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With colder temperatures, overflow shelters prepare for homeless


The leaves are changing colors and the termination dust has arrived, it’s just another reminder that winter is right around the corner.

“It’s going to be hard but I’m going to toughen it out for this winter,” said Melody Richardson, who is homeless.

For Richardson, it means sleeping outdoors in the plummeting Alaska temperatures.

“All we had was a couple of blankets," she said.

Thanks to Anchorage’s cold weather plan implemented in 2010, Richardson might have another, safer option this year.

“The overflow was something that was deemed necessary just because demand obviously exceeded our capacity at the building," said Lisa Caldeira, program manager at Brother Francis Shelter. "We are always thankful when we have the funds in order to run overflow (service)."

At Brother Francis, capacity is normally 240 people. But when the temperature sinks below 45 degrees, more Anchorage homeless often need a place to sleep.

That’s why there are overflow shelters like Bean’s Café, the soup kitchen near Brother Francis. Sometimes, however, even that extra bit of space is not enough to meet demand.

“My goal, if necessary, is to have up to 50 beds and have a staff because we can just set up the bedding in the gym,” sad Reverend Michael Bunton of Shiloh Baptist Church.

Shiloh Baptist is one of seven churches in the municipality that is part of the cold weather plan.

“We’ll have our training next week and make sure we’re sticking with the municipality laws and things like that so that we’ll stay in regulation, but it’s a great program, we really love doing it,” said Bunton.

Below freezing temperatures are expected every night this week and organizers of the city's overflow shelters say they are ready. Still, to enforce the cold weather plan, both Brother Francis and Shiloh Baptist are seeking additional help.

Brother Francis is looking for two employees to hire. Bunton said Shiloh Baptist has 20 people signed up to volunteer, but with more volunteers the church can shelter more people.

If you’d like to volunteer, you can call Shiloh Baptist Church at 907-276-6673.

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From sales on horses to tattoos, Alaska sellers fight for dividend cash


The influx of cash to Alaskans from the Permanent Fund Dividend check has local businesses offering unique sales to draw in customers.

"We love Alaska," said Corey Hall, owner of Twiztid Tatoo on Debarr Road. "We love PFDs and the buzz it generates. And we just want to be part of that."

On the day the state distributes PFD, his shop will offer a "double your money" deal. Anyone who buys a gift card for services in any amount will have that amount doubled.

"Tattoo money doesn't go as far as it used to so we wanted people to get the big tattoos that they want to get," Hall said.

At Bella Day Spa and Hair Design clients can receive an eyebrow and lip wax for $18.84.

"You don't want to blow your whole PFD in all one swoop," said Bella Day Spa and Hair Design manager Amanda Ashton. "You've got to find those little deals here and there."

Ashton said more deals will be planned in the days following PFD distribution.

Not just businesses are looking to draw in more customers. Craigslist shoppers can find a range of deals aimed at people looking to spend their dividend. A sailboat is offered for sale for $1,884 by one user.

Another Craigslist user recommends using PFD money to buy their quarter horse priced at $3,800.

How are you planning to spend your PFD? Tell us below in the comments section!

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Local businesses try to woo customers into spending the PFD Cash


With more than $1 billion from the Permanent Fund Dividend hitting Alaskan bank accounts in the next few days, local businesses are taking notice.

Regardless of whether they are big or small, businesses are not hiding the fact that they want Alaskans to spend that $1,884 of PFD cash in their stores.

The PFD is investment time  for homeowners over at Giant Don's Flooring America.

The store known for hardwood, carpets and tiles says its product can be expensive.

Which is why in October when Permanent Fund Dividends roll in it offers deals people can afford.

"We have specials that are up to 60 percent off," said sales manager Brittany Raney. "I believe the Alaska PFD gives them that opportunity to take advantage and invest in some higher quality flooring that's going to last them a long time."

PFD discounts are the name of the game at some local car dealerships. To remain competitive A&L Family Auto is slashing prices by $500 and offering free oil changes.

It's banking on people using the annual fund to come get a dependable car.

"The more you have to put down that enables some people who don't have good credit to get a better vehicle than they would be able to purchase," said owner Michelle Anselm.

Taking advantage of Alaska's unique buying power is one of the sales concepts at Treeforms Furniture Gallery.

Sales manager Barry Dannehy says with the check bigger this year, they want to convince people to buy more in order to save money.

"We got a lot of hot buys going on for the PFD sale," said Dannehy. "When you have nearly $2,000 per person for a family it gives you a lot of disposable income."

The $1,884 PFD check will be direct deposited Oct. 2.

The first round of mailed checks will be sent out that same day

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Friends, family of slain Chevak woman turn to Facebook for justice


More than a month after a woman was found dead near a village health clinic in Western Alaska, her family and friends are mounting a social-media campaign to learn more about her suspicious death. According to Alaska State Troopers, 19-year-old Roxanne Smart’s body was found  Aug. 27 near the Chevak clinic. Members of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation traveled to the community of 980 people, about 17 miles inland, east of Hooper Bay.

Troopers labeled the death a homicide but have revealed no information about the investigation in the following weeks.  

Now, supporters of Roxanne Smart have launched a Facebook page, Justice for Roxanne Smart, where friends and family have posted memories of the teen. The page includes photos from a candlelight vigil held behind the Chevak Clinic and seeks to draw attention to the case from troopers and Alaska media.

The organized push for information borrows techniques from a similar page set up after 22-year-old Michelle Lane’s Sept. 2 death in Anchorage. “Roxanne did not deserve this,” organizers wrote on the page Saturday. “The person who did this to her needs to found and put away. If anyone has any information any suspicion we ask you to go to the cops.”

Roxanne’s mother, Matilda Smart, says that she is satisfied with the pace of AST’s investigation, although she hasn’t heard much since it began. “We had a visit from the state troopers a few weeks ago, and he said they’re still investigating what happened,” Smart said.

Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says investigators working on the case had not responded to a list of Channel 2 questions forwarded to them as of Wednesday morning. Troopers have not answered, for example, whether authorities have determined the cause of Smart's death in an autopsy,

Henry Smart, Roxanne's father, says a prosecutor told him about a month ago that an initial forensic analysis hadn't turned up anything. He says that during their last visit, troopers requested Roxanne's phone number and a copy of her phone bill.

"Last time that trooper came, he said they won't stop, they'll keep trying to find answers," Henry Smart said. Roxanne's mother credits family friends Jessica Ayuluk and Kerri Tall with creating the Justice for Roxanne Smart page. It was a good idea, she said.

“I don’t Facebook myself,” Matilda Smart said. “I did not find out about the Facebook page until yesterday, when I was visiting one of my friends.” The mother says her family hopes the social media effort plays a role in bringing Roxanne’s killer before the law. “We really just want, want whoever did it -- I just really wish they’d give themselves up,” Matilda Smart said. The family remembers Roxanne as an outgoing young woman who loved fishing, as well as listening to music, taking walks and collecting bird eggs. “She was happy, and she was very helpful of anybody that was outside our house,” Matilda Smart said. “She was willing to go any which way and give them help.” Roxanne wasn’t known to be in a relationship at the time of her death, Matilda Smart said. Family members haven't been told when or where she was last seen alive. “All we know is that she was found behind the clinic,” Smart said. “That’s the last place we saw her.”

Editor's note: An initial version of this story inaccurately named one of the Justice for Roxanne Smart Facebook page's creators as Katie Tall, not Kerri Tall.

Channel 2's Corey Allen-Young contributed information to this story.

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Inflation: 2014 PFD dividend is tenth-largest, not third


In 1982, the first year that Alaska paid a dividend to every eligible Alaskan, a gallon of gas cost about $1.25. A carton of eggs was less than a buck.

Money went a lot farther, and in other words, the $1,000 check that the state mailed to each resident that year was worth the equivalent of $2,180.

With inflation in mind, KTUU.com analyzed all 32 dividend amounts to see which checks really had the most buying power. This year’s payout is $1,884, a windfall for Alaska families that will inject more than $1 billion into the state.

While it may be the third-largest dividend on paper, it drops to No. 10 when you account for inflation.

Below are the amounts for every dividend paid since the program began, ranked in terms of buying power.

These amounts were calculated using the consumer price index for Anchorage in 2013, the most recent numbers available from the state Labor Department. The value of a dollar rises and falls differently in Alaska than the national average, in part because of the state’s isolation.

“We’re affected maybe more-so than a lot of other states by increases to the cost of fuels, because we have to transport everything here,” said Alyssa Rodrigues, a Labor Department economist. “All of our goods, a lot of our food, a lot of things have an extra amount that’s tacked on that you wouldn’t pay down south just because of transporting things up to Alaska."

BUYING POWER: Top 10 Permanent Fund Dividends

Year    Buying power, with inflation    Amount on the check

2000    $2,764                                         $1,964

1999    $2,533                                         $1,770

2001    $2,532                                         $1,850

2008    $2,319                                         $2,069       

1998    $2,228                                         $1,541

1982    $2,181                                         $1,000

2002    $2,068                                         $1,541

2007    $1,938                                         $1,654

1997    $1,902                                         $1,297

2014    $1,884                                         $1,884

Find the amount paid every year, as well as the number of people who received the dividend over time on the Permanent Fund Dividend Division timeline.

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Community leaders try to stop domestic violence


It's a call to action, community leaders are asking people to get involved in putting a stop to domestic violence in Anchorage.

On Wednesday state officials and community members gathered at the Covenant House for the opening ceremonies of Domestic Violence Action Month.

"Right now too many people don't know how to get involved, are looking the other way and so our norm supports violence," Melissa Emmal, AWAIC deputy director. "Our community right now supports the widespread violence against women and children."

Emmal says the key to preventing violence is for the community to recognize the signs of abuse and learn how to intervene safely.

"There is something each and every one of us can do and it's about helping people get connected with those realistic ways to intervene," said Emmal.

AWAIC encourages community members to follow the Green Dot 3 D's when dealing with a potential situation, which include direct, marching up and directly confronting a situation, distract, doing something to bring the situation down and take the focus away from the abuse about to happen and delegate, call for help.

Sgt. Brian Neild was also honored for his heroic intervention in a domestic violence assault while at a coffee shop in August 2013 at Wednesday's ceremony.

Neild was awarded a Green Dot Bystander Award" for his actions.

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Awareness to action: community leaders try to stop domestic violence


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Trucker convicted after failing to report Wasilla man's death


A truck driver has been convicted of failing to report a crash on Interstate 90 in south-central Montana where an 81-year-old Alaska man was killed. Officials in Sweet Grass County say 45-year-old David Welk was convicted Wednesday. District Judge Katherine Bidegaray ordered a presentence investigation and did not set a sentencing date. Elgie Bedford of Wasilla, Alaska, died early on Sept. 30, 2013. Investigators believe several vehicles ran over his body before officers discovered it at about 7:30 a.m. Welk was arrested in Iowa on Jan. 23 after his co-driver reported that the truck hit something in Montana. Defense attorneys argued investigators couldn't determine how many time Bedford was struck. A Washington state woman who drove through the area is charged with leaving the scene and tampering with evidence. Her trial is set for November.

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Alaska refuge proposes killing invasive caribou


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal wildlife officials are considering deadly measures to keep an Alaska big game animal introduced more than 50 years ago to a remote island in the Aleutians from expanding its range.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that caribou swimming from Adak (AY'-dak) Island to Kagalaska (kag-ah-LAS'-kah) Island be killed to prevent a new herd from being established.

Adak Island is 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage. Caribou were transplanted onto Adak in 1958 to provide sport-hunting for military personnel assigned to a remote naval base formerly located there.

Kagalaska Island is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and a short swim away from Adak.

Refuge manager Steve Delehanty (del-ah-HAHN'-tee) says Kagalaska is a wilderness area and caribou would change its vegetation and natural diversity.

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No injuries in paraglider crash near Flattop trailhead


Anchorage Fire Department rescue units are responding to a paraglider crash with no injuries near the Flattop trailhead Wednesday afternoon. According to AFD dispatchers, the crash near the trailhead at 13101 Glen Alps Rd. was initally reported to Anchorage police, then relayed to AFD at 2:07 p.m. A caller initially said the paraglider had been seen crashing in trees, but no line of sight was available on its occupants. This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.

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South High School seeks input on proposed football stadium


At South High School, one of Anchorage's only high schools without a football stadium, the varsity team wants to play on its own home turf.

School administrators want that to change -- but neighbors have big concerns about noise and traffic.

This isn’t the first time the school has tried to build a football stadium. Earlier this year, the city's Planning and Zoning Commission voted down the state-funded field in a 3-4 vote with two commissioners absent.

In 2012, students and parents lobbied the Legislature for a $2.2 million grant to add seats, a scoreboard and lights -- but it was never built.

That’s why parents, students and community members packed South High's commons area Tuesday night for a public meeting on the issue.

“Students were very disappointed last year when they didn’t receive approval from Planning and Zoning," said South's principal, Kersten Johnson-Struempler. "Parents were equally disappointed, so there was efforts to keep trying to adjust our application this time."

“It’s a shame for this school that we haven’t gotten this done,” said Jim Andres at his son’s football game Tuesday afternoon.

But neighbors of the school are concerned about noise and traffic congestion that comes with a full stadium.

“They say only 10 events but they have been a serial violator of the noise ordinance," said Alex Slivka, president of the Turnagain View Estates Homeowners Association. "We have asked them for years to stop using their external paging system, which has reached blocks in the neighborhood.”

“We would like to have a better buffer there and we just need the school district to be a better neighbor,” said Cornelius Eastman, a neighbor of South, at Tuesday’s meeting.

The school is trying again with a new proposal addressing concerns about noise and buffers between the stadium and surrounding community.

“We want the field and I want to play on it before I graduate,” said Nathan Lujan, a junior who plays on the varsity football team at South. “The seniors this year want to play on it before they graduated and I hope it just happens soon.”

The Turnagain View Estates Homeowners Association has spent more than $70,000 in legal fees battling the proposed stadium.

Meanwhile, students and parents hope the Planning and Zoning Commission changes its mind so a stadium can be built by next fall.

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Stay put or lockdown?: How Anchorage schools react to a crisis


The Anchorage School District's crisis plan includes the use of two detailed procedures -- the lockdown and stay put modes. 

An empty hall is the key to protecting students during emergencies at East High School.

"The assets in our schools are our students," said East High Principal Sam Spinella. "It's protecting them and making sure they are safe. What we do in order to protect them is done in a safe way as well." 

Dealing with crises, like a fire or attack, in Anchorage schools, requires coordination between the principal, police and district officials.

In both stay put and lockdown modes, all students and staff members are brought inside the building to get people away from possible criminal activity or a problem animal.

"We are fortunate, actually," Mike Abbot, ASD's chief operating officer. "The level of investment that our community has made actually puts our facilities among the top in the nation in terms of their ability to protect themselves in the event of an intruder."

Stay put and lockdown modes are applied during natural disasters, as well.

The earthquake that rattled Southcentral last week Romig Middle School to activate its safety protocol.

"Those are really the only spaces in the district that we had to kind of temporarily close and they were back up and running in a couple of days," said Abbott.

In both stay put and lockdown modes, school doors and classrooms are closed. During lockdown, students are kept away from visible areas, like windows.

"All the doors are locked," said Spinella. "No one is allowed to the building. No one is allowed to leave the classroom. They have to stand in a quiet place." 

As part of local and state requirements, Anchorage schools and 50,000 students practice a variety of emergency drills every month. 

During crises, the school district keeps families updated through online, phone and text messages. 

For a complete list of ASD's lockdown and stay put safety procedures, click here.

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Ebola unlikely to spread to Alaska, official says


Officials with the Alaska Department of Health said it is unlikely a case of the Ebola virus will be reported in the state.

"We can pretty safely say the risk is very low," said state infectious disease program director Dr. Michael Cooper.

Cooper said Alaska does not have many people with a connection to countries in West Africa. Since that is where the outbreak is largely occurring, Cooper said cases of Ebola in Alaska are less likely.

He said already the Health Department reached out to schools and groups who send aid workers out of the country to look for connections.

"We don't have the exact numbers of family with ties or [people] that would be coming back from helping out over there but we know the number is incredibly low." Cooper said.

Though an outbreak is unlikely in Alaska, Providence Hospital Chief Nurse Executive Deb Hansen said staff has been trained to stop the spread of an infectious disease like Ebola.

"We would put them in protective isolation," said Hansen. "Anybody going into the room would have to wear a mask, gloves and gown."

Hansen said staff is trained to identify the eight symptoms of Ebola, which can only be spread when a person is displaying symptoms

A fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

Hansen said since the symptoms can be similar to other illnesses, staff is trained to ask about the patient's travel history. Staff also ask if a patient has come into contact with anyone who has traveled to West Africa.

Channel 2 called other hospitals in Anchorage for comment about how they have prepared for a possible Ebola patient, but none returned our calls.

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Suspects enter pleas in Juneau park fires


A Juneau man has pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief for 2012 fires that caused $26,000 in damage at a city park.

The Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/1E08U4D) reports 26-year-old Ryan Martin changed his plea Tuesday.

A second man, 26-year-old Dillon West, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

A third defendant, 20-year-old Ashley Rae Johnston, was convicted of felony criminal mischief last year.

Prosecutors say the three were recorded on park video surveillance cameras before the June 19, 2012, park fires.

The fires damaged a tractor and material owned by a company replacing artificial turf at a city football field.

Martin, with no prior felony convictions, faces a presumptive prison sentence of zero to two years. The maximum is five years.

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Frontier Airlines to end seasonal flights to Fairbanks


The only low-cost air carrier operating between Fairbanks and the Lower 48 will eliminate the seasonal route next year.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Denver-based Frontier Airlines plans to eliminate its Denver-to-Fairbanks schedule.

Frontier ended seasonal service last month.

It flew three to four no-frills Airbus 319 flights every week from mid-May to mid-September.

A spokeswoman for Fairbanks International Airport says the airline cited the closure of the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole and higher fuel costs as a major factor in the decision. Flint Hills ended production in May.

Angie Spear says the carrier in a letter also has decided to reposition its national fleet.

Frontier will continue flying between Denver and Anchorage.

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State: New Xerox-run Medicaid system doesn't deliver


An updated Medicaid payout system was supposed to help providers get paid, but it has ended up costing them and the state millions of dollars. 

Last fall, the state updated its 27-year-old Medicaid payout system by hiring Xerox to run a new, more advanced system to receive reimbursement claims from medical providers for work they completed.

"They haven't been able to deliver that," said Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Bill Streur. "We believe the provider system and, in many respects, the Medicaid recipients, as well as the state, have suffered harm as a result of that."

Only about 60 percent of claims are being successfully processed, Streur said. As a result, the state paid out $150 million in advanced payments while providers waited on claims.

Channel 2 spoke with local providers who said they are still having a difficult time meeting their bottom line. None wanted to speak on-camera about the problems it has created.

Xerox Public Relations Director Jennifer Wasmer would not answer questions about the system but offered a written statement.

Wasmer said, in part, "new claims are paid within nine days; and the system is paying at better levels than the national industry average. We continue to optimize the system to further improve speed, accuracy of payments and reduction of claims backlog with the aim to deliver a high-performance system."

Streur said he is holding Xerox accountable to its word. He filed a claim to notify the state department of administration of Xerox’s breach in contract for services.

Within six months, he said he expects to have payouts working at a 90 percent success rate.

In the meantime, DHSS is considering stopping payments to Xerox because the company cost the state and providers so much time and money over the past year.

The total cost of the system from Xerox is $32 million. So far, the state has paid Xerox $12 million for its services. 

The issue could end up in superior court if Xerox does not meet expectations, Streur said.

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Armed robbery reported in parking lot of Tudor Road Taco Bell


A woman was robbed at gunpoint Monday afternoon in Midtown, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

Two armed men entered the woman's vehicle, which was parked outside a Taco Bell restaurant on Tudor Road, around 5 p.m.

The unidentified suspects demanded money and personal belongings before leaving.

Police set up a perimeter and searched the area with K-9 units and officers patrolling with assault rifles drawn.

No one was immediately arrested, and a physical description of the suspects was not provided.

Hours later, near a Downtown Taco Bell, a man was shot in the neck and critically injured.

APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro said it is not immediately clear if the two incidents are connected.

"There's no clear indication that they're connected," she said, "but there's no clear indication that they're not connected.

"We're investigating."

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Federal agency expresses concern with dam studies


A federal fisheries agency has raised concerns about the accuracy of some studies being conducted for a massive proposed dam in south-central Alaska.

In a letter to the project manager for the Susitna-Watana dam, the regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, James Balsiger, said new study requests can't be developed given the current problems with the data.

Among other things, he questioned the accuracy of the identification of fish species.

Project spokeswoman Emily Ford said overall, the Alaska Energy Authority, which is pursuing the project, is confident in the information it is gathering.

She said the comments raised by agencies and others will be discussed during an upcoming round of technical meetings, at which the authority also will discuss its plans for next year.

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Alaska health officials brace for respiratory diseases


Alaska has seen no reported cases of a respiratory disease sweeping across the Lower 48 states, but state health officials ask residents to be on guard against a variety of cold and flu-type illnesses this season. A Tuesday statement from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services says there are no confirmed Last Frontier cases of Enterovirus D68. Hundreds of D68 infections have been reported Outside, with symptoms ranging from runny nose and fever to difficulty breathing and wheezing in more severe cases; no vaccines or treatment beyond supportive care are currently available, with children under age 5 and those suffering from asthma at elevated risk. DHSS spokesperson Dawnell Smith emphasizes that the lack of D68 reports involves only cases examined by Alaska doctors. Louisa Castrodale, with the department’s Section of Epidemiology, says state health workers have been keeping an eye out for D68 cases despite their apparent absence here so far this year. “Like all the other states, we’ve been conducting surveillance for the enterovirus,” Castrodale said. “There’s no reason to think that we’re free from it.” The department is also keeping track of more common respiratory diseases, with “high levels” of pertussis cases reported statewide and influenza rates at a relative low going into the traditional flu season. “Pertussis, which is a bacterial infection or whooping cough, we’ve definitely seen that,” Castrodale said. “Influenza has never really gone away during the summer.” While epidemiologists can’t readily associate particular outbreaks with a specific disease, Castrodale says anecdotal symptoms of a long-lasting cold and cough in Anchorage workplaces, including the Channel 2 newsroom, are consistent with pertussis. “That’s a lot of coughing, and it can continue for a long time,” Castrodale said. “For a good two and a half weeks, people can pass it on to others.” Smith says the reports of illness even extend to DHSS. “We’ve all been sick in this office,” Smith said. DHSS has these tips to fight the spread of respiratory diseases: •        Get a flu shot early this fall. •        Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds (alcohol hand gel is not as good as hand washing with soap and water). •        Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. •        Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick. •        Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick. •        Children and adults with asthma should be sure to have their asthma symptoms under control and see a health care provider if they develop a respiratory infection and their asthma worsens. •        Cover coughs and sneezes. •        Do not go to day care, school, or work while ill.

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How do you think the Anchorage School District should handle budget shortfall?


Facing another round of possible cuts, the Anchorage School District is projecting a $22 million budget shortfall for the 2015-2016 school year.

Monday night the district held the first of three “listening sessions” for community members to weigh in on what the district should and should not focus on when it comes to funding.

After a year where the district slashed $23 million, ASD is looking at a $73 million shortfall over the next three years if current funding doesn’t change.

The idea of the “listening sessions” is to give people the opportunity to speak directly to the school board before the budgeting process begins.

“The goal should be to seek increased funding to benefit students in all camps,” said Debra Fitzgerald a parent who attended Monday night’s session.

“We’re in a crisis now, our school board and district is doing the best they can,” said Starr Marsett.

“I know there are limited resources due to a lack of legislation appropriations and the cuts had to come from somewhere but I object to cut funds for kids who have special needs,” said Celia Rozen, student advocate.

ASD officials predict a loss of more than 700 positions if the current funding formula from the legislature does not change.

“You can’t keep running a school district on the budget that we have,” said Marsett at Monday’s “listening session”.  

“This is going to have to be a Juneau fix, a state-wide fix,” said school board president Eric Croft.

Croft said the current BSA – Base Student Allocation – the legislature funds, is not keeping up with inflation.

“Every year until the legislature inflation proofs the formula we’ll have a deficit,” said Croft.

To help aid last year’s $23 million deficit, the district received $5.8 million from the Anchorage Assembly with the Assembly picking up the $2.25 million price tag for funding student resource officers.

But Croft said there’s only so much the city can give the school district.

The next “listening session” will be Tuesday night at Alpenglow Elementary School at 6 p.m.

The third and final session will be Wednesday at Lake Hood Elementary School at 6 p.m.

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