Tim Ellis, KUAC - Fairbanks
Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The mayor of North Pole is expressing concern about a proposal by the Fairbanks Borough Mayor to expand the city’s water system into areas where an industrial solvent has contaminated groundwater. Meanwhile, two state environmental officials say they strongly support another proposal to quickly begin cleanup of sulfolane-contaminated groundwater in the North Pole area.
The commander of the Army National Guard unit that operates the missile-defense facility at Fort Greely has been suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct at the base – and accusations he failed to address the problem.
An Interior Alaska militia group gathered over the weekend near Delta Junction. The Central Alaska Militia’s leader says the group is not associated with the defunct Fairbanks based Alaska Peacekeepers Militia. That group’s leader Schaeffer Cox, was sentenced to 26 years in prison, earlier this year, for plotting to kill government officials.
Civilian workers at Alaska’s military installations are being formally notified that they’ll be required to take up to 11 days off work, unpaid, by Oct. 1, to comply with federal budget cuts mandated through the “sequester” process.
A Canadian mining company is pulling out of an exploration project near Tok. The move comes as the price of gold has fallen about 15 percent from unprecedented highs in recent years, and may signal a slowdown in the mining industry.
A Delta Junction-area farmer is cleaning up from a barn fire that killed hundreds of chickens and other livestock that provided most of her livelihood. Brandy McClean is seeking help in an effort to save her business.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday, a buildup at the missile-defense base at Fort Greely in response to threats by North Korea. The announcement has generated cautious enthusiasm about an economic boost in the Delta Junction area.
Alaskans and conservationists worldwide are mourning the passing of Ginny Wood, who died Friday at age 95. A memorial service will be held early next month for the Alaskan pioneer, aviator, world traveler and environmentalist.
The hill where the University of Alaska Fairbanks sits is again being recognized by its Athabascan name. A Native elder is calling it an important first step toward restoring many Athabascan place names around Fairbanks.
More than 60 people showed up for a second public hearing in Fairbanks last night on a proposal that could permit mining in the White Mountain National Recreation Area. And like last month’s meeting, most strongly encouraged the Bureau of Land Management to maintain a current ban on mining.
Officials with the federal agency that oversees the White Mountain National Recreation Area will hold the first of three meetings today in Fairbanks to explain a proposal today that could lead to mining in the area.
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency successfully tested an anti-missile warhead over the weekend. The test marked the first time in over two years that missiles like the ones at Fort Greely have been launched. It sets the stage for missile-defense contractor Boeing to conduct a full-scale test later this year.
The Army’s second-highest-ranking civilian leader visited Fort Wainwright last week to talk about Alaska and the strategic role it plays in the nation’s defense – and how that might help protect the state’s military installations from cutbacks during upcoming budget battles in Washington.
Anchorage’s Kikkan Randall finished 6th in a 10 kilometer World Cup ski race in Canmore, Alberta yesterday (Thursday). It was her career best World Cup finish in a classic distance race. The reigning World Cup sprint champion was 30 seconds back of winner Justyna Kowalzak of Poland, one of the top skiers on the tour.
A Fairbanks-based trucking company is hauling dozens of massive support structures up the Richardson Highway over the next few months. The 165-foot steel girders will be used to build the Alaska Railroad bridge over the Tanana River at Salcha. Motorists who encounter the slow-moving convoys of trucks hauling the girders should drive carefully – and expect delays.
The cold snap that’s been gripping the Interior for more than a week now finally pushed the mercury to 50 below in the Delta Junction area, so Delta-Greely School District officials canceled classes this morning. The Delta district is one of the few in the Interior that closes schools if the temperature drops too low.
Republicans also won four of six races for House Districts lying within the Interior, with North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson presiding over the most lopsided win. Incumbent Republican Eric Feige also cruised to victory in District 6 with just over 72 percent of the vote over Jamie Duhamel. Republicans Tammie Wilson and Pete Higgins also won elections in District 2 and 7.
Redistricting has many incumbents facing incumbents for the Alaska legislature this election. And that’s true of two House races in the Fairbanks area. House district two includes Two Rivers and House District 38 represents Nenana and Tanana.
The high cost of oil has driven many communities in the interior to look for fuel alternatives, including biomass. The state Division of Forestry has put together a group of specialists to handle proposals to harvest timber for heat and power generation.