Anne Hillman, KSKA - Anchorage
ahillman (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Anne
The Anchorage Police Department arraigned two suspects on Thursday in a sexual assault case from 2003. They say they re-opened the case after a DNA sample from one of the suspects matched the sample taken from the victim nearly 11 years ago when she reported the crime soon after it happened.
Smoke from regional wildfires is causing concerns for air quality conditions in Anchorage. The municipality’s Department of Health and Human Services said the air is unhealthy for all people and advises everyone to stay indoors.
The village of Eklutna is now protected as a special area within the city of Anchorage. The Anchorage Assembly unanimously voted on Tuesday to create an overlay district to protect the 800 acres that are considered the to be the oldest continually inhabited Athabascan site in the region.
The Anchorage School Board voted to increase the 2014-2015 school budget by $26.5 million on Monday night, which takes the total up to almost $770 million. With the additional money the district will only lose 57 teachers instead of 143. Other funds will go toward charter schools, early literacy programs, and updating aging science teaching kits.
The Anchorage School District released their suggestions for adjusting next year’s budget on Friday. Under the superintendent’s proposal, the district would cut 57 classroom teachers instead of 143. The proposal does not add back in more than 48 support staff positions that were cut in the initial budget.
Seniors from most of Anchorage’s high schools are graduating this week and next. The district’s high schools rank among the most diverse in the nation. East high tops that list with more than 2000 kids from every corner of the world. Grads spoke about how all that diversity affected their education.
The Alaska Supreme Court listened to oral arguments Tuesday in a case that challenges whether or not same-sex couples should receive survivor benefits.
Things look a little different in Mountain View these days. The community in north Anchorage just finished their 25th annual community-wide clean-up. This year they were joined by other city residents to improve their green space as well.
The city will not be increasing the $11.8 million they plan to use for non-motorized transport projects in the 2015 to 2018 Transportation Improvement Program. The Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions advisory committee took comments on the plan on Thursday. A dozen people spoke in favor of increasing the money used to mark bike lanes and improve the trail system.
Students from Lake Otis Elementary spoke about their first experiences biking to school and the lessons they learned on the way.
The community of Tok hosts a thick, growing forest of spruce trees, and a thinning, shrinking population of people and businesses. Like elsewhere in rural Alaska, high-energy costs and a lack of jobs are causing people to leave. But the trees may be the solution to bringing people back.
Wednesday the State released details about the new deal that will replace the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. It makes the state a partner in the development of a natural gas export line from the North Slope. But the government is also still moving ahead with their back-up plan, the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline.
Governor Sean Parnell announced Friday the state is taking a new approach to a large-scale natural gas line in Alaska, and is terminating the agreement signed with TransCanada under AGIA.
According to the state’s Department of Revenue, Cook Inlet production increased by 13 percent last year. Up-and-coming companies, like Hilcorp, spent $300 million this year on their investments, including drilling 10 new wells and working over more than 70 old ones. So does the Cook Inlet Renaissance mean that Southcentral’s energy woes are over?
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking more information from Shell about their 2014 Chukchi Exploration Plan. Until Shell provides the agency with the answers for dozens of requested revisions, BOEM will not consider their application complete.
The state of Alaska is looking for partners to research a new source of natural gas called methane hydrates. It could bring in new revenue for the state far down the road, but some environmentalists worry the risk of releasing that much methane is too great.
Ahtna Incorporated is planning to develop natural gas wells near Glennallen in order to supply local communities. They recently licensed 44,000 acres of state land about 15 miles west of Glenallen. They would be the first organization to go beyond exploration all the way to production.
As energy bills are rising for most people across the state, the Alaska SeaLife Center’s are actually dropping. That’s because they’re using the cold waters of Resurrection Bay to heat their building.