The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

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Valdez Star photo

Share the Christmas spirit by picking up an ornament from the Angel Tree at the Valdez Post Office. Each ornament feature the names, age, needs and wishes of a youngster in need this Christmas. Bring back wrapped gifts based on the ornament and you'll have done a good deed this Christmas season.

Contest winners

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) announced the winners of its Annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.

"Congratulations to Ed Pinsky, Laticia Chase, Jacob Perez, Carol Crisp, and Laura Stahley," the organization said in a press release Monday. "Sixty-seven photos were submitted by fifteen member photographers. After being narrowed to 17 finalists, CVEA employees voted on their top eight photos. These votes were tallied to determine our winners."

The winning photos will be featured on the cover of Ruralite, CVEAs monthly magazine that is sent by mail to cooperative members. Winning photographers are also rewarded with $100.

"Over 2500 copies are distributed monthly, so this means great exposure for the photographers," CVEA said, noting the photos are also featured on the association's Facebook page.

Jobless rate flat

Alaska's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 6.4 percent in October, unchanged from the month before according to the Dept. of Labor.

The national rate was 5.0 percent.

The unadjusted rate increased four-tenths of a percentage point for the state, from 5.7 percent in September to 6.1 percent in October, DoL said. "This increase reflects the normal taper of Alaska's economy as seasonal industries wind down for winter."

Around the state, unadjusted rates rose from September to October in 23 out of 29 boroughs and census areas, consistent with the statewide trend. Anchorage's rate remained unchanged at 4.7 percent.

The largest rate increase was in Skagway, where unemployment climbed from 4.3 to 15.8 percent. Skagway's economy is heavily dependent on cruise ship tourism, which ends in September.

Refugee issued eye by Gov. Walker

(AP) Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says refugees seeking to come to the U.S. must go through a "stringent'' process."

His office says Walker was among the governors who participated in a briefing with officials from the White House, FBI and State Department on the refugee process.

Since Friday's terror attacks in Paris, some governors have questioned U.S. plans to accept more Syrian refugees, concerned that terrorists might use the refugees as cover to sneak across borders.

In a release, Walker acknowledged the federal government controls resettlement programs. He says he'll remain focused on ensuring the vetting process the governors were briefed on "remains the most stringent refugee vetting process in the world."

Walker spokeswoman Katie Marquette says the governor wants to be kept apprised of refugee relocations in Alaska.


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