Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage
ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8452 | About Lori
Legislation that passed Congress today will allocate $50 million to clean up the 130 oil and gas wells that were drilled and abandoned by the federal government in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska.
Athletes at East High in Anchorage highlighted some positive statistics about teens earlier today at the homecoming pep rally. Like the fact that 89 percent of Anchorage high school students don’t smoke. The campaign is called “Strength of our Youth.” The idea is to debunk the myths that “everyone” in high school is making bad choices.
An Anchorage immigration attorney is a MacArthur Genius grant winner. Margaret Stock was named today along with 23 other recipients across the country. The honor comes with a $625,000 award over the next five years.
In the summer of 1937 A Russian plane en route from Moscow to Fairbanks crashed in the Arctic. A headline that day in the Anchorage Daily Times blared- Soviet Fliers Stranded in Arctic; Distress Call Heard in Anchorage. The aircraft, and the 6 Russians on board have never been found. Efforts through the years to locate the plane have taken Alaskan pilot Ron Sheardown and Russian filmmakers and relatives of the crew to the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. Sheardown has been flying in the arctic for 60 years. He says they have reason to believe three Inupiaq hunters at Oliktok Point, northwest of Prudhoe bay, may have seen the plane go down on August 13th, 1937 in between Spy and Thesis Island.
This year’s University of Alaska Anchorage Journalism department’s Atwood chair is a man who has covered Alaska stories in the past. A member of the Shoshone Bannock tribe of Idaho, Mark Trahant is the first Native journalist to hold the position. Trahant has been covering federal budget cuts, the Affordable Care Act and the impact of both on tribes. He says he wants to encourage more native people to become reporters.
Minnesotan Bob Vollhaber has just accomplished what many Alaskans said wasn’t possible. He paddled a canoe, 5000 in 5 months, alone, through Alaska. He left the Washington coast in March and arrived in West Chester Lagoon in Anchorage on Sunday.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is hoping a new challenge will help put an end to the honey bucket in rural Alaska. Over 6,000 homes in the bush don’t have running water and sewer service. And the state and federal government can’t afford to install expensive centralized systems that are difficult to maintain in those small villages. So the state wants to encourage innovators to form teams to design a new type of system that could work. Bill Griffith, with DEC, came up with the idea for the challenge.
As fall temperatures begin to slide toward lows that could be dangerous for the homeless population in Anchorage, Catholic Social Services has the funds to staff their overflow shelter. Catholic Social Services Executive Director Susan Bomalaski says a grant from the Fred Meyer employee giving fund and money from the municipality of Anchorage will get them through this winter. But Bomalaski said this Band-Aid-approach is not a good long term solution.
One year after high winds caused extensive damage in Anchorage and across Southcentral Alaska, September is again starting off with concern about overnight gusts. Christian Cassell, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Anchorage, said winds of 45 to 60 mph will pick up along higher elevations and Turnagain Arm Monday night.
The U.S Attorney’s office announced indictments against four Anchorage men for drug conspiracy, kidnapping involving sexual torture and using firearms during the crimes. The indictment alleges the men conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine as well as heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine. The men are also charged with organizing home invasions of other drug traffickers to obtain drugs.
The Inuit Circumpolar Council met in Kotzebue last week. It was the first meeting there since a general assembly in 1986. Members from Russia, Greenland and Canada joined their Alaskan counterparts to discuss ongoing concerns for indigenous people in the north.
The Anchorage Police Department says it arrested 34 people for driving under the influence during the first weekend of an expanded effort to crack down on drunken drivers. There have been five drunk driving deaths in the city in the last two months.
As Alaska’s summer starts to slide toward fall, concern is growing for sheltering the increasing numbers of homeless citizens in Anchorage on cold nights.
A new audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General, finds the Port of Anchorage expansion project had botched oversight and bad cost estimates. Lisa Demer is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She has reported extensively on the port expansion and the troubles surrounding cost and design.
Even though there’s no drilling in Arctic waters this summer, work is still being done in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The Coast Guard has set up a forward operating location in Kotzebue this year after opening a seasonal location in Barrow last summer. Proponents of the oil tax referendum gather over 50,000 signatures. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves a TAPS settlement with the three owners.
KSKA: Friday, 7/19 at 2:00pm & Saturday, 7/20 at 6:00pm
TV: Friday, 7/19 at 7:30pm & Saturday, 7/20 at 5:00pm
The Army says Fort Wainwright Garrison commander Colonel Ron Johnson might have been overstating it when he told residents of Pleasant Valley and Two Rivers last Saturday night that artillery training exercises had started the Stuart Creek Two wildfire.
Anchorage is one of fewer than a dozen communities in the U.S. where the number of kids who are obese is declining. Between the 2002 and 2010 school years, the obesity rate among students in grades K-8 fell 3 percent. Cindy Norquest is program director for Healthy Futures, a statewide initiative to get kids exercising every day. She’s in Washington D.C. this week to share Anchorage’s success story in a panel discussion sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The annual Mount Marathon race in Seward was muddy this year but that didn’t stop a rookie from taking the women’s title. The Anchorage Daily News reported Palmer resident Christy Marvin clocked in at 53 minutes, 20 seconds, winning by nearly two minutes. Allison Barnwell a 21-year old Seward resident took second at 55 minutes 11 seconds and 18-year old Ann Spencer of Anchorage came in third at 56 minutes 15 seconds.