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Hospital changes night entrance
JUNEAU - Bartlett Regional Hospital has begun locking its main entrance at night.
The front door is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., said Marijo Toner, spokeswoman for Juneau's city-owned hospital. She said those arriving at night need to use the emergency room entrance, to the right of the main entrance, which is open 24 hours a day.
"We did not have a specific incident," Toner said today. "We are getting so large and so busy it is just a matter of being able to control access so people who don't need to be in our facility aren't and people who do can do so quickly and easily."
Federal grant aids telemedicine efforts
ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded distance learning and telemedicine grants to two Alaska health organizations.
The agency's Rural Utilities Service sent a $500,000 grant to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The consortium provides direct telemedicine services to 165 rural and remote communities. The money will be used to augment existing telemedicine infrastructure, especially in the areas of ear and respiratory diseases.
The Health TV Channel of Anchorage also will receive a $500,000 grant. The money will be used to acquire instructional programming and production equipment. The channel is working with the Community Health Aid Program, which has 88 health aides in rural villages.
Quakes strike near False Pass and Alaska-Canada border
ANCHORAGE - Two light earthquakes struck Alaska on Monday afternoon.
The first earthquake occurred at 12:41 p.m. near the Alaska-Canada border, according to the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.4 and was centered about 65 miles northwest of Burwash Landing in the Yukon Territory.
The second earthquake struck at 1:24 p.m. in the Unimak Island region. That quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 and hit 52 miles southwest of False Pass, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center in Fairbanks.
There were no reports of injury or damage.
EPA seeks input on Point Thomson project
ANCHORAGE - The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking the public's help in identifying environmental issues stemming from a proposed gas development project at Point Thomson on the North Slope.
Exxon Mobil has proposed extracting natural gas and kerosene-like gas condensate from the area.
The EPA, in coordination with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers, is producing an environmental impact statement on the project.
The agency will hold a series of public meetings around the state in coming weeks to gather comments. Meetings next week will be at Kaktovik, Barrow and Nuiqsut. Meetings next month will be held in Arctic Village, Venetie, Fairbanks and Anchorage.
Compiled from staff and wire service reports.