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Federal agency expresses concern with dam studies

Sep 30, 2014 -- 12:00pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A federal fisheries agency has raised concerns about the accuracy of some studies being conducted for a massive proposed dam in south-central Alaska. In a letter to the project manager for the Susitna-Watana dam, the regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, James Balsiger, said new study requests can't be developed given the current problems with the data. Among other things, he questioned the accuracy of the identification of fish species. Project spokeswoman Emily Ford said overall, the Alaska Energy Authority, which is pursuing the project, is confident in the information it is gathering. She said the comments raised by agencies and others will be discussed during an upcoming round of technical meetings, at which the authority also will discuss its plans for next year. 

Parnell's office denies National Guard records

Sep 30, 2014 -- 11:45am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Sean Parnell's office has denied a media request to obtain records showing how the office handled complaints of sexual abuse in the Alaska National Guard. The Alaska Public Radio Network reports it took 86 working days to deny its request for the records. Under Alaska regulations, government entities have 10 working days to fulfill a records request. They have another 10 if they need an extension. APRN says it received a three-page response letter on Friday that was sent by policy director Randy Ruaro, who cites among other reasons the legal rights of privacy for victims. Ruaro says his office has not had the staff necessary to quickly deal with a rash of requests. The letter notes a significant amount of information has already been made public.
 

Petersburg to host large Alaska Native gathering

Sep 30, 2014 -- 11:30am
- PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) - Petersburg will be hosting one of the largest gatherings of Alaska Natives in southeast Alaska. The 102nd annual of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp is scheduled for Oct. 8 through 11. ANB-ANS has grown into a nonprofit that includes 29 volunteer camps in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Brenda Louise of Petersburg is ANS 2nd Grand Vice President. She tells KFSK the Grand Camp looks at issues or concerns from different communities. She says individual camps submit resolutions for review that address their concerns. The Petersburg camp plans to bring resolutions calling for cultural education within the community and a more transparent permitting process for cultural hunts.

Man shot in Anchorage restaurant parking lot

Sep 30, 2014 -- 11:15am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Anchorage police are investigating a shooting outside a fast food restaurant that left a man seriously injured. Channel-2 News reports a man was shot in the neck Monday night in the parking lot of a Taco Bell on east Fifth Avenue. Police took a call on the shooting just before 9:30 p.m. Medics rushed the man to a hospital in critical condition. The man's name has not been released.
 

State may require more math for diplomas

Sep 30, 2014 -- 11:00am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The state Board of Education is considering a new requirement for high school graduation that's already in place in most school districts. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a proposed regulation would require students to complete three credits of math. The requirement now is two credits out of the 21 needed to graduate. Half a credit typically is earned in a class each semester. The state has 54 school districts and 45 already require students to take at least three credits of math. Susan McCauley of the state Department of Education says the state board in June learned that 42 states require more math credits than Alaska. The board asked the department for a proposal making Alaska requirements comparable.
 

Aircraft documents stranded whales, recovery

Sep 30, 2014 -- 10:45am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Army unmanned aerial aircraft captured something pretty tragic in the waters of Cook Inlet. Then it captured something joyful. KTVA reports the aircraft was taking part late last month in an exercise in Knik Arm. The aircraft's operator from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was giving helicopter crews an observational view of their training exercise. Then the camera captured a large pod of beluga whales stuck in mud near Eagle Bay after the tide went out. Soldiers believed five of the whales were dead, and federal biologists were called. Authorities were preparing for a large-scale operation to conduct five necropsies when the aircraft's cameras caught something else. Aircraft operator Pfc. Raymond Lounsbury says they watched as the tide came back in, and the whales were able to swim off unharmed.
 
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