Northwest Digest

Posted: Friday, October 05, 2007

Alaska Airlines plane from San Jose evacuated in Seattle

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SEATTLE - An Alaska Airlines passenger plane was evacuated when it landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Thursday, after a passenger found an unclaimed cell phone tucked in his seat, an airport spokeswoman said.

The cell phone appeared to have been taken apart, put back together and shoved into a passenger's seat, airport spokesman Terri-Ann Betancourt said. The passenger who found it asked if it belonged to anybody, and when no one claimed it, the pilot determined the plane needed to be evacuated.

Alaska Airlines Flight 383 from San Jose landed at 11:41 a.m. with 104 passengers and five crew on board and was directed to park on a taxiway at the far west end of the airport, where it was evacuated, airline spokesman Paul McElroy said. Passengers were bused to the terminal.

The airport halted all takeoffs and landings for about 10 minutes while the Boeing 737-400 was evacuated, then one of the airport's two runways was cleared for departures and arrivals, Betancourt said.

It was not immediately known how many flights were affected, but Betancourt said at the worst point, the airport was reporting 12-minute flight delays.

Normal airport operations resumed around 12:30 p.m., after the FBI and Port of Seattle police determined that the cell phone posed no safety threat, Betancourt said.

Anchorage hospital to offer drive-by flu vaccinations

ANCHORAGE - Pull your car up to the hospital, stick your arm out the window, get your free flu shot and drive away.

With the flu season approaching, Alaska Regional Hospital hopes patients take advantage of these drive-by vaccinations, and they're throwing in a free windshield wash just to make sure.

"Rather than give the shots at a discount, it's better just to make them free," said Kjerstin Lastufka, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

Alaska Regional offered drive-up vaccinations two years ago for $25 apiece, Lastufka said. About 100 people showed up. She said the shots are free this year because of government rules that complicate the simple offer of a discount for a flu shot.

Alaska Regional purchased enough vaccine for 1,700 flu shots this season, Lastufka said. That includes flu shots for the hospital's employees and their families.

Many health-care organizations recommend flu vaccinations for anyone but emphasize that certain higher risk populations should make sure to get them.

That includes children 6 to 23 months old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, people 2 to 64 with a chronic condition and health care personnel working directly with patients.

The flu shots will be offered from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and Nov. 8.

Volunteers will wash and squeegee vehicle windows while patients fill out paperwork.

Gov. Palin looks to fill seats on fisheries management council

ANCHORAGE - Gov. Palin says she's looking to fill a seat on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to replace Ed Rasmuson, who is stepping down.

Palin is seeking applications from members of the public who are interested.

The council is responsible for managing federal fisheries within 200 miles of the U.S. coast.

The governor's office says an appointment will be made later this month to fill Rasmuson's term.

The term runs from Jan. 1, 2008 through Aug. 10, 2009.

Interested parties must show they are experienced in conservation and management or are familiar with Alaska's fishery harvests.

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