Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage
elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8446 | About Ellen
The Matanuska Susistna School District’s pre-school program is in jeopardy. “Widening the Net ” brings pre-kindergarden education into selected district schools, but school funding reductions (this year) may force the district to shut down the innovative program in the fall. School district officials vow to continue the program on a reduced basis, if a state grant does not come through in time.
A jump in property thefts in Matanuska Valley communities spurred the Alaska State Troopers to start a new Crime Suppression Unit in Palmer this year. Property crimes in the Valley may be linked to the increased use of drugs, like heroin, and the trend upward – of both drug use and burglaries, has social costs that have yet to be tallied
Starting July 21, Alaska farmers can sign up for the US Department of Agriculture’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program. Under the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers outside the contiguous US can now receive a portion of the costs of shipping their agricultural products over long distances.
Another fire near the Alaska Native village of Tyonek is drawing a full response from state firefighters. The blaze erupted late Monday afternoon at the village airport, which is across the Chuitna River from Tyonek. But heavy winds in the area pushed the fire across the river in several spots by evening, forcing an evacuation of the village.
A string of motorcycle collisions have taken five lives in the Southcentral area during the past several weeks. And on a narrow highway shoulder near Palmer last week, riders lined up for an impromptu memorial service at the site of an accident on May 3 that claimed the lives of three members of the Harley Owners Group Alaska Chapter. They placed flowers and flags at the site.
The Great Land Trust plans to buy the top of Bodenburg Butte in Palmer.
A 19-year-old Tanana man has been arrested in connection with the murder of two Alaska State Troopers on Thursday. The bodies of the two slain law officers were brought to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage on Friday, accompanied by a Trooper escort.
It’s only April, and already a dozen brush fires have erupted in the Matanuska Susitna area. State foresters are looking ahead to a busy fire season, and fire suppression trainees are brushing up on essential skills – including driving the fire truck.
State Supreme Court on Friday justices decided in favor of two same sex couples in a property tax case that could have wider implications for the state.
A survey sponsored by the Nature Conservancy indicates that Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents want to maintain a rural profile a quarter of a century from now. The Institute of Social and Economic Research collected the data used in the survey. The results were released last week.
This week, the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly got a preview of the Borough’s preliminary FY 15 fiscal plan. This year’s budget outlook indicates that some cost cutting may have to be done before the Borough Assembly makes a decision on the final spending package.
A Matanuska Electric Association official charges that the Anchorage Municipal Assembly is spending city funds on private interests. Joe Griffith, MEA’s executive director, has contacted Anchorage officials with concerns that city money is being spent on one Assemblyman’s legal fight against a power station upgrade.