Northwest Digest

Posted: Monday, September 04, 2006

Iraqi relief worker to speak in Juneau

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JUNEAU - Iraqi humanitarian relief worker Rana Al-Aiouby will speak on the civilian and security situation in Iraq at 7 p.m. Friday at the University of Alaska Southeast Egan Lecture Hall.

Al-Aiouby is executive director and founder of International Peace Angels, a non-governmental organization that delivers humanitarian and medical relief to areas of conflict in Iraq. She will share her first-hand knowledge of the destruction of Iraq's infrastructure and the effect it is having on medical institutions, the delivery of health care and the civilian population in general.

The lecture is cosponsored by the Juneau People for Peace and Justice and the UAS. For more information, call 586-4409.

Thompson to steer trucking association

ANCHORAGE - There's a new face behind the wheel at the Alaska Trucking Association. Aves Thompson was appointed Aug. 1 to head the industry advocacy group following a long career working with transportation issues for the state.

Thompson, a 24-year veteran of state government, spent the first 17 years of his career with the state Department of Commerce. Since 1997, he worked for of the state Department of Transportation in the division of measurement standards and commercial vehicle enforcement. For the last seven years, Thompson was the director of the division.

"We (the Alaska Trucking Association) looked around and found someone that we knew and that had experience," said Harry McDonald of Carlile Transportation, who is a board member and a former past president of the ATA. "This is definitely a win-win for the association and for Thompson."

Senate clash tops Washington primary

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Sen. Maria Cantwell, one of America's more vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and her Republican challenger, Mike McGavick, are expected to blow past their respective intraparty rivals in Washington state's Sept. 19 primary.

With record spending of $30 million by the two millionaire candidates expected by their Nov. 7 finale, the Washington race is drawing some national attention because it could be pivotal to Democrats' hopes of taking back control of the Senate.

The Senate primary, winnowing down the partisan field from 11 candidates down to the finalists, is the marquee race in a mostly ho-hum election that may draw only one voter in three. Most of the vote will be cast by mail.

The primary election has become more than a one-day affair, spanning a voting season of more than two weeks, beginning when absentee ballots arrive in voters' mailboxes today.

Neither Cantwell nor McGavick faces a big-name challenger and both have been waging their general election campaign for months. Polls suggest a potentially tight finish, but Cantwell still leads in a state that trends Democratic.

Northwest wildfire growth slowing down

DAYTON, Wash. - Washington's two largest wildfires grew on Sunday, but not as much as fire officials expected.

Warm, dry conditions helped the Columbia Complex of fires near Dayton increase by about 4,000 acres on both Saturday and Sunday and cover more than 138 square miles or 88,652 acres by Sunday evening.

Most of the fire growth was on the north end of the fire, with the blaze moving toward Eastern Washington's big burn of last year. The School Fire broke out Aug. 5, 2005, and burned 78 square miles, or nearly 50,000 acres, and 109 houses before it was extinguished two weeks later.

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