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Groups want hunting season suspended for rare Alaska wolves

Jul 23, 2015 -- 11:00am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Six conservation organizations are asking state and federal authorities to stop hunting and trapping seasons for Alexander Archipelago wolves, a southeast Alaska species that den in the root systems of large trees. Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the wolves as endangered in August 2011. The groups say large-scale logging fragments forests and reduces carrying capacity for Sitka black-tailed deer, the prey of the wolves. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September agreed to decide by late 2015 whether the wolves warrant endangered species protection. Rebecca Noblin of the Center for Biological Diversity says without hunting and trapping suspensions, wolves on Prince of Wales Island will be gone before the government can decide whether they need endangered species protection.
 

Team begins new measurement of North America's tallest peak

Jul 23, 2015 -- 10:45am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Climbers have collected new data from North America's tallest mountain to more accurately determine the height of its highest point. Officials say the new summit elevation measurement on Alaska's Mount McKinley is expected to be announced in late August and will replace the current official elevation of 20,320 feet. The U.S. Geological Survey is the lead agency working on the project, along with partners that include University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute. Officials say the data collected during a June climb is now being analyzed. The survey taken on the mountain last month used GPS instruments. Officials say that method provides more defined elevations than technology that was used in 2013 to calculate a slightly lower elevation than the official measurement.

Trial begins for Wrangell doctor charged in child porn case

Jul 23, 2015 -- 10:30am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Wrangell doctor is standing trial this week on child pornography charges. The Juneau Empire reports Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Fischer said in court this week that Greg Salard found, downloaded and shared videos that included footage of adult men molesting toddlers.  Assistant Federal Public Defender Cara MacNamara argued in court that the government can't prove Salard possessed or distributed child pornography. FBI Special Agent Anthony Peterson was set to testify for the prosecution on Thursday. Fischer says Peterson found the illegal material was uploaded through a file-sharing program from a computer registered to Salard. MacNamara said an FBI agent misinterpreted the software. Salard faces an aggravated rape charge in Louisiana, where he's expected to be extradited to following the Juneau trial's conclusion.

Tennessee among 7 states getting extended NCLB waiver

Jul 23, 2015 -- 10:15am
- NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee is among seven states that have received extended No Child Left Behind waivers. The education law expired in 2007, though its mandates remained in place. Critics have complained there is too much testing and the law is too punitive for schools deemed to be failing. The Obama administration began issuing waivers to dozens of states to get around some of the law's strictest requirements when it became clear they would not be met. The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday that Tennessee is getting an additional four years of flexibility and three years of flexibility for Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon. As requested by Utah's State Office of Education, the state is receiving a one-year renewal. The department said each of the states is taking important steps toward ensuring that all children have the opportunities they deserve.

Mallott to host provincial official on trans-boundary issues

Jul 23, 2015 -- 10:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - British Columbia's minister of energy and mines is expected to visit Alaska next month at the invitation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. Mallott aide Claire Richardson said the agenda for Bill Bennett's visit hasn't been finalized but the hope is that he can meet with individuals and groups on trans-boundary water issues, perhaps see an Alaska fishery and get to know southeast Alaska better. Mallott, who leads a working group for Gov. Bill Walker's administration focused on trans-boundary waters, visited British Columbia in May. He said the trip included the start of discussions looking at ways to strengthen Alaska's involvement with environmental reviews and permitting of mines across the border to protect Alaska's interests. Richardson said Mallott plans to meet with tribal leaders and other stakeholders in early August in Juneau.

Fairbanks prepares for final regatta, budget woes end event

Jul 23, 2015 -- 9:45am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - After 19 years on the Chena River, Sunday's Red Green Regatta in Fairbanks will be the last. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the KUAC-hosted event is held in honor of "The Red Green Show," a sketch-comedy program on the television network. The regatta is being canceled due to recent budget cuts and insufficient staffing. KUAC has dropped from 30 full-time employees to 16 in recent years. Red Green Show creator Steve Smith will attend the final regatta as a send-off. Participants in the event build watercraft and costumes from recycled materials and at least one roll of duct tape and then see if they can float down the Chena between Graehl Park Boat Launch and Pioneer Park Boat Ramp.
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