Inc., $121,163. HHS also awarded Eastern Aleutian Tribes Inc., $50,000; Knik Tribal Council, $69,060; Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, $74,877; Skagway Medical Services, $182,626; University of Alaska’s Health Careers Opportunity Program, $250,000; and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, $135,000. The Department of Agriculture awarded a $171,000 grant to the City of False Pass; a $93,587 grant and $120,000 loan to Koyuk; and a $900,000 loan to Inter-Island Ferry Authority in Craig. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the University of Alaska Fairbanks $3,779,534 for arctic research and $947,486 for Steller sea lion documentation in the Kodiak region. The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Airport Improvement Program grants to Fairbanks International Airport for $6,878,400 and $6 million to Stevens Village.