Alaska News Nightly: October 16, 2012

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS.

Download Audio

Senator Blasts Federal Spending In Alaska

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn is deriding federally earmarked projects in the state. Coburn released his annual “Waste Book” report this morning. The report highlights government sponsored programs, businesses and tax breaks that Coburn labels wasteful spending.

Cissna Challenging Young For U.S. House Seat

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

Election Day is three weeks from today. Neither of Alaska’s U.S. Senators is up for reelection this term. But there is one statewide race, that hasn’t received much attention. APRN’s Peter Granitz reports on Democrat Sharon Cissna’s uphill bid to unseat Representative Don Young, and what it means for her party in Alaska.

Pilot Dies In Plane Crash Near Skwentna

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A pilot has been found dead in a downed plane near Skwentna. The Alaska Air National Guard Tuesday found the pilot, whose name is not being released yet, after a search was initiated when the plane did not arrive as scheduled at the Nixon Fork Mine near McGrath.

Crew Search For Missing Palmer Pilot

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A search is still underway for a missing plane. Palmer pilot Brendan Mattingly was last seen at an airport in Soldotna on Saturday. Mattingly and his red, white and green Piper Super Cub have not been seen since.

Authorities Kill Bear Cub Believed To Be Involved In Fatal Mauling

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

Authorities shot and killed a brown bear cub Monday on Chichagof Island. It’s believed to be one of three responsible for the fatal mauling of a Sitka man over the weekend.

Sitka police Lt. Barry Allen says a team performed a necropsy on the cub, but that the results are pending. A Sitka detective and two Alaska Wildlife Troopers spent Monday and Tuesday on Chichagof, looking for the sow and two cubs spotted in Poison Cove. That’s about 30 miles north of Sitka.

The bears behaved aggressively on Sunday toward some boaters who came ashore to investigate an abandoned skiff on the beach. The partially consumed remains of 54-year-old Tomas Puerta were found nearby.

Allen says once a bear kills and consumes a human, it could become habituated to the behavior.

Award Winning Carver Cited For Violating Federal Law

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

An award winning Tlingit carver has been cited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violating federal law.  Archie Cavanaugh, from Juneau, placed art objects he had created for sale on the internet. One of the pieces, a hat, used raven feathers and another one, a headdress, used flicker feathers.

Elders and Youth Conference Kicks Off in Anchorage

Anne Hillman, APRN – Anchorage

The First Alaskans Institute is hosting the Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage this week. The conference gives elders and youth from around the state a chance to learn from each other and pass on Native cultures.

Dropout, Death Rates Remain High Among Alaska Children, Teens

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

Alaska continues to have high dropout and death rates for children and teens according to an annual report called the “Kids Count” Data Book.

Alaska Receives Drugs From Company In Fungus Case

The Associated Press

State health officials say providers in Alaska have received drugs from the Massachusetts pharmacy behind the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis.

Alaska Department of Health spokesman Greg Wilkinson says Alaska providers have not received any of the implicated injectable steroid that has been linked to the deaths of at least 15 people and the illnesses of more than 200 others in other states.

But he says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising health providers nationwide to contact patients who have received any injectable drugs from the New England Compounding Center, located in Massachusetts after May 21. Wilkinson says the move is precautionary.

The providers in Alaska who have received the drugs have been notified.

New Senior Housing Units Open In Anchorage

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Affordable housing for elderly citizens remains scarce in Anchorage, now that the municipality is home to almost half the senior citizens in the state of Alaska. Anchorage’s NeighborWorks cut the ribbon on its new 20 unit senior housing complex in the city’s midtown on a blustery day in mid-September.  The new Connolly Square opened to music and fanfare.

Two Paths To The Political Future Offered In Chamber Forum

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

The two candidates for the newly-created  legislative district that represents Sitka, Haines, Hoonah and Angoon, met in Sitka last week in a forum sponsored by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.