Alaska News Nightly: September 9, 2009

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State Releases More on Fairbanks Swine Flu Death
The Associated Press
The state epidemiologist says the 10-year-old Fairbanks boy who had swine flu and died quickly last Friday likely was overwhelmed by a secondary bacterial infection.

Middle Class Alaska Families Struggling in Current Economy
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A new report analyzing the status of working families in Alaska has been released by the Alaska Center for Public Policy, a local think tank. The research looks at how middle and low income families are faring in a stagnant economy and finds they’re in trouble.

Unions Gear Up For Negotiations
Amy Bracken, KTOO – Juneau
Four public employee unions are gearing up for contract negotiations next month with the Parnell Administration. Most contracts expire at the end of the fiscal year, on June 30th. But one has already expired, and members have turned down a tentative agreement.

Alaska Gets Federal Funds for Cleaning Up Leaking Tanks
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will be used to help clean up underground storage tank leaks in Alaska.  Some $200 million from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) trust fund has been allocated to the Environmental Protection Agency, which plans to divvy it up among all the states.

Fishermen Finally Catch a Break
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Fishermen in Western Alaska,  suffering from bad runs and limited availability to King and Chum salmon this year,  finally got a chance to make some money for their winter needs. But it wasn’t much.

Southeast Leaders Prep for Upcoming Regional Summit
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Southeast business and government leaders will meet in Haines mid-month for the annual meeting of the Southeast Conference to talk about energy, transportation, economic development and other regional issues.

NY’s Alaska House to Highlight State Issues
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The East Coast will get a new look at Alaska’s economy and future in energy markets later this month when the Alaska House,  a New York City non-profit, holds one of its monthly presentations on state issues.  The year-old Alaska House has hosted previous events on the state’s tourism, arts, and fishing industry.

Anchorage Rep Takes to the Rivers This Summer
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
State Rep. Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage) had never been on a river trip. But that didn’t stop her and her husband, Sid Atwood, from embarking on a four-week canoe adventure down the Tanana and Yukon Rivers this summer. The couple, both in their late sixties, wanted to visit communities along the way, to see how residents weathered the long winter.