Alaska News Nightly: August 20, 2009

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State Issues Preventive Steps Against Swine Flu
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
As the school year begins, the state is asking parents and teachers to take steps to guard against the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. The Department of Health has issued six recommendations to schools including making sure children stay home when they’re sick and routine cleaning of areas frequented by students and staff.

Suit Filed to Prompt New Support for Seniors
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Anchorage
Four people who believe they could qualify for state assistance under the state’s Seniors and Disabilities Services have filed what they hope will become a class action lawsuit to force the program to begin accepting new applications.

Energy Department Awards New Funds for Prince of Wales
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
The US Department of Energy recently announced the award of a $1.1 million grant for a small hydroelectric project on Prince of Wales island.

Clearcut in Sitka Undergoing Extensive Thinning
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
A forty-year old clearcut along the Sitka road system is undergoing extensive thinning this summer. The effort in the Starrigavan Valley is being funded in part by a consortium of conservation groups.

Pacific Salmon Beating Odds On Snake River
Tom Banse, Northwest News
The most endangered run of Pacific salmon is beating the odds this summer. You can’t get any closer to extinction than Snake River sockeye salmon did last decade.  This is the Pacific Northwest run that gave us “Lonesome Larry,” so named because he was the one and only sockeye to complete the migration in 1992.

Legislators Gathering Ideas on Energy Needs
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Legislators are heading back out across the state to listen to the public’s ideas about satisfying local energy needs.

Sign of Fall: Sandhill Cranes Arriving
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A sure sign of Fall, Sandhill Cranes are stopping in Fairbanks on their migration south. The birds are congregating at the Creamers Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. One state scientist says they seem to arriving earlier than normal.

Couple Tracks Cranes Migrating to Kachemak Bay
Marcia Lynn, KBBI – Homer
For the past decade one Homer couple has been dedicated to tracking the habits and movements of Sandhill Cranes that migrate to the Kachemak Bay area in the spring and summer.