Alaska News Nightly: August 30, 2011

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Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Visits Alaska
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

Kathleen Sebelius is the latest Obama administration official to visit Alaska this month. The Health and Human Services Secretary is touring the state this week at the invitation of
Senator Mark Begich. At providence hospital in Anchorage this morning, Sebelius sat down with Alaskans who help provide medical care for the state’s seniors.

Mystery Spill Fouls Kodiak Harbor
Jay Barrett, KMXT – Kodiak

Officials are unsure about the source of contamination in the waters around downtown Kodiak. A diesel odor and sheen was noticed on the south end of Near Island over the weekend. The harbor master’s office and the Coast Guard have been investigating. Harbormaster Marty Owen says he suspects the pollution is from a ship that may have pumped its bilge after the heavy rains on Saturday.

Fairbanks Based Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
Associated Press

A Fairbanks-based infantryman has been killed in an insurgent attack in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan. The soldier has been identified as 23-year-old Spc. Douglas Jay Green of
Sterling, Virginia. Green was on foot patrol Sunday when a roadside bomb was triggered and he came under attack by small arms fire.

Cleveland Volcano Eruption Ends
Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

After a summer of eruptive activity, Mount Cleveland has finally calmed down some. Today, the Alaska Volcano Observatory downgraded its color code for Cleveland from “orange” to “yellow.” AVO had detected a lava dome expanding in Cleveland’s crater early this month, but that dome has not shown growth in the past two weeks.

Rural Interior School Districts Fail to Make AYP
Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Officials with 2 small interior school districts are staying positive despite failing to make federally mandated Adequate Yearly Progress on standardized tests.

Anchorage Superintendent Addresses Chamber
Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce billed Superintendent Carol Comeau’s Monday luncheon talk as, “The Anchorage School District: The Year Ahead.”  But in the questions that followed, it appeared most of Comeau’s chamber audience were interested in the current budget.

Longshoremen Protest Cruise Ship in Juneau
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 200 held an informational picket at Marine Park in Juneau yesterday (Monday) while the cruise ship Westerdam was anchored in Gastineau Channel.

Themed Cruises Gain Popularity
Tara Bicknell, KHNS – Haines

Cruise ships have been visiting Alaska for decades, but they are not like they used to be.  Tara Bicknell, from member station KHNS, reports from Skagway on a emerging trend in the industry:

High School Athletes Begin a New Year
Matt Lichtenstein, KFSK – Petersburg

Another school year in Alaska means a new season of competition for high school athletes around the state. Many started coming in to practice several weeks before the start of school.