Alaska News Nightly: October 5, 2010

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State Will Not Receive National Health Care Funds
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
When the federal government announced, last week, that every state will get $1 million to help pay for a new piece of the national health care law, just two states were left off the list:  Alaska and Minnesota.  They didn’t apply.  Alaska’s governor doesn’t want the money.  As APRN’s Libby Casey reports, critics of the Parnell Administration say that decision hurts Alaskans.

Leaders Meet About Suicide Prevention
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
Political and Tribal leaders met with Yukon Kuskokwim residents for a roundtable talk on suicide prevention yesterday in Bethel. It was an emotional discussion.  Many came forward with personal stories about how suicide has affected their lives.

State Candidates Release Campaign Financial Reports
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Candidates in this year’s state races have released the first campaign financial reports required since the August Primary election.   With four weeks to go, both of the major gubernatorial contenders show they have enough funding to meet their needs – but they could use more.

Alaska May Be in for Colder-Than-Normal Winter
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Alaska is likely in for colder than average winter. The climate phenomenon known as La Nina, the cool sister of El Nino has set up in the equatorial Pacific, and according to National Weather Service lead forecaster Rick Thoman in Fairbanks, it looks powerful.

Thoman says that la Nina tends to keep the jet stream south of Alaska, making it colder here.  Thoman and fellow Fairbanks meteorologist Corey Bogel recently went through National Weather Service records, which go accurately back 60 years, and found strong correlation between La Nina events and cooler than normal winters in Alaska.

Thoman says the only exception to the cooler than normal La Nina trend is in southern southeast Alaska.  Thoman says the state’s coastal areas tend to be drier in La Nina years, but there’s no strong correlation between la Nina and precipitation in the interior. The current la Nina is expected to last through next spring. The La Nina-El Nino cycle can take 3 to 5 years, or rapidly transition from one to the other.

Agricultural Project Aims to Reduce Cost of Rural Living
Adam Kane, KDLG – Dillingham
In an effort to reduce the high costs of living in rural Alaska, one community has joined together on an agriculture project that promises to supply the village with nutritious vegetables, fresh local eggs and a renewable source of income for years to come.

Prominent Alaskan Remembered
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
George Rogers is often remembered as a big thinker, for his contributions to Alaska statehood, his economic studies, a quick wit and sense of humor.

He was a scholar, an author and professor.  He served on numerous local and statewide boards and commissions, including the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Rogers died Sunday at his Juneau home. He was 93 years old.

He spoke with reporters many times at member station KTOO.  And this remembrance from Rosemarie Alexander includes some of those interviews.