Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The package, which includes state income tax credits and other provisions, was forwarded by Governor Sean Parnell as a means to ensure Alaska retains its refining industry as cheaper Lower 48 oil makes shipping fuel into the state an option.
The Ruth Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery in Fairbanks will open its doors to the public during this weekend’s Outdoors Show. Public outreach and education are part of the $46 million state hatchery’s mission, and a visitor’s center is required by its borough land lease. The hatchery has been operating for more than 2 years but the visitor’s center hasn’t opened.
Lab testing of a synthetic saline solution wrongly used in a University of Alaska Fairbanks medical class shows bacteria. A Houston based laboratory was hired by the university to analyze samples of “Demo Dose.” The solution, which is not intended for humans, was used by UAF Community and Technical College Clinical Procedures Class students to practice injections on themselves and one another.
Evidence used to get a conviction for a 1987 Fairbanks murder trial is in question. The Alaska Innocence Project is pursuing post conviction relief for Michael Alexander, who was imprisoned for the March 23, 1987 kidnapping and killing of Fairbanks teenager Kathy Stockholm. The Innocence Project request challenges biological evidence that helped convict Alexander, and the group’s Director Bill Oberly says the FBI has concurred it could be suspect.
The Army has a new protocol for live ordnance training during times of high wildfire danger. Army artillery practice sparked the Stewart Creek 2 wildfire that burned east of Fairbanks though much of last summer. The 87,000 acre blaze forced evacuations and cost more than $20 million to fight.
The City of Fairbanks will help fund a new mental health drop in center. Earlier this week, the city council approved $58,000 for the Northern Door Clubhouse.
The state will take another look at its cleanup standard for sulfolane contaminated water in North Pole. Last November, the Department of Environmental Conservation set a 14 parts per billion clean up threshold for groundwater tainted by historic spills at the Flint Hills North Pole Refinery.
The onset of spring has some Alaskans looking forward to fishing season. That includes employees at the state’ new sport fish hatchery in Fairbanks, where they’re hoping for conditions less extreme than those experienced last year.
Alaska fish are being tested for radiation contamination from Japan’s leaking Fukushima Nuclear energy plant. The power plant was damaged during an earthquake three years ago and continues to releases radioactive water into the sea.
Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance and avoid a penalty under the Affordable Care Act. Insurance is available through multiple sources, from private carriers to publicly funded providers like Medicaid. But Alaska is among many states that have so far declined to expand Medicaid, and it’s created a coverage gap.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has approved an up to $7.5 million line of credit for the Interior Gas Utility. The loan fund is for the borough created IGU to begin preliminary work on local gas distribution piping in anticipation of LNG being trucked to town from the North Slope via the state’s Interior Energy Project.
A bill that adds big bull moose derbies to the list of games of chance that can be permitted by the state, passed the House yesterday. Representative Tammie Wilson’s bill would allow a municipality or non-profit organization to be permitted to sell tickets to hunters, and award prizes to those who kill moose with the biggest antlers.
Galena residents are preparing for another season of rebuilding from devastation wrought by last year’s major break up flood. There was a major emergency response last summer, but much work remains to be done in the Yukon River community.
University of Alaska President Pat Gamble told a Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday a re-worked bill that would permit concealed handguns on campus, is still unacceptable.
A resolution in the legislature urges quick action by Governor Sean Parnell to ensure Alaska doesn’t lose in state refining capacity. HCR 22 by Representative Tammie Wilson of North Pole, is aimed at keeping Flint Hills North Pole Refinery in operation under a new owner. Flint Hills plans to cease refining this summer in favor of selling cheaper imported fuels.