Alaska News Nightly: May 28, 2009

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State Officials Confirm First Case of Swine Flu
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
The State Virology lab is confirming the first case of H1N1 (swine) flu in Alaska. The patient is a middle age Fairbanks woman who first displayed symptoms about two weeks ago. Health officials say the case is a sign the flu is circulating in the state.

Preliminary Flood Damage Estimates Emerging
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Preliminary flood damage estimates are starting to come in. State Department of Emergency management spokesman Jeremy Zidek says a damage assessment team has run up a substantial tally in Eagle alone.

Cooler Temperatures Helping Limit McGrath Wildfire
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to limit growth of the big wildfire near McGrath. A state fire information officer says west winds have pushed flames east.

Voters Could See More Petitions Next Year
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Voters could encounter a lot of people with petitions this year.  They’re looking for your signature on petitions that would help them place initiatives on next year’s ballots. Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell certified two proposals on Wednesday.

School Kids Missing Meals in Summer
Suzanna Caldwell, APRN – Anchorage
It is not a big problem getting meals to kids during the school year but delivering those meals in the summer can be a little trickier. Alaska ranks near the very bottom of the states when it comes to providing meals to kids during the summer.

Tribal Leaders to Address Suicide Prevention
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast tribal leaders will soon meet in Juneau to talk about suicide prevention. Tlingit-Haida Central Council is sponsoring the symposium, with funding from the state. President Bill Martin says the Native suicide rate is up.

Inter-Tribal Council Passes Major Resolutions
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The Anchorage meeting of Alaska Inter-Tribal Council members wrapped up today with resolutions that support two big premises. AITC chairman Mike Williams says the first requests congressional action to vacate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Venetie decision.

New Juneau Senator Looking For Regional Solutions
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast Alaska’s newest lawmaker says he’s looking for regional solutions to local problems. Juneau Senator Dennis Egan says he’ll work with his Southeast colleagues on energy, transportation and other issues, though he may have some differences.

Anchorage Museum to Reopen This Weekend
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
This Saturday the Anchorage Museum celebrates its on-going expansion project with a day-long, grand opening and a world class exhibit designed to dazzle visitors.