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Cold Christmas morning in Interior Alaska

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:10

FAIRBANKS — If you live in Interior Alaska, it’s a perfect time to wear that new Christmas sweater.

The skies cleared and the temperature dropped to minus 40 on Wednesday morning. And it’s not got to warm much in the coming days.

According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday highs in the Fairbanks area should only reach 25 to 35 below zero. Lows in the evening will be 35 to 45 below zero.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the cold snap will break Saturday, when highs increase to 5 to 15 below zero, with a chance of snow.

Alaska flu cases skyrocket in December

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:10

FAIRBANKS — There’s been a sharp increase in the number of flu cases reported to the state.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports there were 177 influenza infections in Alaska between Dec. 1-21.

Before that, only 65 cases had been reported in the first months of the flu season.

There are still flu vaccines available at public health centers in Alaska. Shelly Point-Anderson, who is with the Fairbanks Regional Public Health Center, says anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get a flu shot.

Troopers: Kodiak man shoots self in knee

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:09

KODIAK — Alaska State Troopers say a 33-year-old Kodiak man is facing charges after shooting himself in the knee with a stolen gun while drinking and driving.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror says the man’s name was not immediately released, pending charges.

Troopers say the man had taken the .44 Magnum pistol without permission from a vehicle on Dec. 18.

Troopers say the man drove around Kodiak with a 25-year-old Anchorage man the next day. According to troopers, the 33-year-old man began drinking while driving and handling the gun, which discharged and hit him in the knee.

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Kodiak 15-year-old charged after stealing SUV

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:09

KODIAK — Alaska State Troopers say three Kodiak juvenile males face charges after joyriding in a stolen sport-utility vehicle before one of them crashed it.

Troopers in a web posting say a 15-year-old boy stole a friend’s SUV early Christmas morning. He picked up two other boys, ages 16 and 17, and drove around for a few hours.

After he dropped them off, troopers say the 15-year-old boy was driving while texting and crashed the SUV into a ditch. The vehicle was totaled but he wasn’t injured.

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Anchorage police find woman dead inside vehicle

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:09

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police say a woman was found dead Thursday morning inside a vehicle near downtown Anchorage.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro says in a statement that police were alerted just before 7:30 a.m. about a woman who was unresponsive and unconscious in a vehicle at the 1000 block of 6th Avenue.

Castro says responding medics declared the woman dead at the scene.

Police are investigating to determine the cause of death and if foul play was involved. An autopsy has been ordered.

Castro says the woman has not been positively identified yet.

Alaskan to lead firm overseeing gold project

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:08

FAIRBANKS — Tom Irwin of Fairbanks will become president and chief executive officer of International Tower Hill Mines as it prepares to slash jobs.

Irwin will assume his new role for the British Columbia-based global mining company on Jan. 1. He spent the past two years as a company vice president, overseeing its Livengood gold project about 70 miles north of Fairbanks.

His promotion comes as the company is cutting about 30 percent of its staff and slicing its board of directors from seven members to three.

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Man arraigned in death at Cooper Landing home

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:08

KENAI — An Anchorage man has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges following the death earlier this month of a California man at a Cooper Landing home.

Paul Andrew Vermillion, 30, entered his not guilty pleas to first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Monday in Kenai Superior Court. He appeared telephonically from the Anchorage jail, where’s he’s being held for medical examinations, the Peninsula Clarion reported.

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Fairbanks seeks interpreters for Arctic Winter Games

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:07

FAIRBANKS — Organizers with the 2014 Arctic Winter Games need volunteers who can interpret several Arctic languages into English, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The Games will be held March 15-22. The Games’ official language is English, and many competitors speak English.

However, organizers want to be ready for any possible scenario.

“These are all backup,” said Mimi Chapin, one of the interpreter organizers. “Fairbanks is a hospitable international community that wants to make things easy on the people who come here.”

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Skyview sale brings emotions to the surface for community

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:07

KENAI — Though she’ll soon be wearing red and black, Kyla Moore held the purple cheerleading uniform and football shirt close Friday as she walked away from a memorabilia sale at Skyview High School.

Though the petite blond was never a cheerleader, the uniform meant a lot, she said, as she talked about leaving the closing Soldotna school for the much larger Kenai Central High School to finish her senior year.

“I always wanted to be a cheerleader,” she said.

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State releases report on Nov. storm

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:07

FAIRBANKS — More than 30 private homes were damaged in the Fairbanks area during November storms.

The damage came during the storm and in its aftermath. The state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management released its report Friday on the storms that stretched from Alaska’s West Coast to the Interior, and included flooding on the Kenai Peninsula, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The storms included strong winds in the Interior, and knocked trees into homes and power lines. Power was cut off to more than 13,000 homes and businesses.

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NOAA begins taking volunteers for whale count

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:05

LIHUE, Hawaii — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is starting to register volunteers on Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island for an annual humpback whale count.

The Garden Island newspaper reported Thursday that the project is looking for people to monitor whales from 60 locations statewide, including 15 sites on Kauai. The counts will take place Jan. 25, Feb. 22 and March 29.

NOAA officials say population counts for humpback whales are still relatively unknown. Some of the endangered whales migrate south each winter from Alaska to breed.

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Study shows military's impact on Alaska

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2013-12-27 01:05

KODIAK — A new study from the state shows how dependent Alaska is on military spending.

Sixty percent of all federal dollars spent in Alaska are devoted to defense spending, and the state estimates the military will spend $486 million next year on Alaska projects, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.

The study is from the state Department of Labor and published in this month’s Alaska Economic Trends magazine.

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Recalling His Inspiration, A Neurosurgeon Thanks A Teacher

NPR News - Fri, 2013-12-27 00:26

As a middle-school student in the '80s, Lee Buono stayed after school one day to remove the brain and spinal cord from a frog. He did such a good job that his science teacher told him he might become a neurosurgeon someday. That's exactly what Buono did.

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Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014

NPR News - Fri, 2013-12-27 00:26

The Afghans will elect a new president, and the U.S. combat mission will end. There are worries about a resurgent Taliban, the fragile economy and the future of women's rights. In short, Afghans are concerned about most everything.

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The Number 6 Says It All About The HealthCare.gov Rollout

NPR News - Fri, 2013-12-27 00:25

Just six people managed to sign up for health insurance through the federal website the day it opened for business. The numbers are better now, but the botched rollout may have not only inconvenienced people, but also permanently changed people's perceptions of the Affordable Care Act.

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Marines: Most Female Recruits Don't Meet New Pullup Standard

NPR News - Fri, 2013-12-27 00:24

Women are supposed to do three pullups, part of the new physical test intended to determine whether women are ready for ground combat. The pullup test has been put on hold because most female recruits have been unable to meet the standard.

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Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism?

NPR News - Fri, 2013-12-27 00:23

Scientists hope to solve mysteries of the human brain by studying much simpler neural networks — like the brain circuits of fruit flies and mice. Already such research is turning up clues to why many people with autism are easily overwhelmed by bright lights and loud sound.

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