Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
Alaska military veterans testified yesterday at listening sessions in Kenai and Fairbanks about problems accessing federally funded health care benefits. Interior veterans shared concerns specific to the Veterans Choice Act, as well as more general issues about working with the Veterans Administration.
Statements undermining murder convictions of the so called “Fairbanks Four” were briefly published in an on line Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article. The web story, which was quickly taken down by the paper today, shares leaked court documents outlining long sealed statements about the 1997 murder of John Hartman.
Flint Hills continues to push for a less stringent standard for removal of a spilled chemical from groundwater at the company’s shuttered North Pole refinery. Removal of the industrial solvent sulfolane is costing the refinery a lot of money, and opinions differ on how clean groundwater should be.
Chinook salmon continue to swim up the Yukon River, the latest indication that the long ailing run may have turned a corner toward recovery.
The first U.S. Army apache helicopters to be based in Alaska are scheduled to arrive at Fort Wainwright this week. They’re part of a new unit that will include 24 helicopters and 400 soldiers.
Doyon plans to drill another oil and gas exploration well in the Nenana area. It will be the third the company has sunk into the oil and gas rich basin.
Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards has rejected the proposed sale of a Cook Inlet natural gas processing facility that’s targeted for expansion to produce more gas for Fairbanks.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority has released some details on proposals to supply natural gas to the Interior Energy Project.
The deadline for proposals to supply the State lead Interior Energy Project with natural gas was Monday. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is managing the project, and AIDEA spokesman Karsten Rodvik says the state corporation is considering a range of possibilities for getting affordable gas to the Interior.
Small hydro-electric projects proposed for the Cantwell area are receiving a mixed response. The proposals outlined at a public meeting this week include both dam and river diversion projects.
A stronger than expected run of Yukon River Chinook salmon is allowing fishery managers to loosen subsistence harvest restrictions on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river. The better-than-anticipated run is still small by historical standards, but may signal that Yukon King stocks are beginning to rebuild.
The federal government has backed down in a long running legal dispute with the State of Alaska over ownership of an eastern interior river. State ownership the Mosquito Fork of the Forty Mile River will open it up to new activity, including mining.
A contractor is expected to begin work soon building up a portion of the Dalton Highway severely damaged earlier this year by overflow ice and flooding from the Sag River. It’s part of plan to armor the major North Slope oil field supply conduit against future ice and flood impacts.
The statewide wildfire response that’s been operating at peak for more than a month is ramping down. Wet weather over areas of the interior has calmed many fires.
Wolf hunting season is scheduled to open next month in and around Denali National Park, despite record low wolf numbers. This spring, Park biologists counted fewer than 50 Denali wolves, heightening a long running battle over the popularly viewed animals.
City of Fairbanks voters will consider a 5 percent sales tax on marijuana. The city council has approved putting the proposed retail tax before voters in the October municipal election. The tax is an effort to tap unknown revenue that legalized marijuana sales could provide.
Recent rain slowed wildfire growth around the interior, but there are still nearly 2 hundred active blazes, and over twenty staffed fires. The largest response is to a half-million-acre complex of fires near Tanana. Managers expect suppression and demobilization to take weeks.
The city of Fairbanks has launched a new web page to share and generate information about unsolved murder cases. Local police are tracking cases ranging from months to decades old.
Areas of the Interior have received rain in recent days, helping to slow wildfires that have charred more than 4.7 million acres, and fire season is far from over.
Yukon Quest champion Brent Sass remains at his wildfire-threatened compound in Eureka, but his dogs are safe in Fairbanks.