Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks
Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
As energy prices continue to rise, Alaskan engineers and builders are pushing the envelope in the quest to build ever-more energy-efficient housing. Some of those innovations are making their way into residential construction, as builders look to meet homebuyers’ demand.
Fairbanks-area environmental activists say they’re building on the momentum they generated two weeks ago during the local observance of the global People’s Climate March. They’re forming a local chapter of the national organization to help reduce the impact of climate change.
Gardeners and farmers around the Interior have pretty much shut down for the winter after a cool, rainy, and for many, disappointing growing season. Some growers salvaged a decent yield by diversifying their crops – and taking advantage of a late-season warm spell to do some last-minute harvesting.
U.S. and Canadian air forces have scrambled jets twice over the past week to intercept Russian aircraft that have buzzed the Alaskan and Canadian coastlines twice in the past week.
A panel of experts wrapped up two days of meetings Thursday in Fairbanks that will help the state Department of Environmental Conservation determine the appropriate cleanup level for contamination of North Pole’s groundwater caused by chemicals leaking from the refinery now owned by Flint Hills Resources.
Denali National Park is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act in the next weeks. A series of events marking the historic conservation legislation is planned.
Alaska State Troopers have arrested a 16-year-old male and charged him with arson for setting a house in Delta Junction on fire last weekend and for the May 15th fire that destroyed the Clearwater Lodge.
Alaska State Troopers are investigating vandalism at the Delta Junction cemetery over the weekend. The vandals drove through the fence both on the way in and out of the cemetery and then ran over several gravesites on their way to the gazebo, which they nearly destroyed.
Redistricting has thrown two incumbent North Pole Republican lawmakers into a new district, and created one of the more unusual political matchups in this year’s primary: District 1 Representative Tammie Wilson versus District 2 incumbent, Doug Isaacson, for the new District 3 seat.
The Air Force is jamming Global Positioning System signals periodically around military airfields in Alaska during Red Flag training exercises now under way in and around Eielson Air Force Base. Officials say the GPS interference testing could affect other devices that rely on GPS.
Alaska Power Company customers in Tok and elsewhere in the Interior are unhappy that their electricity bills went up earlier this year. Some are frustrated that they’re being charged more partly because they’re conserving electricity – and generating it themselves.
The owners of Clearwater Lodge near Delta Junction have decided to rebuild the historic structure that burned down in May. Fans and friends of the lodge want to help get work started with a fund-raiser next month.
A strong earthquake near the Canadian border rattled portions of Southern Alaska and the Yukon Territory just before 4 this morning.
The Air Force has agreed to delay its plans to demolish a $300 million research facility near Glennallen to allow more time to work out a deal to transfer ownership to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
A new Fairbanks radio station is broadcasting programs aimed at the Native community in the Interior. Another group hopes to launch its station early next year to provide radio programming for other groups that they say are not being served. The ventures are part of a nationwide trend of community-based radio.
Alaska’s longest bridge is pretty much done. The 3,300-foot structure now spans the Tanana riverbed just west of Salcha, providing the military with year-round ground access to its training ranges on the far side. But, state officials don’t yet know where they’ll get funding to begin work on the next phase of the Northern Rail Extension project.
Golden Valley Electric Association customers can expect a rate hike to pay for new federally required pollution controls. The EPA’s emissions control requirements announced today, will be phased in over coming years in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
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.
Golden Valley Electric Association is scheduled to lose one of its biggest customers this week – the Flint Hills Resources refinery in North Pole. But GVEA is working on plans to hook up another industrial customer next year that will buy nearly as much electricity as the refinery.