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Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks

Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

Fairbanks School Board OKs Budget That Cuts 60 Jobs; Member May Seek Salary Freeze

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Governing Board passed a budget Wednesday that would cut about 60 full-time positions and trim many programs. One board member who voted against the measure says the cuts go too far, and she says she’ll push for a salary freeze to reduce the impact of the cuts.

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March 26, 2015

Army Confirms Investigation of Racism in Stryker Brigade

Army investigators have confirmed they’ve launched a formal investigation into a Stryker Brigade soldier’s allegations of racist behavior by some members of his unit. The action follows an earlier informal inquiry into allegations- first outlined in a story published Wednesday by the Army Times.

March 20, 2015

Army Investigating Stryker Brigade For Allegations of Racist Behavior

Army investigators are looking into a Stryker Brigade soldier’s allegations of racist behavior by some members of his unit. A U.S. The allegations were outlined in a story posted today to the Army Times’ website. The story cites an NCO with the 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright. According to the Times’ story, the staff sergeant says soldiers with the platoon created a weekly opportunity to racially slur fellow soldiers during a weekly event the sergeant says was known as “Racial Thursdays.”

March 19, 2015

Tanana Chiefs Says DOJ Tracking Fairbanks Four Case

A member of the Tanana Chiefs Conference Native Justice Task Force says the federal Department of Justice is tracking the case of the Fairbanks Four. That’s the four Alaska Native men who the task force and others say were wrongfully convicted of killing a teenager in Fairbanks in 1997.

March 19, 2015

Sikuliaq Commissioned, Ready to Begin Research

The Research Vessel Sikuliaq was officially commissioned Saturday in a ceremony at the boat’s home port in Seward. The commissioning marked the end of decades of efforts to design and build it; and the beginning of its mission to research the Earth’s rapidly changing and increasingly important polar regions.

March 9, 2015
Mayor, Chief Pitch ‘Community Policing’ At South Fairbanks Meeting

Mayor, Chief Pitch ‘Community Policing’ At South Fairbanks Meeting

Fairbanks’s mayor and police chief rolled out a new approach to law enforcement last night. The community policing program is getting started in crime-plagued South Fairbanks.

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March 4, 2015
Fairbanks Assembly OKs Air-Quality Ordinance; Dissenter Predicts Voter Backlash

Fairbanks Assembly OKs Air-Quality Ordinance; Dissenter Predicts Voter Backlash

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly passed a sweeping air-quality ordinance Thursday night that supporters hope will finally begin to clean up Fairbanks’s wintertime air pollution. Most members agreed the ordinance isn’t perfect, but that it’s a good start.

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February 27, 2015

Cuts Could Cost Fairbanks Schools Over 60 Jobs

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Schools superintendent says the district is facing a budget shortfall of up to $11 million in the coming school year. Karen Gaborik says that will require the district to eliminate more than 60 jobs.

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February 13, 2015
Supporters of the Stampede State Recreation Area say it's becoming so popular that is needs management by the state. It's a favorite of outdoor recreationalists of all kinds, like these hikers enjoying the trail around Eightmile Lake.
(Credit Friends of the Stampede)

Stampede State Rec Area Advocates Say They’ll Persist, Despite Budget Woes

Supporters of the proposed Stampede State Recreation Area near Healy aren’t giving up. Tonight the Denali Borough Assembly will consider and probably pass another resolution urging the Legislature to create the new rec area.

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February 11, 2015

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

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