Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The city of Fairbanks has a new centerpiece sculpture. The assemblage of silver steel spires stands between the Cushman and Barnett Street bridges, along the Chena River downtown. The sculpture called “Polaris” was created by a pair of Vancouver based artists to mirror the local environment.
The mayor of the city of Fairbanks is calling for federal review of long questioned murder convictions of 4 Native men. The mayor joins numerous leaders and groups pressing for review of the Fairbanks Four case.
Sides are lining out their positions is the long running battle over who should be in charge of cleaning up Fairbanks air. A twice passed citizen initiative, which bans the North Star Borough from regulating wood and coal burning stoves and boilers, is up for renewal in next month’s municipal election.
Weather forecasters have their eye out for an El Nino this fall and winter. The equatorial Pacific Ocean warming has been observed in its early stages this summer. National Weather Service Alaska region climate science and services manager Rick Thoman is tracking conditions that signal El Nino.
A cold front is ushering in wet, chilly conditions across much of the state. The Alaska Department of Transportation reported three inches of snow in Deadhorse earlier this afternoon.
A pilot and passengers were were hurt in a plane crash in the Brooks Range on Sunday. National Transportation Safety Board Alaska Region chief Clint Johnson says the single engine Navion, operated by Kirst Aviation of Fairbanks went down in Atigun Pass, near mile 244 of the Dalton Highway.
Yukon River king salmon continue to show symptoms indicative of low production. Unprecedented fishing restrictions in Alaska this summer allowed over 64,ooo kings to cross the border into Canada. That was enough to surpass an escapement goal, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The state is a step closer to proving its North Slope to Fairbanks natural gas trucking project can work. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority lead Interior Energy Project is aimed at providing gas at about half the cost of heating oil, and officials say they’re honing in on the target.
The United States Special Representative for the Arctic is visiting Alaska. Retired Coast guard Admiral Robert Papp is charged with managing the country’s entire arctic portfolio. That includes investigation of issues and potential claims to arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coastline.
Alaska village-based firefighting crews are heading south to fight blazes in the Lower 48. Alaska Division of Forestry spokesman Sam Harrel is tracking the deployments, which began over the weekend with crews from the communities of Delta Junction, Kaltag, Fort Yukon, Venetie, Koyukuk and Galena.
Usibelli Coal has submitted a plan to drill coal bed methane exploration wells on state land near Healy. The company is licensed to look for shallow gas on over 200 thousand acres of state and private land in the area, and this is the first action the company has taken.
Tribal leaders are gathering interested parties, including state and federal officials, in the village of Allakaket to discuss the state’s proposed road into the Ambler Mining District. Upper Koyukuk River people are concerned about impacts to subsistence resources by the road, and mining development it would bring.
The City of Ft. Yukon plans to build a new landfill. The project is aimed at improving safety and recycling some of the community’s waste stream.