Alaska News Nightly: November 20, 2012

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

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Groups Submit Reviews Of Susitna-Watana Dam Studies

Lorien Nettleton, KTNA – Talkeetna

National and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals have submitted their reviews of studies designed to show what will happen to the Susitna River if the 800 foot-high Susitna Watana hydroelectric dam is built. And many national agencies have expressed concerns with the speed of the process the Alaska Energy Authority has undertaken as it prepares to apply for the license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Report Says Lower Kenai River Violates Water Standards

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

A report commissioned by the State Department of Environmental Conservation shows water quality on the lower Kenai River violates state standards. The report has not been released by DEC.

But Peninsula Clarion reporter Rashah McChesney obtained a copy of the three year study and recently published a two part story on it. I asked her what the study documents.

Alaska Officials Report Increase Of Flu, Pertussis

The Associated Press

Alaska health officials are reporting a sharp increase this year of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, as well as a recent spike in influenza cases.

Officials say more than 200 cases of pertussis have been reported in Alaska this year. That’s significantly up from the yearly average of 42 from 2009 to 2011.

The state has confirmed 91 cases of flu in the past four weeks. Of those, the majority have come from Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley and the interior.

Officials say vaccines are the best protection against both illnesses.

State Mulling Medicaid Expansion

Peter Granitz, APRN – Washington DC

With the election over, the consensus in Washington is that the healthcare overhaul will remain law. The Supreme Court decision over the summer granted states the choice to expand their Medicaid roles or not. Alaska still hasn’t decided what to do.

Anchorage Assembly Faces Accusations Of Open Meeting Law Violations

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

Members of the Anchorage Assembly may have broken state open meeting law. Three members of the Assembly allegedly drafted redistricting plans in private meetings with no public notice. The assembly passed a version of the plan at the end of their regular meeting last Tuesday.

Leone, Part Two: ‘A Rapid, Liquid Stop’

Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

Today we continue our conversation with Lieutenant Lance Leone, the only survivor of a fatal helicopter crash in 2010, in which three people from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka died.

Leone was the co-pilot aboard Coast Guard Helicopter 6-0-1-7 as it flew back to Sitka from Astoria, Oregon. On their way north, they saw a small Coast Guard boat leaving a station in Washington. Krueger decided to fly low over the boat and they hit electrical wires.

The impact caught the chopper’s right main landing gear and tore the fuselage into five pieces, coming to rest in shallow water about 150 yards northeast of the island.

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