Alaska News Nightly: October 1, 2009

North Slope borough sampling team 10 09

Photo Courtesy of Fish and Wildlife Service

Investigators believe adult walruses may have trampled to death young walruses.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via email, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio (MP3)

Health Care of Kids Getting More Support
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Health Care for children is rising in importance for next year’s legislative session. Bills that would increase participation in the Denali Kid Care program have new support.

Transportation Legislators Tour YK Delta
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
The House Transportation Committee made a three-village tour of the Yukon-K Delta this week. Six Legislators, travelled with Transportation officials to assess the needs in Rural Alaska.

Lawmakers Debrief Transportation Officials on Rural Tour
Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
Back in Anchorage on Thursday the House Transportation committee members reviewed their trip with Department of Transportation officials. Deputy Commissioner Christine Klein told the panel that they had seen three of the 258 state-owned airports – and more than seven hundred federally recognized airports in Alaska.

Dead Walruses Could Have Been Trampled
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Some 130 young walrus found dead on Alaska’s north shore were likely trampled to death by adult animals. The grim scene was discovered last month by biologists hoping to deploy satellite tags on walrus that hauled out in Alaska after sea ice in the Chukchi Sea disappeared. A team that investigated the deaths released its preliminary report on Thursday.

Citation Issued to Protesting Fisherman
Shane Iverson, KYUK – Bethel
One of the fishermen involved in the Marshall Protest Fishery was issued a citation. It’s the first citation issued since subsistence fishers from the Lower Yukon Village defied fishing regulations this summer.

Senators Ask Obama to Back Benefits for Territorial Guard
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Alaska’s US Senators took to the floor on Thursday to call on the Obama Administration to support restoring retirement benefits to men who were in the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II.

Territorial Guard Member Dies
Jennifer Canfield, KNBA – Anchorage
Nicolai Egoosie Nicolai has died. September 25th. He was 88 years old.

Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Medical Services
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
This week the federal circuit court of appeals reversed an earlier decision in a lawsuit brought by the Arctic Slope Native Association and the Metlakatla Indian Community against the Indian Health for lack of full payment of contract support for medical services. Tribes and Native organizations contract with the department of Health and Social services to run IHS facilities in Barrow and Metlakatla.

Anchorage Mayor Worried About Gas Shortages
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Anchorage mayor Dan Sullivan (R) is worried about natural gas shortages that could affect the city during coming winters. Sullivan says Southcentral Alaska’s economy is built on natural gas, and that Anchorage’s forty year growth has literally been fueled by natural gas.

Deliveries to Sitka’s Recyling Program Dropping
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Deliveries to Sitka’s recycling program have dropped for the first time since the inception of the program in 2003. The decline in recyclables in the second quarter of this year closely tracks the decline in sales tax revenues the city finance department reported for the same period. Both figures are down about 15-percent from last year.

In a story from Juneau yesterday regarding a proposed tobacco tax we reported the rise in the tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes would an increase of 12 percent. The correct figure is an increase of 45 percent.