Alaska News Nightly: September 8, 2009

Walrus 2 0809

Photo by Brendan Smith – US Geological Survey

Walruses are making their way back to Alaska’s northern shores.

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Walruses Returning to Alaska’s Northern Coast
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
For only the second time in memory, a large number of walruses are coming to shore on Alaska’s Northern coast.  The Chukchi Sea ice has retreated far north beyond the productive waters of the continental shelf, where the animals prefer to forage.  Also the US Fish and Wildlife Service today formally accepted a petition to consider listing pacific walruses under the Endangered Species Act.

Swine Flu Contributes to Seward Death
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The State is reporting another death from H1N1 flu. The person is a middle aged woman from Seward who had a combination of respiratory and other underlying medical conditions. She is the third confirmed death in Alaska from H1N1. Over the weekend, a child from Fairbanks who was previously healthy died of the illness. In the midst of all this, the State’s new Chief Medical officer and director for the Division of Public Health had his first day on the job today. Dr. Ward Hurlburt says the state is doing more testing now to figure out whether the child had a secondary infection

Another Ft. Richardson Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
The Associated Press
An Alaska-based soldier has died in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense on Tuesday said the soldier was 25-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey of  Texas.

Berkowitz to Run for Governor
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Add another name to your choices for governor in the 2010 election. That’s Ethan Berkowitz, the former leader of the Democrats in the state House of Representatives and last year’s party nominee for Congress.

UAF Group Raising Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A University of Alaska Fairbanks student group is trying to raise awareness of fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, or FASD.  The UAF. Pre-Med Society is hosting events tomorrow, which is F.A.S.D. Awareness Day. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can result when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy.

New National Aquaculture Policy Won’t Affect Alaska
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Federal officials say plans for a new nationwide aquaculture policy will not immediately affect Alaska.

Anchorage Launches New Education Program
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Last week the Anchorage School District opened a new facility downtown on Fourth Avenue.  It’s called “Step Up” and represents a unique approach to the district’s proclaimed goal–“Educating ‘all’ students for success in life.”

Sitka Reporter Captures Road Trip
Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka
Ed Ronco is the new reporter at KCAW in Sitka. He arrived in Alaska late last month after an 11-day road trip in an 11-year-old car. The goal? To complete the trip without needing a mechanic. And as Ronco tells us, his father came along on the trip with a goal of his own in mind.