Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The Air Force has paused a plan to demolish the HAARP facility, as it reconsiders options for transferring its ionospheric research infrastructure near Gakona to another entity. That could be the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Alaska is not alone in its conflicts with the federal government over land management. Leaders in some Lower 48 western states want Alaska to join an effort to gain control of federal lands within their borders.
The first natural gas targeted development project on the North Slope is expected to come on line as early as next year. The Pt. Thompson Field is being developed by Exxon Mobil, 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay.
A Canadian man started a horseback trip from Deadhorse to Mexico on Tuesday. Rider Len Crow is embarking on the 6,700 mile journey to raise money for orphanages, including a facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, where his ride is scheduled to wrap up in 11 months.
On the Kenai Peninsula, rain over the weekend helped further knock down the Funny River fire, but in Interior Alaska, a wild fire in the Delta Junction area gained major acreage over the weekend. The 100 Mile Creek Fire, sparked by an earlier prescribed burn on military land, went from about 700 acres to more than 6,000, as high winds fanned flames.
Remotely operated vehicles will be plying Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska this summer, measuring acid levels. The float and glider vehicles are the latest technology deployed through a long running monitoring project overseen by University of Alaska Fairbanks Ocean Acidification Research Center Director Jeremy Mathis.
A University of Alaska Fairbanks committee is recommending cuts to close an expected 12 to 14 million dollar FY 15 budget deficit. The Planning and Budget Committee was charged with developing options to address rising costs and decreased state funding.
Alaska’s marijuana ballot initiative has some Fairbanks entrepreneurs organizing in hopes of being able to grow and sell the drug. Proposition 2 would have the state regulate marijuana like alcohol.
An analysis by the state finds no health impacts from coal ash and dust from the downtown Fairbanks Aurora Energy Plant. Particulates from the facility drift onto properties in the surrounding neighborhood, but the state report dispels health concerns.
The state has filed a response to petitions for post conviction relief for the Fairbanks four. The four men, George Frese, Kevin Pease, Marvin Roberts and Eugene Vent were convicted of the 1997 beating death of John Hartman, but continue to profess their innocence. Last fall the Alaska Innocence Project filed new information in the case that points to others being responsible for the killing. The state response indicates it so far is not convinced, but it has requested an evidentiary hearing.
A commercial airliner delivered the United States Honor Flag to Fairbanks yesterday. The flag, which flew at Ground Zero in New York following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, and has since traveled around the country to honor fallen law enforcement officers and fire fighters, was brought to Fairbanks to pay tribute to Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Patrick “Scott” Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich, who were killed in Tanana last week.
The State Legislature has boosted money for education, but it’s not enough to stem cuts by the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. The district is getting 6 million new dollars from the state, $3.3 million more than the expected increase, but acting Superintendent Karen Gaborik says it’s not sufficient to avert teacher and staff reductions.
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.