Alaska News Nightly: December 3, 2009

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Parnell Says State Must Do More to Fight Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Calling it a reality that all Alaskans have to face, Governor Parnell (R) on Thursday said Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault are an epidemic that too many people have to face. And he made public a new initiative to fight the problem setting the goal of stopping the flood of cases – within a decade.

Transcanada Announces Plan for Storage Facility in Kenai
Ben Standon, KDLL – Kenai
Transcanada has announced plans to construct a natural gas storage facility in the city of Kenai.  The company formed Cook Inlet Natural Gas LLC, which has put forward the proposal.  The project would need regulatory approval to move ahead, but company officials have been talking with city and borough administration about some of the basics.

Environmental Group Suing EPA to Protect Polar Bear
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
An environmental group is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over pesticide contamination in the Arctic. The Center for Biological Diversity says pesticides used throughout the US are harming polar bears in the far north.

Swine Flu Vaccine Will Now Be Available to More Alaskans
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
The H1N1 vaccine will now be available, as quantities allow, for all Alaskans who want to be vaccinated. About 170,000 doses of the vaccine have trickled into the state so far, with about 15,000 doses arriving each week. Dr. Joe McLaughlin is the state’s chief medical officer. He says H1N1 infection rates have been declining nationally.

  • Correction: Dr. McLaughlin is the state’s epidemiologist. Dr. Ward Hurlburt is Alaska’s chief medical officer.

Past Presidents Say ANS Needs More Younger Members
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
For nearly a century, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood have helped Native people work for and achieve civil rights, educational opportunities and better health care. But two past ANS grand presidents say it’s time for the groups to adapt to the modern world and attract younger members. In the last of a Sealaska Heritage Institute lecture series, Ethel Lund and Selina Everson said the ANB and ANS need to become more relevant.

Sealaska Disbrituting Larger Dividends
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
Many Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian elders will get a larger check when Sealaska distributes dividends to its shareholders this week. The regional Native corporation is giving shareholders 65 and older an extra 100 shares of stock. That means an additional $134 for this payout.

Swan-Tyee Intertie Officially Up and Running
Deanna Garrison, KRBD – Ketchikan
More than 20 years in the making, the Swan-Tyee electrical intertie is officially up and running. As Deanna Garrison reports, the southeast Alaska power agency began testing the new 57-mile transmission line last month and is now using the intertie daily.

Bizarre Crimes Popping Up in Unalaska
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
Bizarre crimes involving human biting have resulted in an arrest in Unalaska recently. Officers arrested a man who claimed to be a vampire and bit his roommate twice on the arm. The two men were arguing when Andrew Philemonof Jr. allegedly jumped off his bunk and began gnawing on his roommate’s appendage. The roommate pushed the alleged vampire away and the two men remained in the same room until public safety officers arrived on the scene. Philemonof was arrested on one count of Assault 4 – DV. He was intoxicated at the time of the event and now denies being one of the blood-thirsty undead. The last vampire appearance in Unalaska was about a year and a half ago when a late night bicyclist claimed the identity.