Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2006

Military names soldier killed in Iraq

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ANCHORAGE - The Army on Friday released the name of an Alaska-based paratrooper who was killed this week in Iraq.

Spc. Scott D. Dykman of Helena, Mont., was killed when his dismounted patrol was struck by a roadside bomb in Baghdad Wednesday morning.

Dykman, 27, joined the Army in September 2003, according to military officials. He was assigned to Fort Richardson near Anchorage last July and was part of the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

Four other paratroopers from the same unit were wounded in the incident, three seriously.

All four were evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq for treatment.

Dykman is the sixth Fort Richardson soldier killed in Iraq this month.

Hooper Bay finally has new school

ANCHORAGE - A new school has been completed in Hooper Bay, replacing the old school that burned down in a sprawling fire in August.

Construction on the 73,000-square-foot building was under way when the fire broke out Aug. 3, spreading quickly to surrounding buildings, including homes. More than 70 people in the western Alaska village were left homeless by the blaze.

Classes at the new school began Dec. 11, with about 375 students attending.

"I'd say morale is real high among staff and high among students," principal Ken Hagel said.

Hagel said the building has great lighting and large classrooms. The gym is large enough for community gatherings.

During the wait for the school to open, most of the high school students shipped off to other villages to attend school. Other students took basic courses at the Covenant Church. Some high school students earned credit helping to build homes to replace the ones that burned.

Students will make up lost time with some six-day weeks and a short Christmas break. Classes also have been extended by three weeks.

The fire was ignited beneath the old school by children playing with matches, according to fire investigators.

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