Valdez Star photo
The extensive exterior remodel of the Valdez post office is nearing completion and postal customers were able to access the building by the new front doors as of Monday.
Flu drill Tuesday
Health officials in Valdez wish to remind everyone that free flu shots will be available to all next Tuesday during the town's mass inoculation event. It is scheduled for this Tuesday, November 5, from 6-8 p.m. at Providence Valdez Medical Clinic.
The immunizations are free to the public at that time only. The City of Valdez paid for the actual shots and nasal spray immunizations that will be available. The exercise is held yearly to help immunize the local population as fast as possible and also acts as a practice drill for emergency responders in the event of an actual pandemic or other mass medical emergency.
Post Office renovations ending
The exterior remodel of the Valdez Post Office is nearly completion according to Jeff Avery, Valdez post master. The front lobby to the public over the weekend to enable construction workers to open the newly rebuilt front entrance and remove the temporary side entrance.
Back door deliveries of large packages, as well as pickups, were reopened Monday according to Avery.
"It's actually safe to walk in the door," Avery said of the loading area in the back of the building.
Avery said one of the few remaining tasks in the remodel is reinstalling the buzzer in the back. He said patrons needing assistance may need to knock loudly for service until the buzzer is back in service.
He also noted the signage denoting "Valdez Post Office" that was formerly on the side of the building is undergoing refurbishment and will be put back on the side of the building in the coming days.
Alaska chambers supports Medicaid expansion
(AP) The Alaska Chamber is supporting Medicaid expansion in the state under the federal health care law.
The support is conditioned on the federal match being maintained and/or an alternative pilot program being implemented.
Gov. Sean Parnell earlier this year said he would continue to study the issue and revisit it as he drafts his next budget, which is due in December. He has expressed concern the federal government could renege on its promise for funding much of any expansion.
The Anchorage Daily News reports the chamber listed Medicaid expansion as one of its top five state priorities for 2014.
Other issues supported by the business group include maintaining the oil tax cut passed during the last Legislature and increasing natural resource development through more efficient permitting.
Senate candidates raise funds
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller raised more than $13,000 for his campaign during the latest quarter.
That compares to about $196,000 raised by Republican rival Mead Treadwell between July 1 and Sept. 30, and more than $810,000 raised by the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.
Another GOP challenger, Dan Sullivan, announced his candidacy earlier this month.
Miller ended the quarter with nearly $288,000 available, much of which was leftover from his unsuccessful 2010 U.S. Senate campaign against Lisa Murkowski. Treadwell ended the quarter with about $155,000 available, and Begich, $2.4 million.
Valdez Star photo
Local business are working their fingers to the bone this year to prepare to give out tricks and treats to Valdez youngsters after school this Halloween.
Jerky treats linked to pet illness
(AP) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking dog and cat owners to report any problems their pets have had after eating jerky pet treats.
In a notice to consumers and veterinarians published Tuesday, the agency said it has linked illnesses from jerky treats to 3,600 dogs and 10 cats since 2007. About 580 of those pets have died.
The FDA says its Center for Veterinary Medicine has run more than 1,200 tests, visited pet treat manufacturing plants in China and worked with researchers, state labs and foreign governments but still hasn't determined the cause of the pet illness.
The FDA says pets can suffer from a decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms within hours of eating the jerky treats.