Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in December, down slightly from November’s 6.7 percent, according to the Alaska Department of Labor.
Nationally, unemployment was 7.8 percent. Both U.S. and Alaska rates fell over the course of 2012, with the national rate declining from 8.3 percent in January 2012 to 7.8 percent in December. Alaska fell overall from 7.2 to 6.6 percent.
Homer, included in the Gulf Coast Region with the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island and Valdez-Cordova, saw an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent in December, down from the 10.1 percent recorded in December of 2011. In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, December’s unemployment rate overall was 8.4.
A new study released by the Division of Public Health shows the rates of violence-related deaths involving homicide and suicide in Alaska have decreased 11 percent and 2 percent, respectively, over the 2007 to 2011 reporting period.
This is compared to the 2004 to 2008 reporting period. Public health experts say this drop is the result of an increase in violence prevention and other mental health programs supported by the Division of Public Health. But while homicide and suicide rates are down, the new report indicates a 5 percent rise in the overall average of violent deaths in the state.
This is primarily due to increased incidents of undetermined intent, including sudden unexplained infant death or other circumstances where a cause of death could not be explained.
March 1 is the application deadline for lottery permits to visit the bear viewing site at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.
Online applications and printable application forms are available at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game McNeil River website, through the “permits” tab and “Viewing Permits” link, or by calling 1-907-267-2253. Applications are entered into a lottery and, if drawn, Alaska residents pay a $150 permit fee, and nonresidents $350. The McNeil River hosts the world’s largest known gathering of bears.
The Community Advisory Board of American Seafoods Company announced it is now accepting applications for its Alaska community grant program. The deadline to submit is Feb. 6,
A total of $30,000 will be allocated by the CAB to community projects addressing issues of hunger, housing, safety, education, research, natural resources and cultural activities. Grant awards range from $500 to $3,000 per organization.
Recipients will be selected at the CAB meeting on Feb. 14. The CAB evaluates each proposal based on community need, project benefits, number of people to benefit from the program, who the award is intended for and the ability to garner additional funding.
Forms are available online at www.americanseafoods.com, or by contacting Kim Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-256-2659.
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