Alaska News Nightly: March 10, 2010

Photo by Annie Feidt

Blake Freking of Finland, Minnesota, beds down his team of S iberian huskies in McGrath

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Haines Hiker Rescued from Meade Glacier
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau and Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
A Haines hiker stranded on Meade Glacier has been rescued.  Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr says that the hiker was picked up this afternoon

Troopers Investigating Chignik Lake Death
The death of a young woman in Chignik Lake is under investigation by Alaska State Troopers. Late Monday, the body of 32-year old special education teacher Candice Berner was discovered near a gravel road leading to the community’s airstrip.   State Troopers are not saying much about the case, except that they are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

Operating Budget Goes Before House
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
A $5 billion operating budget goes on the floor of the House on Thursday for consideration by the entire membership.

Persily Approved for Pipeline Coordinator
Larry Persily has been confirmed by the U.S Senate as the new federal coordinator of Alaska gas pipeline projects.  The senate moved Persily’s name by unanimous consent Wednesday evening.

Murkowski Sides with Democrats on Benefits Vote
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and a handful of other Republicans crossed party lines on Wednesday to join with Democrats and pass a tax-extenders bill worth $140 billion.

Baker Takes Iditarod Lead
Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage
Kotzebue’s Jon Baker is leading the Iditarod pack at this hour.  Baker breezed through Ophir checkpoint at 8:45 this morning, and breezed out four minutes later with fourteen dogs. Dallas Seavey followed Baker out of Ophir about 1:40 Wednesday afternoon with 13 dogs, after spending about four hours at the checkpoint.

Haltman: A Happy Musher
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
One of the happiest mushers on the trail is Sven Haltman, from Fox, who pulled into McGrath late Tuesday night in 7th place and is now taking his 2- hour layover in Takotna. He was carrying one dog in his sled, but wasn’t ready to drop him in McGrath. He said the dog had a subtle shoulder injury that he thought he could massage out in Takotna.

Alaska Sees Spike in STDs
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
There was an epidemic of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea in Alaska last year.  The spike in numbers was the largest one year increase since the 1970s. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the State Division of Epidemiology.

Begich Named to Budget Committee
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) gained a new committee spot this week.  He’ll serve on the Senate Budget Committee, which drafts Congress’s annual budget plan and monitors action on the budget for the federal government.

Starvin Marvin Helping Haines 6th Graders
Tara Bicknell, KHNS – Haines
In Haines, a sixth grade class is learning how to turn their trash into something useful. The kids are getting help from Starvin Marvin.