Rescued harbor seal pup released on Kodiak IslandThursday, September 18, 2014 9:15am
- KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - An abandoned harbor seal pup that narrowly avoided death by seagull was returned to the wild off a Kodiak Island beach. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the seal was released Wednesday by representatives of the Alaska SeaLife Center. A kayaker in June spotted the seal on an island in Kalsin Bay. Gulls were pecking at the 4-day-old pup, which still had its umbilical cord attached. The SeaLife Center's Halley Werner says the pup would not have survived. It was skinny, dehydrated and wounded when it reached the center in Seward. The seal was treated with antibiotics and fed formula until it could eat fish. In mid-summer, it was placed in pools with other seals to learn how to compete for food. The seal grew from 25 to 57 pounds.
State proposes plan for road from JuneauThursday, September 18, 2014 9:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state Transportation Department is proposing a $570-million road project that would help connect Juneau to Alaska's main highway system. It is the department's latest stab at the long-simmering project; a prior plan was knocked down by the courts for not looking at a fuller range of alternatives. The road would not be a direct link to highways out of Skagway or Haines. Motorists would still have to hop ferries for part of the trip. State Transportation Commissioner Pat Kemp says the goal is to provide more opportunity to travel to the capital city at a lower cost. Juneau is accessible only by air or water. Critics say the money would be better spent on critical infrastructure upgrades and maintenance throughout the state.
Interior Alaska hay harvest dampened by wet summerThursday, September 18, 2014 8:45am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Hay farmers in Alaska's interior are frustrated that their plentiful crops have been dampened by record-breaking rainfall, providing few opportunities for harvesting. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that it's the second consecutive year that poor weather conditions have put a crimp in the interior hay crop. Wet hay is susceptible to mold or fire, but farmers have to wait for the right moment to harvest it for storage. A dry, hot summer last year hurt production, resulting with hay prices climbing for Alaska horse and livestock owners. Alan Tonne, who manages the University of Alaska Fairbanks experiment farm, says that during normal years, the price of hay ranges from $200- to $300- per ton. Tonne figures this year's prices per ton could be in the $400 range.