Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage
ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8452 | About Lori
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.
National Education Association Alaska President Ron Fuhrer says representatives from all 50 states believe they have as much if not more information about how to reform public education than lawmakers do. Fuhrer says in light of recent school shooting tragedies there is a heightened concern over school safety, but he says that doesn’t mean teachers should be armed. “The last thing that an educator should be concerned about is trying to shoot someone, ” Fuhrer said.
The U.S Supreme court released another decision today that has implications for tribes in Alaska. The Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA was enacted to stop American Indian and Alaska Native children from leaving their biological families and tribes when these children were being placed in foster care or up for adoption. ICWA mandates a preference for the Native child’s family and tribe before non Native placement can be considered. The Supreme Court’s decision is in response to a case in South Carolina.
On a recent sunny afternoon, Alaska Native mask carver Drew Michael puts the finishing touches on an enormous mask under a canopy in his backyard in east Anchorage. Michael is creating three foot by five foot wooden masks that will be painted by artist Elizabeth Ellis to represent the cells of the top ten diseases in Alaska for a show called Aggravated Organizms.
The long time tug of war over the name of North America’s highest peak was back in front of the U-S Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee on Tuesday.
The state and U.S. government are partnering together to investigate building a deep port at Nome or Port Clarence. They’re in the early stages of the study. Officials from the Alaska Department of Transportation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer visited Nome, Brevig Mission and Teller last week to collect public input about marine infrastructure and to hear about local concerns over natural resource impacts.
A former Marine Corps Master Sergeant is in Alaska visiting communities to talk about military toxins and the potential health risks of those exposed. Jerry Ensminger spent 25 years in the Marines, but a local television news story about drinking water contamination that became a super fund site at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina changed his life.