Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks
Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The operator of the North Pole refinery wants the state to set a lower standard for cleaning up the sulfolane groundwater-contamination problem in the North Pole area. Flint Hills Resources Alaska has asked the head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation to set a less-stringent cleanup level for the industrial solvent that leaked into the groundwater for more than a decade before Flint Hills bought the refinery in 2004. The requests could delay cleanup for several months.
The controversial air-quality regulations that state officials have proposed for Fairbanks-area residents are aimed at reducing pollution from wood-burning heating systems. They do not apply to coal-fired systems, which are increasingly popular because coal is cheaper than wood.
The Paxson Lodge is closed. The owner of the roadhouse at the junction of the Richardson and Denali highways says he shut the lodge down due to slow business and high operating costs. It’s the latest of several Richardson Highway roadhouses that have closed down in recent years.
Tanana Chiefs Conference President Jerry Isaac and the head of the Health and Social Services Commissioner signed an agreement yesterday that will give TCC the lead role in managing foster care for tribal children.
Fort Greely’s missile-defense base could get a big boost in spending this year if the U.S. Senate approves a measure worked out last week by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
A Delta Junction-area farmer is rebuilding a barn fire that killed 500 chickens and other livestock last spring. Despite that and other adversity, Brandy McLain is determined to restore her poultry operation.
A two-year effort to improve medical care in Delta Junction got a big boost earlier this month in the form of a $400,000 grant that will enable the Interior Alaska Hospital Foundation to open a clinic by March. Now,a foundation members have launched a drive to raise at least $150,000 for a pharmacy they’d like to open along with the clinic.
The State Department of Transportation begun changing speed limit signs this week along the Richardson Highway between Delta Junction and Valdez from 55 to 65 miles per hour.
Dozens of friends, former staffers and other well-wishers gathered Monday at UAF’s Rasmuson Library to celebrate what would’ve been former Sen. Ted Stevens’ 90th birthday. Monday’s commemoration also marked the opening of a new exhibit in the library’s collection of Stevens’s official papers generated during his long career as a U.S. senator from Alaska.
Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the fire that destroyed a maintenance building at a North Pole cement plant on Monday morning. No one was injured, but the owners of HC Redi-Mix are feeling the pain of a multimillion-dollar loss caused by the fire – which not only destroyed the building, but also several pieces of heavy equipment inside.
Climate change is causing Arctic sea ice to melt rapidly and recede, opening up vast stretches of Arctic waters for shipping and resource development. In response, a group of state legislators and others is working on a policy they hope will help shape Alaska’s policy for managing those changes – and influence the federal government’s broader national Arctic policy.
The Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks moved ahead Wednesday on a project that will demonstrate how solar energy can be collected year-round and used to heat a commercial building without fossil fuels, like heating oil. The project is being funded by one of the world’s biggest fossil-fuel companies.
It’s been four months since the nation’s biggest wireless carrier began doing business in Alaska. And despite predictions that Verizon would shake up the state’s wireless market, its role has so far been limited to providing high-speed data service in urban areas. The company plans to enter the Alaska market in a bigger way next year.
Proposition 1 asked voters to OK the sale of about $37.2 million in bonds to replace Ryan Middle School. According to unofficial results, 60 percent of voters said yes, passing the measure by nearly 2,000 votes. Prop 2 passed by an even wider margin, with 65 percent of votes cast in favor, unofficially. That measure will raise $19.4 million to repair and renovate five other district schools.
New federal regulations on coal fired energy should not affect’s Golden Valley Electric Association’s re-start of the Healy Clean Coal plant. GVEA President and CEO Cory Borgeson expects the plan to purchase and operate the long idled facility to remain on track.
Fort Wainwright’s garrison commander is retiring from the Army, after 28 years in uniform. A base spokesperson says Col. Ron Johnson’s decision is not related to a statement he made in July that Army training sparked this summer’s Stuart Creek 2 wild fire near Fairbanks.
The severe drought that’s gripped the Interior for most of the summer finally broke over the weekend. Rains fell throughout the region for the first time in some areas since early July. But it’s probably too little and too late for most farmers, especially those who own livestock, who’ve have had to resort to costly measures like irrigating and importing hay from Canada and the Lower 48.