Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2004

Juneau's first baby of 2004

JUNEAU - Alexis Karen Copsey wasn't expected to be the first baby born in Juneau, but her parents said Friday they were happy it worked out that way.

"She was supposed to be born on the 20th (of January)," her mother, Rosetta Copsey, said from Bartlett Regional Hospital. Her children have always been born early, she added.

"It's kind of special," said her father, Hank Copsey, who works for the Organized Village of Kake, helping with housing and home repairs. The family lives about 95 miles southwest of Juneau.

Alexis was born at 12:43 a.m. Friday, missing a Jan. 1 birthday by less than an hour. Her mother said Alexis weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches tall.

She was nearly the family's second holiday baby, her parents said. The Copseys' oldest daughter, Jovanne, 10, has a July 4 birthday.

Alexis also an 8-year-old brother, Skyler, and a 5-year-old sister, Courtney.

Rosetta Copsey said Courtney also was born in Juneau, which is easier than Sitka for the family to get to if they need a hospital. She said she flew to Juneau on Dec. 27 after experiencing contractions.

"I started going into labor yesterday," she said Friday. "She is beautiful."

Alexis' father agreed.

The family planned to return home today.

KTOO hosts discussion of Alzheimer's

JUNEAU - KTOO, the public television station in Juneau, is joining in a national PBS campaign to raise public awareness of the looming Alzheimer's health crisis.

KTOO will host an advance screening and follow-up discussion of "The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at the KTOO Studios, 360 Egan Drive. The public is invited.

The program will air on Jan. 21 on KTOO and other Alaska One stations. The 90-minute documentary explores the disease, the toll it takes on patients and caregivers, and the latest research.

KTOO is working with the Juneau Pioneers' Home, Wildflower Court, Catholic Community Service/Hospice, Faith in Action Volunteer and Respite Services in Sitka, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, and the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Agency of Alaska.

The advance screening will include a discussion with local health care professionals about Alzheimer's disease and the resources available in Southeast Alaska to help patients and their families.

For more information, call KTOO at 586-1670. A screening and similar discussion will be held in Sitka on Jan. 14, sponsored by Faith in Action Volunteer and Respite Services.

Official says suspect meat recovered in Alaska

ANCHORAGE - All the meat connected to the mad cow scare has been recovered in Alaska and it's unlikely any of it reached consumers, according to an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Department spokesman Matt Baun said Friday the agency believes it tracked down all 30 pounds of meat sent to Alaska and doesn't expect more recalled product to be found.

"We believe that 30 pounds of products went to Alaska, but we don't think they were redistributed to the retail level," Baun told the Anchorage Daily News. "We don't believe that the consumers were recipients of any of the 30 pounds of product."

Managers of retail meat markets said Alaska consumers have been calling this week to learn if their beef was part of a multistate recall of more than 10,000 pounds of meat processed in a Washington state slaughterhouse along with the cow that tested positive for mad cow disease.

Mad cow disease is a neurological disorder in cattle that's also called bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Health officials believe humans can develop a fatal illness called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease after consuming cattle products contaminated with mad cow disease.

USDA officials have said the recall was issued out of caution, but stressed the U.S. beef supply is safe and the recalled meat presents "essentially zero risk" to consumers.

Baun said Friday the recalled meat removed from Alaska will be put in a landfill, destroyed or rendered inedible.

Dr. Bob Gerlach, state veterinarian, said a USDA spokesman told him about the 30-pound recall in Alaska earlier this week. But a program coordinator with the state Department of Environmental Conservation called companies that distribute meat to Alaska retailers and restaurants and found none that received any of the recalled meat.

Gerlach said this could be because the meat never made it to a distributor or retailer.

Baun said the USDA sent investigators to locations that received recalled meat to study distributors' records and customer lists to track down the beef.

Baun said he didn't know when the meat was sent to Alaska, what form it was in or when it was pulled from the market. Citing a long-standing USDA policy prohibiting the agency from releasing proprietary information, Baun said he couldn't say where the meat was headed in Alaska.

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