Alaska News Nightly: September 4, 2009

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Congress Set to Return from August Recess
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Congress returns next week from a month-long recess, during which members heard plenty from their constituents. With a lot at stake in health care and energy bills, interest groups have been extremely active, with the intensity of a political campaign.

Swine Flu Confirmed at Sitka’s Mt. Edgecumbe High
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
A case of swine flu has been confirmed in a student at Sitka’s Mount Edgecumbe High School. At least 40 other students at the state-run boarding school are also reporting
flu-like symptoms.

Palin Aide Cleared of Ethics Charges
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Anchorage
Former-Governor Sarah Palin’s Communications Director Bill McAllister has been cleared of charges that he used his office and position to help Palin’s political activities.

Salmon Restrictions Hit Tanana River
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Salmon fishing restrictions have gone into effect on the Tanana River due to the poor Yukon fall chum run. Commercial and personal use fishing are shut down, and this week the state began limiting subsistence fishing.

Juneau Boosts Hydro Power Capacity
Anne Sutton, KTOO – Juneau
It may be nearing autumn but Juneau just got a little greener. Eleven years after design work and permitting began; the local electric utility on Monday flipped the switch on the Lake Dorothy Hydro Project and boosted its hydro power capacity by 20 percent.

Canadians Searching for Copper West of Ketchikan
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
A Canadian mining company is searching for a large copper deposit in a mountain west of Ketchikan. Exploration has begun on the Mount Andrew project, and could continue for some time.

Anchorage Food Bank Launches September Drive
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
At a noon gathering in Anchorage’s Town Square on Thursday, the Food Bank of Alaska launched its September “Hunger Action” campaign.

Sitka Hires Preservation Consultant
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
The city of Sitka has hired a historic preservation consultant to update the community’s preservation plan. The document, when completed, should qualify Sitka for a variety of federal and state matching grants for protecting its historic structures and landscape.