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Latest Alaska news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. AKDT

Latest Alaska news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. AKDT
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 3:23 AM AKDT
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CAMPAIGN EVENT-CARIBOU HEART

Protesters: Caribou heart meant to send message to senator

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The man who owned a caribou heart that protesters said they wanted to give U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan said Sullivan reminded him of the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz,” and he wanted to give him a heart. Samuel Johns says his intended message was tied to Sullivan’s support for opening part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. The refuge provides grounds for a caribou herd significant to the Indigenous Gwich’in. Sullivan's campaign manager says the campaign is proud of Sullivan’s record and says the actions taken by protesters at Saturday’s event were dangerous and unsafe. Police were reviewing the incident.

TUBERCULOSIS INFECTIONS

Coronavirus hurting Alaska attempt to reduce tuberculosis

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska health officials say the state is on track to repeat last year’s mark of the nation’s highest rate of tuberculosis infections. The Anchorage Daily News reported there have been 38 reported cases of tuberculosis in the state so far this year. A federal report released in March says Alaska had 58 documented cases of the disease in 2019. State and local health officials say COVID-19 has complicated the mission of eradicating tuberculosis in Alaska by reducing the public health resources that can be dedicated to fighting the illness caused by bacteria that attack the lungs.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW CASES

Alaska sets another daily record with 116 new virus cases

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — There were 116 new COVID-19 cases reported across Alaska Sunday, the highest daily increase so far in the state. The Anchorage Daily News reports there was one new hospitalization and no new deaths reported in Alaska. The state Department of Health and Social Services says 93 of the new cases involved Alaska residents and 23 involved non-residents. The new cases reported Sunday break a previous record set the day before, when the state reported 77 cases. Alaska has reported 1,774 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 847 active cases. The state has 86 people hospitalized and 17 deaths related to COVID-19.

AP-US-CAMPAIGN-EVENT-CARIBOU-HEART

Alaska protesters interrupt campaign event with animal heart

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Protesters in Alaska carrying a banner and a caribou heart interrupted a campaign event for a U.S. senator seeking reelection. The Anchorage Daily News reported the small group of protesters were restrained and escorted out by staff and attendees at Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan’s campaign launch event in a hangar near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Saturday. A video posted online showed Sullivan's campaign manager restraining a protester, who dropped the heart. At least two other protesters attempted to rush the stage carrying a banner that read Heartless Sullivan in protest of his record on Alaska Native issues.

ALASKA-STATE FLAG BIRTHPLACE

City mulls razing site where 1st Alaska flag flew

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The fate of one of Alaska’s most historic yet neglected structures could be decided Monday. City officials in Seward will decide whether to demolish the Jesse Lee Home, a former Methodist boarding school where the Alaska territorial flag was first flown almost a century ago and where its Alaska Native designer, Benny Benson, lived. The Seward City Council will hold a public hearing and then decide the fate of the structure. At least one group plans to try to save the building. If successful, the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation will bring together those with historic preservation expertise to formulate a plan.

AP-US-CORONAVIRUS-RELIEF-SPENDING-TRIBES

Tribes struggle to meet deadline to spend virus relief aid

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tribes across the country are wrestling with competing needs, restrictive laws and inadequate staffing as they try to meet a tight federal deadline on spending billions of dollars in virus relief funds. Congress set aside $8 billion for tribes that must be spent by the end of the year and meet strict federal guidelines. Otherwise, the tribes risk having to send it back. Officials on the vast Navajo Nation have received $714 million in aid but approved just $60 million for health care, protective equipment and front-line workers against the virus. Rifts between the tribal government's legislative and executive branches have delayed putting more of the money to use.