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Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks

Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

Fairbanks Delays Vote On Air Quality Regulations

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has delayed voting on a package of air quality regulations, following abundant public testimony for and against the ordinance at a hearing Thursday night. The regulations are aimed at cracking down on wood and coal heating systems that chronically pollute neighborhoods, and many of the comments focused on the health impacts.

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January 30, 2015
Delta's landfill got nearly a third less trash – and revenue – in 2014 than city officials were expecting. (Photo by Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks)

Delta ‘Subsidizes’ Landfill – and Wonders Where’s the Missing 400 Tons of Trash?

City of Delta Junction officials are worried about the rising cost of operating the city’s landfill. And they’re wondering what happened to the 400 tons of trash they were expecting to be dumped there.

January 20, 2015
Sgt. Jess Carson, with Alaska State Troopers' Bureau of Highway Patrol Fairbanks office, says extremely bright after-market headlights may help the motorist behind the wheel, but they also may create a hazard for motorists in oncoming vehicles by diminishing their night vision. (Credit flickr.com)

Blindingly Bright ‘Moose Lights’ Worry Troopers – But They’re Legal, Unregulated

High-intensity headlights are popular and getting more so, especially here in Alaska during the long, dark winter months. They’re called “moose lights,” because they help drivers see farther down the road than conventional headlights to spot animals and other hazards. But Alaska State Troopers say moose lights can also create a hazard by temporarily blinding oncoming motorists in the other lane.

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January 5, 2015
Delta-area bird-count coordinator Steve DuBois photographed this Eurasian collared dove in the Delta Junction area in September. (Credit Steve DuBois)

Delta-area Birders Spot Species New to Interior During Christmas Bird Count

Delta Junction-area birders participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count spotted a rare species not normally seen this far north in the winter.

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January 2, 2015
DEC Commissioner to Rule in 2015 on Groundwater Sulfolane-Cleanup Level

DEC Commissioner to Rule in 2015 on Groundwater Sulfolane-Cleanup Level

It appears the dispute over how much to clean up contaminated groundwater in the North Pole area will continue into the new year. Officials with the state’s environmental regulatory agency are still reviewing studies to help them decide on a safe cleanup level for the chemical that leaked from a North Pole refinery into the area’s groundwater.

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December 30, 2014
Avalanche Survivor Returns to Rainbow Ridge, Recovers Bodies of Companions

Avalanche Survivor Returns to Rainbow Ridge, Recovers Bodies of Companions

The survivor of the Dec. 6 avalanche at Rainbow Ridge returned to the site in the Eastern Alaska Range last week to recover the bodies of his friend and dog. Michael Hopper says he had to go, because Alaska State Troopers had ruled out a recovery mission until the danger of avalanche in the area subsided. That could’ve taken months.

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December 29, 2014

Generators Going Again; Lights Back on In Ft. Yukon

The lights are back on in Fort Yukon, including the Christmas trees, now that three of the village’s four electrical generators are functioning again. A couple of weeks ago, the holidays didn’t look so happy for the remote Yukon River community, when all but one of its generators broke down.

December 24, 2014

DEC Reaches Diesel Spill Site Along Dalton Highway

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has been able to get back in to a remote spot along the Dalton Highway where a fuel tanker wrecked and overturned Sunday night, spilling 1,200 gallons of diesel. The spill and a fire that burned the wrecked rig occurred near the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

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December 18, 2014
The Missile Defense Agency will be placing 14 more interceptors like this at the Fort Greely missile base by 2017. The will bring the total number of interceptors at the base to 40. Photo from the Missile Defense Agency.

Federal Spending Bill Appropriates $100 Million for Missile Defense in Alaska

The federal omnibus spending bill that awaits President Obama’s signature contains $100 million for missile defense in Alaska. It’s the only major funding for military construction work in Alaska this fiscal year.

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December 17, 2014
North Slope-Bound Tanker Wrecks, Spills 1,200 Gallons of Diesel, Catches Fire

North Slope-Bound Tanker Wrecks, Spills 1,200 Gallons of Diesel, Catches Fire

A fuel tanker headed to the North Slope wrecked at a remote spot along the Dalton Highway Sunday and overturned, spilling 1,200 gallons of diesel. The wrecked rig later caught fire and burned up.

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December 16, 2014

Friends, Family Mourn Avalanche Victim; Expert Advises Recovery Operation Delay

Memorial services were held over the weekend for the Delta Junction man killed in a avalanche in the Alaska Range. Friends and family gathered to remember 35-year-old Erik Petersen, who was skiing with friend Michael Hopper when the slide came down Dec. 6th.

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December 15, 2014
Avalanche Survivor Says He’s Shaken, Humbled After Ordeal Near Rainbow Ridge

Avalanche Survivor Says He’s Shaken, Humbled After Ordeal Near Rainbow Ridge

The Fairbanks man who was buried in an avalanche near Isabel Pass Saturday and lived to tell about it says he’s learned that even an experienced backcountry skier can get into trouble in a rugged area like the Eastern Alaska Range. He says unusual winter weather is making it more unpredictable.

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December 10, 2014

Skier Dies In Alaska Range Avalanche

A local skier was killed in an avalanche in the Alaska Range over the weekend. The incident happened Saturday evening near Isabel Pass.

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December 8, 2014
Fairbanks Municipal Leaders Hold Joint Meeting to Consider Pot-Legalization Law

Fairbanks Municipal Leaders Hold Joint Meeting to Consider Pot-Legalization Law

Municipal leaders from all three local governments gathered for a joint meeting Tuesday night with about 120 citizens to talk about the state’s new marijuana-legalization law. The first-of-its-kind meeting was held so the leaders could talk amongst themselves, and with the audience, about how they’re going to put the law into practice.

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December 3, 2014

Native Municipal Leaders: Pot-Legalization Law Could Harm Youths, Communities

Alaska Native municipal leaders say a new state law that will legalize the use and sale of marijuana could damage people in communities. Last week they told an Anchorage attorney who’s researched the law that the tax it authorizes won’t raise enough money to repair that damage.

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December 1, 2014

North Pole Looking at Increasing Sales Taxes

The North Pole City Council is looking at increased sales taxes. Mayor Bryce Ward has proposed the hikes to cover an anticipated $180,000 revenue shortfall. The public turned out in opposition to the tax increases at a City Council meeting Monday night. But the council plans to reconsider the mayor’s proposal next week.

November 28, 2014

Military Training Becoming More Difficult in Alaska

The Army’s highest-ranking soldier in Alaska says the military trains here so it can operate in the Arctic, which he calls one of the world’s most difficult environments.

November 17, 2014

Alaska Ranks Among Nation’s Least Energy-Efficient States

Alaska rates near the bottom in a nationwide survey on how states are improving energy-efficiency programs. A state energy official says the survey may not be giving Alaska enough credit for the programs it has put in place in recent years.

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October 29, 2014

Diocese: Fairbanks Priest Held on Federal Child-Pornography Charges was Screened

A Fairbanks Catholic priest accused of trying to produce child pornography underwent a two-stage screening process as part of his hiring and ordination.

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October 28, 2014
The cleanup plan announced Monday requires Flint Hills Resources-Alaska, and potential future owners of its North Pole refinery, to continue remediating and removing contaminants from the facility. (Credit KUAC file photo)

State OKs Flint Hills’ Refinery Cleanup Plan

State officials have approved a plan proposed by Flint Hills Resources-Alaska to continue an ongoing cleanup of sulfolane and other contaminants that have leaked from its North Pole refinery since the 1970s. The agreement may help improve the chances of Flint Hills eventually selling the refinery, which it closed in May.

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October 24, 2014