Alaska News Nightly: July 10, 2009

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State Seniors Division Suspends Applications
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The state’s division of Senior Disabilities and Services has suspended taking applications under its Medicaid waiver and Personal Care programs.  The moratorium came after a federal audit found the state programs out-of-compliance with federal requirements.

State Attorneys Release Opinion about Succession
Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau
State attorneys on Friday released an opinion outlining a possible resolution to an impending “succession gap.”

Lt. Gov. Parnell Wants Options to $28 Million Federal Money
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
While legislators discuss their option of calling a special session to try to override a veto of federal stimulus money for energy,  Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell says he prefers lawmakers consider options to the federal offer of $28 million.

Murkowski Wants Amendments to Education Law
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) has again introduced legislation to soften the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law.

Officials Raise Fire Level to Extreme on the Kenai
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
Two weeks with virtually no rain has caused the Alaska Division of Forestry to raise the fire danger rating to “extreme” for the east-central Kenai Peninsula.

Shanta Fire is Now Second Most Important in Nation
Casey Kelly, KBBI – Homer
The Shanta Creek Fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is now the second most important fire priority in the nation.

State’s Biggest Wildfire To Grow
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The state’s biggest wildfire, the Minto Flats South blaze, west of Nenana, is expected to grow this weekend.

Swine Flu Reaches Soutwest Alaska
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
Swine flu has reached Southwest Alaska, the last region in the state to be affected.

Kotzebue Students Heading to Villages
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
A small group of high school students from Kotzebue are heading to villages in Chukotka next month.

Dip Net Fishing Opens on Kenai River
Marcia Lynn, KBBI – Homer
The Kenai River opened Friday  to dip net fishing for sockeye salmon and the Kasilof River has been open since June 25th.

Obama Asks Alaska’s US Attorney to Stay
The Associated Press
President Barack Obama has named acting Alaska U.S. attorney Karen Loeffler to serve in the job for a full term.