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Feds to bring indoor plumbing to Alaska village

Oct 23, 2014 -- 12:45pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A remote Alaska village where only half the homes have indoor plumbing is among rural communities nationwide to receive a share of more than $352 million in grants and loans for upgrades to rural water and wastewater systems. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Alaska's $12.6 million share of the funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday at a convention of Alaska Natives in Anchorage. The western Alaska village of Akiachak is receiving a $5 million grant in this round. It will go toward construction of sewer mains and other parts of a core system that can be hooked up later to 100 houses in the community still without indoor plumbing. Another 100 homes in the Yup'ik Eskimo community of 675 received the plumbing in an earlier project.

Quake felt in Fairbanks; No reports of damage

Oct 23, 2014 -- 12:30pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - A moderate earthquake has rattled the interior portion of Alaska, but there's been no immediate reports of damage. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, and was recorded at 8:30 a.m. AKDT Thursday at a depth of 11 miles. It was centered about 45 miles northwest of Fairbanks.The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says in a release the quake was "felt strongly" in several interior Alaska communities, including Fairbanks.

2 cited for wasting deer, ducks in Juneau

Oct 23, 2014 -- 12:15pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Coast Guard says it will take additional steps to teach personnel about local hunting laws after two petty officers were issued citations for wasting game. The Juneau Empire reports anonymous tips led Alaska State Trooper wildlife officers to issue citations to 26-year-old James Schmidt and 27-year-old Chris Hyde. They are scheduled for arraignment Oct. 30 and could not be reached Wednesday.Troopers investigated after a deer and four ducks were found Oct. 1 along a rural Juneau road. Antlers but almost no meat had been removed from the deer. State law requires that edible game meat be processed for human consumption. Failure to salvage meat is a misdemeanor. Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow says the agency will consider disciplinary action after the court case is complete.

Mining company eyes ski area for gold mine

Oct 23, 2014 -- 12:00pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The oldest downhill ski area near Fairbanks may be turned into a gold mine.The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a Vancouver mining company wants to dig for gold on land occupied by Mount Aurora Skiland. The property is owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. The state-owned corporation manages state land to produce income that helps pay for health care of people who experience mental illness. Skiland pays just $2,500 per year on its annual lease and the mining company would pay much higher rental fees. Skiland Board member Jeff Fay says the ski area founded in 1962 has never been a money-maker. He says he hopes the mental health trust can see beyond the financial advantages and consider the ski area as a community resource.

Ketchikan assembly rejects meeting prayer proposal

Oct 22, 2014 -- 9:45am
- KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has turned down a proposal to begin regular meetings with prayer. The Ketchikan Daily News reports the proposal failed 5 to 2 Monday following public testimony from both sides of the issue. Some of those speaking in favor of meeting prayers talked about the long-standing practice of legislative prayers in the nation. Some opponents said they would feel alienated by prayer at meetings and others said such a policy would discourage people from attending. The assembly also rejected a proposed amendment to put the issue on the 2015 local ballot. Local minister Bill White asked if he would be welcome to deliver a prayer during citizen comments. Borough Mayor David Landis said he personally would enjoy hearing from White.

Suspected impaired driver charged with assault

Oct 22, 2014 -- 9:30am
- WASILLA, Alaska (AP) - A Wasilla man suspected of driving while impaired with two people in his car has been charged with felony assault after they were hurt in a crash. State Troopers say 44-year-old John Murtha was arrested Monday night. He remains in custody at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. Troopers took a call just before 10 p.m. Monday that a car had crashed into a utility pole on Forest Lake Drive outside Wasilla. Troopers say the car crossed the opposite lane and hit the pole. The two passengers were taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Murtha was charged Tuesday with the felony assault counts and a misdemeanor driving under the influence count. His bail was set at $15,000. Online court documents did not indicate that he was represented by an attorney.
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