Alaska News Nightly: September 7, 2009

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Fairbanks Youth Dies of Swine Flu
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
A Fairbanks elementary student died of the H1N1 flu over the weekend.  His is the second death attributed to the Swine Flu in Alaska.

Ft. Richardson Soldier Dies in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
A Fort Richardson soldier has died in Afghanistan. The Pentagon says Lt. Darryn Andrews died Friday when his vehicle came under attack by rocket-propelled grenade fire and an improvised bomb. The attack happened in the Paktia province along the Afghan-Pakistani border south of the Afghan capital of Kabul. The 34 year old Army officer was from Dallas.

Vets Getting Better Access to Health Care
Adam Kane, KDLG – Dillingham
Veterans living in rural Alaska will now have easier access to health care.

Groups Send SOS to United Nations
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Fishermen and others participated in an aerial artwork Saturday – spelling out the words “SOS acid ocean” with nets and vessels in Kachemac Bay.  The oceans grow more acid as more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, and organizations put together the giant artwork to send a message to this winter’s United Nations climate treaty talks.

Lawmakers Questioning Hiring Decision
Ben Stanton, KDLL – Kenai
Lawmakers are reviewing a request to hire the husband of a legislative aide to write a report on the thorny issue of management of Cook Inlet Salmon. Anchorage Rep. Craig Johnson wants to give Mark Higgins the $20,000 contract. At a Salmon Task Force meeting, other lawmakers questioned whether it would be ethical.

Scientists Studying Salmon Near Big Cities
Joshua McNichols, Northwest News Network
Big cities make for poor habitat for salmon. Not much fish food grows on a bare concrete bulkhead. Some scientists hope to change that. They’re looking at new ways for salmon to live in the city.

Fairbanks Mission Opening Recycling Center
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The Fairbanks Rescue Mission is opening a recycling center. The faith-based nonprofit which provides housing, food, job training and other services for the homeless will collect paper, cardboard and aluminum every Saturday.

Vaccinations Slowing Meningitis
Alice Criswell, KYUK – Bethel
The bacterial disease, meningitis used to be a lot worse in the Y-K Delta among babies. Haemophilus Influenza type B or “Hib” caused a lot of the meningitis among infants at a rate that was six times higher than the rest of the country. Over the last 25 years, vaccinations have dramatically curbed the disease.

Battered Eagles Released in Juneau
Anne Sutton, KTOO – Juneau
Two eagles that were treated at the Juneau Raptor Center returned to the wild last week. About a hundred people showed up at the parking lot next to Brotherhood Bridge to watch them go.