Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Governor to address Native Issues Forum

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JUNEAU - The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska and the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 2 will host a Native Issues Forum today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the ANB Hall at 320 W. Willoughby Ave.

Gov. Sarah Palin and Commissioner Emil Notti will be featured speakers. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 463-7105.

School in runningfor library makeover

FAIRBANKS - A Fort Wainwright elementary school is now one of four finalists being considered for a $15,000 library makeover in a national contest sponsored by the nonprofit group Reading is Fundamental.

Internet voters will determine over the next three weeks if Arctic Light Elementary School will be the winning school. It has received federal funding for the past seven years to participate in the Reading is Fundamental program. The school was nominated because of its programs promoting family learning and student involvement in the community.

Arctic Light children get free books because of the program. They also are able to share their excitement of reading with their families and that helps the students handle the stress of having a parent deployed, said Donna Morrow, an Arctic Light librarian and the school's Reading is Fundamental coordinator.

State investigates lead levels of rifle team

FAIRBANKS - Members of the Delta High School rifle team had elevated levels of lead in their blood, leading to heath concerns, according to state health officials.

A state toxicologist, Lori Verbrugge, made the determination and wrote about it in a bulletin issued by the state Section of Epidemiology.

P.J. Ford Slack, superintendent of the Delta/Greely School District, confirmed that the Interior Alaska school described in the bulletin was Delta High School.

Verbrugge said the investigation began after doctors performing tests on a Delta-area infant found the child had increased lead levels in the blood. Health providers following protocol contacted state officials.

Verbrugge learned an older sibling of the infant was on the Delta High School rifle team. She also learned that team members assisted in "dry sweeping" at the range owned by the Delta Sportsman Association. This type of sweeping can disperse lead dust into the air.

Verbrugge said dust from the range may have clung to the student's clothing and come into contact with theinfant.

Governor announces regent appointment

Governor Sarah Palin today announced the appointment of William Andrews as student regent to the University of Alaska Board of Regents. Andrews, a Juneau resident and a student at the University of Alaska Southeast, will serve a two-year term.

"William's youthful enthusiasm and history of public service make him a valuable asset to the Board of Regents and the entire university system," Palin said. "His commitment to academic excellence and fiscal responsibility made him the top choice for this post."

Andrews is an intern in the office of state Rep. Mary Nelson, D-Bethel, the governor's office said. He studies Social Sciences and Alaska Native Studies and plans to enter the UAS Master of Arts and Teaching program after graduating in 2008. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantryman from 1990-1994.

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