Gov: New name for census area named for confederate officerThursday, July 2, 2015 7:30am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Bill Walker has made official Alaska's intent to change the name of a census area named for confederate military officer Wade Hampton. Walker sent a letter to U.S. Census Bureau Director John Thompson, saying he planned to now refer to the region in western Alaska as the Kusilvak Census Area to honor the wishes of local residents. The area is home to the Kusilvak Mountains. Last month, the city and Native village of Hooper Bay passed a resolution calling for that specific name change. The president of the Association of Village Council Presidents says the push began months before the deadly June shootings in South Carolina that brought renewed attention to remnants of confederate history. But Myron Naneng Sr. said that elevated the issue.
State will discontinue filling grayling in Alaska lakesThursday, July 2, 2015 7:15am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Funding cuts have forced Alaska hatcheries to stop raising Arctic grayling. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the manager of Ruth Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery in Fairbanks, Gary George, says the state chose to cut grayling because the small, native fish are disproportionately expensive to raise. The canceled grayling program makes up 11 percent of the fish that the Fairbanks hatchery planned to stock next year. The decision also removes grayling production at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage. Stocking will continue at near-planned levels for rainbow trout, salmon and arctic char. George says it'll be easy to restore production at the hatchery if funding for stocked grayling were to be restored in the future.
North Pole man sickened by 'rabbit fever'Thursday, July 2, 2015 7:00am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials are warning residents after a North Pole man was sickened by tularemia, a bacterial infection known as "rabbit fever." The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1C1ud7Z ) that the man became sick after skinning a hare this spring. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human tularemia cases in the United States are relatively rare, with fewer than 200 cases reported per year between 1990 and 2013. Tularemia symptoms include fever, sore throat and swollen glands. It can be fatal if untreated. It's often transmitted to people handling infected rabbits, hares, beavers and muskrats. Fish and Game advises that Alaska residents try to keep their animals away from hares, which will be slower if they are infected, making them easier to catch.