Category: News Briefs

April 18, 2017 Max Jungreis

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Local

On Thursday, the Hilcorp Corporation ended a natural gas leak in Cook Inlet that has spewed methane into the surrounding waters for months after dive crews installed a clamp marine pipeline. The fix required several dives to the seafloor as workers repaired a damaged pipeline 80 feet deep. Thick sea ice prevented crews from fixing the 52-year-old installation for two months. The leak has generated controversy since it began, with environmental groups voicing concern for local wildlife and accusing Hilcorp of being unable to manage its own properties.

National

The Alabama state Senate has passed a bill that would grant a local church the ability to appoint its own police force. Briarwood Presbyterian Church is located at the fringes of Birmingham, located between Jefferson and Shelby counties. The church is massive, with more than 4,000 members and 40 ministries, including programs for preschool and K-12 education. The church released a statement stating, “After the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the wake of similar assaults at churches and schools, Briarwood recognized the need to provide qualified first responders to coordinate with local law enforcement who so heroically and effectively serve their communities.” Those in favor of the measure say that a police force is necessary in increasingly dangerous times. Those against it say the move is both gratuitous to religious forces and unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union objected, issuing a memo saying that the bill will “unnecessarily carve out special programs for religious organizations and inextricably intertwine state authority and power with church operations.” Critics also say that violates the First Amendment, which says that Congress cannot make any law “respecting an establishment of religion.

Global

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrated his grandfather’s birthday this year, not with the usual parade, but with a display of far-ranging firepower. A massive military procession showed off the latest North Korean military equipment, including what analysts say were three different types of intercontinental missiles. Kim watched from a balcony as the missiles made their way through Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, accompanied by dozens of tanks and thousands of goose-stepping soldiers. It was the 105th birthday of Kim Il-sung, Kim’s grandfather and near-mythic founder of North Korea. World powers like China and the United States were concerned that Kim would ring in the anniversary with a nuclear bomb test or the firing of an intercontinental missile. The United States sent a naval strike group to the coast of the Korean Peninsula in a show of force. The move has led to heightened tensions between the two countries. Cho-ryong Hae, believed to be second most powerful North Korean official, said “We’re prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war” and “We are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks.”

April 9, 2017 Max Jungreis

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Local:

Chinese President Xi Jinping made a surprise stop in Anchorage Friday night after meeting with President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Mr. Xi met with Gov. Bill Walker, dined at the Crow’s Nest in the Captain Cook hotel and traveled to Beluga point before leaving in his personal Boeing 747. The stop is thought to highlight China’s interest in the Arctic’s natural resources. Over the last few years, China has passed Japan to become Alaska’s largest trading partner. In 2016, the state exported minerals, oil, seafood and other products, valued at about $1.2 billion. Gov. Bill Walker used his time with the Chinese president to pitch for a gas export project and recognize China’s status as Alaska’s largest trading partner. Xi expressed that he has flown over the state many times, and always wanted to visit.

National:

On Friday, a federal judge approved a consent decree to overhaul the Baltimore police department against the wishes of the justice department. The decree would introduce major reforms to the troubled department, including new technology, training and community oversight. On Monday, the Justice department sought a 90-day delay to review police reform agreements, including Baltimore’s. Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed concern at the decision, stating the decree was signed in a “rushed process” during the previous presidential administration. “While the Department of Justice continues to fully support police reform in Baltimore, I have grave concerns that some provisions of this decree will reduce the lawful powers of the police department and result in a less safe city,” Sessions said.

The Justice Department had previously found that the police department of Baltimore, a majority-black city, disproportionately targeted black people. The consent decree would seek to address this by requiring reforms like an additional 80 hours of training on protocol such as stop-and-search procedures and the upgrading of technology that keeps police officers accountable, such as video cameras inside police vans. At a press conference, mayor Catherine Pugh called the decision “a great victory for the citizens of Baltimore, as well as the Baltimore Police Department”.

Global:

The politician most likely to unseat Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in an election has been barred from holding public office for the next 15 years. Henrique Capriles, governor of the Venezuelan state of Miranda, narrowly lost to Maduro in the 2013 election. The government released a list of issues it claims disqualifies Capriles from running, including failure to secure approval for various budgets and contracts. Capriles is an outspoken critic of the current president, frequently appearing at the large protests that have continued to grow after the Supreme Court attempted last month to remove from Venezuela’s legislature, a body stocked with Maduro’s opposition. In the last week, government forces have put down demonstrations with force, using tear gas, water cannons and clubs to repel protesters. “More than yesterday, more than today, tomorrow there are even more reasons for us to mobilize ourselves in all of the country,” Capriles wrote on Twitter.

March 28, 2017 Max Jungreis

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Uber and Lyft might be coming back to Alaska. On Thursday, the Alaska senate passed Senate Bill 14, which allows those companies to operate in the state, with a vote of 14 to 5. The senate spent more than five hours debating the measure. Members of the Democratic minority expressed concern that the bill allows the state, as opposed to local municipalities, to make regulation decisions on the rideshare industry. To address these concerns the minority introduced 23 amendments to the bill, some of which were adopted; but Democrats still voted against it. Uber briefly existed in Alaska in 2014 but left after six months. The company, like Lyft, refers to its drivers as independent contractors and not employees. This led to a dispute with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, who were concerned that drivers wouldn’t have worker’s compensation insurance. Ultimately, Uber paid the Labor Department a fine of $77,925 and left the state in March 2015. If SB 14 clears the state House, it will pave the way for both Uber and Lyft to begin operating in the Alaska again.

On Friday, the American-led military coalition in Iraq confirmed that it was investigating reports that hundreds of civilians may have perished in recent American airstrikes on Mosul, the northern Iraqi city at the heart of the offensive to drive ISIS out of the country. Residents report the fatalities may be as high as 200. If true, the civilian death toll would rank among the highest in American air missions since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. The sudden rise in reported civilian casualties has begun to raise questions about whether or not the observance of wartime rules of engagement is becoming lax under the Trump administration. On Friday, American military officials denied that there had been any change in how the US goes to war while admitting that American airstrikes had been stepped up lately in both Syria and Iraq in an effort to place pressure in the Islamic State. While American spokespeople say that they currently do not know who is responsible for the deaths, Iraqi officers tell a different story. Maj. Gen. Maan al-Saadi, a commander in the Iraqi military, has said that the deaths resulted from a coalition airstrike that his men called in to take out snipers perched on rooftops in a Mosul neighborhood. The general said his men were unaware the basements of the buildings were filled with civilians. Iraqi military sources have commented that it has become much easier to call in an airstrike since President Donald Trump took office.

The least free country in Europe is experiencing unrest. Police have arrested hundreds of protesters in Belarus and shut down the internet after thousands took to the streets of Minsk and other cities to voice their opposition to a “social parasites” tax on the unemployed. As of Saturday night, protesters were still attempting to protest in the streets of Minsk, Brest and Grodno where police deployed armored riot squads and water cannons to contain them. The protests represent the most marked expression of discontent since the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, announced the new tax two months ago. The announcement served as a flashpoint for a larger movement discontent with the lack of free elections, free press and the authoritarian government. President Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994 and is frequently described as “Europe’s last dictator”, declared earlier this month that he would suspend the deadline for payment until his government has reviewed the policy, but protests against his style of rule — much of it a lasting remnant of Belarus’s time as Soviet member state — has only continued to grow.

March 5, 2017 Max Jungreis

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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

The Edge Update can be heard every weekday on KRUA 88.1 FM The Edge, UAA’s college radio station.

Local:

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is asking the commander-in-chief to get behind a $45 billion Alaska gas pipeline megaproject as part of President Donald Trump’s plan to spend $1 trillion on the nation’s infrastructure. The request was parceled together in a letter with several other requests, including requests for federal tax exemptions, reduced federal oversight and billions in federal loan guarantees. All of which would remove roadblocks and help speed the project along. If approved, the Alaska LNG project would sell reserves of North Slope gas to Asian utilities. The letter was dated to Feb. 7. As of Friday, the administration had not responded to the letter.

National:

A New York Times investigation has uncovered a secretive cyber-operation by the U.S. government that for years derailed North Korea’s missile program. Three years ago, amid growing concerns about the DPRK’s intercontinental missiles, President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon to increase cyber and electronic efforts to sabotage test launches. Not long after, North Korea’s missiles began flying in the wrong direction, falling into the sea and exploding in midair. Those who support these measures describe them as the cutting edge of antimissile defenses, crediting them with delaying North Korea’s ability to launch nuclear weapons at American cities by several years. Others are skeptical, crediting the failed missile tests to shoddy manufacturing and incompetence. After extensive research, including interviews with several officials from the current and previous administrations, the New York Times concluded that the United States still does not have adequate technology to defend itself from North Korean nuclear and missile programs. They are enough of a danger that Barack Obama, as he left office, warned Trump that they would be the greatest problem of his presidency.

Global:

On Sunday, ten of thousands gathered in Paris for a rally to support Francois Fillon. As recently as last week, he was the frontrunner in France’s presidential election. Now, a scandal has thrown the election wide open, potentially spelling the end of the European Union. In January, judicial investigators decide to investigate the former prime minister on the potential misuse of public funds after a newspaper revealed he had employed his own family for decades at a cost of hundreds of thousands of euros. It does not appear that his family members did any work. The scandal has left Fillon’s party, the center-right Republicans, without a solid candidate. Polls now indicate the race will ultimately be decided between liberal Emmanuel Macron and populist Marine Le Pen. Of particular concern to observers is Le Pen, leader of the National Front, a party with roots in neo-Nazism. Although now cleansed of fascistic imagery, the NF still espouses shutting down mosques identified as radical, banning Muslim items of dress and almost entirely stopping immigration into France. Perhaps most impactfully, Le Pen wishes to hold a referendum on whether France should remain in the EU. If France were to leave, it would combine with the recent loss of Britain to spell the end of the union.

February 27, 2017 Sarah Tangog
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The UAA Maintenance and Operations fleet vehicles parked on stand-by beside the Gordon Hartlieb Hall. Photo credit: Jay Guzman

Living in Alaska issues a major landscape obstacle for UAA students and staff, snow. It obscures lines on sidewalks, roads and parking lots, making it difficult for drivers and pedestrians to see.

The UAA snow removal system is simple. Run by Glenn Brown from the Maintenance and Operations Department, each day is planned several days ahead. Though there are two separate crews who work to plow the snow, most of the removal is done at night, “when campus is effectively closed,” Brown said.

Brown looks at the weather patterns to see what equipment will be needed for the upcoming days. On dangerously icy days, environmentally friendly gravel and salt products, both liquids and granules, are used. Usually, mechanical equipment is sufficient. All the snow plow vehicles are maintained regularly and repaired when needed.

In the event that new vehicles need to be purchased, the crew gets in touch with Fallon Harkins, associate director for Parking Services, manages the budget for the snow plow plans. However, equipment seems to be the only thing money is spent on to remove the snow.

“There is no cost to snow plowing,” Brown said.

Brown and his crew work around the clock to clear the roads, trails, and entrances to all the buildings at UAA. They also clear the main roads to the dorms and residential housing for students, though the trails and sidewalks snaking throughout the dorms are out of their jurisdiction.

Though there is no monetary cost to plowing snow, significant time and effort are certainly spent. Sometimes, even weekends are given up when the weather is especially snowy.

It’s quite a price to pay to keep our roads clear, and our staff and students safe.

February 20, 2017 Max Jungreis

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The Edge Update can be heard every weekday on KRUA 88.1 FM The Edge, UAA’s college radio station.

Local:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution, sponsored by Alaska Rep. Don Young, to repeal regulations limiting hunting practices on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska. The measure is a Congressional Review Act, an obscure legislative tool that allows Congress to repeal federal regulations finalized in the last 60 days with a simple majority. Young has stated that he sees this as a battle over federal control, not over wildlife management. Those who oppose repealing the current rules say that doing so would allow unfair and environmentally harmful practices. Representatives have expressed concerned that the new legislation would simply make it easier to kill wolf pups and bear cubs. The bill passed 225-193 after debate. Currently, the legislation stands a fair chance of making it to the president’s desk.

National:

Despite being explicitly warned not to do so by the foreign ministry of China, a U.S. aircraft carrier has begun patrolling the hotly contested South China Sea region. Under international law, nations have sovereignty over waters extending 200 miles of their coast. China, however, claims to have sovereignty over a vast swath of ocean that descends thousands of miles south of the Chinese coast and borders several countries. To strengthen its claim, China has spent the last few years building artificial islands in the region and stocking them with troops, leading to heightened tensions with the countries that wish to share the area. The U.S. has responded by sending military ships and planes near disputed islands, calling them “freedom of navigation operations” to ensure access to shipping routes. Observers worry that the brewing conflict has the potential to become a global crisis.

Global:

Russian president Vladimir Putin declared Saturday that his country would begin recognizing passports and other identity documents issued by the separatist rebel pocket territories of eastern Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, characterized the decision as humanitarian. Over the last few weeks, tensions between the separatist and pro-government forces have boiled over into violent clashes with a mounting death toll. Ten of thousands have sought refuge in Russia since the conflict began in 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Pro-Russian rebels later began uprisings in the East. Since then, 9,700 people have died.

November 6, 2016 Max Jungreis

Local news: Governor Bill Walker announced Friday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, the governor says that the cancer is treatable and won’t affect his performance. “It is anticipated I will need no further treatment post-surgery,” Walker said in a statement. “This diagnosis has not and will not impair my ability to…

April 10, 2016 Victoria Petersen

After two budget drafts released Thursday, President Jim Johnsen proposed ways of saving money for University of Alaska’s next fiscal year, starting July 1. This draft included hundreds of staff cuts across all campuses and a tuition increase between 10 to 15 percent, on top of the already approved five percent tuition increase scheduled for this coming fall semester. Multiple budget scenarios are being considered to be introduced to the legislature. Other cuts that are up for consideration include cuts to some athletic programs at UAA and UAF. The board of regents anticipates a complete and revised budget by early June.

February 26, 2015 Kelly Ireland

First National Bank Alaska opens new branch First National Bank Alaska held its ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 18 at its newly constructed branch on Providence Drive. The branch is the first bank located adjacent to campus. In celebration of the new branch, FNBA donated $89,000 to Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska…

October 11, 2013 Suhaila Brunelle

Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab threatens more attacks in the future
Al-Shabaab, the terrorist organization that attacked the upscale Wesgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, several weeks ago, has stated the attacks are “not over.” Dozens of people were injured in the massacre, and 67 people were killed. There is evidence that some of the victims were tortured before they died. Kenyan forces claim they have killed at least five members of Al-Shabaab and taken 11 members of the group into custody.

Obama speaks by telephone to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
President Obama spoke with Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, last week about a resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This is the first time since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 that the two countries have spoken directly. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned President Obama “not to be fooled by overtures from Iran that have led the administration to pursue talks aimed at resolving the standoff over the country’s nuclear ambitions.”

Vladimir Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The International Academy of Spiritual Unity has nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in stopping a United States air strike in Syria earlier this year. The letter stated, “Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquility not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”

Tropical storm Karen forms off the Gulf of Mexico
A tropical storm has formed off the Gulf of Mexico, causing hurricane warnings from Louisiana to Florida. This is the first tropical storm of the season. The storm is located 485 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.

Road rage incident involving SUV and motorcycles leaves one man seriously injured
Video of the incident shows the motorcycle group assaulting the driver of the SUV in front of his wife and child. The driver then tries to escape, but during the escape runs over one of the bikers, who is now in serious condition at a local hospital and may never walk again. Some of the bikers are from a group called Hollywood Stuntz, which holds an event to ride through Times Square on an annual basis. They had no permit this year, and the NYPD received over 200 calls of reckless behavior by the group prior to the incident.

National Toy Hall of Fame
My Little Ponies, the Magic 8 Ball and Fisher-Price Little People are among others have been announced as finalists in this year’s competition to make it into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. Each year, this organization recognizes toys that have “engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover their play.” Two winners will be announced Nov. 7.

PFD day
The first of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividends were issued last week through direct deposit. State officials say the roughly 593,000 Alaskan’s received the direct deposit of the $900 check and another 86,000 Alaskans will receive a paper check later in the month.

Anchorage crime rate has risen
The FBI has reported that the number of serious crimes reported in Anchorage has risen in 7 out of 8 categories since last year. There has been a recorded increase in murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and larceny.

Former Tatitlek Village president guilty of stealing money
Former Tatilek Village President, Lori “Sue” Clum, 45, of Anchorage has admitted in U.S. District Court of stealing over $100,000 from the village. Funds were distributed to herself and her brother James Edward Kramer, 48. The thefts occurred between 2008 and 2009.

October 1, 2013 Suhaila Brunelle

At approximately 8 p.m. Sept. 16, someone slipped an anonymous note under the University Police Department door. The note described the whereabouts of an Anchorage teen who had been badly beaten and left for death. The UPD alerted the Anchorage Police Department, which investigated and found James Clinton, 18, unconscious in an abandoned house.

The house was owned by Covenant House, a local charity, and was set to be demolished the next day to make space for a parking lot. Clinton was taken to a local hospital, unconscious and in critical condition.

No arrests have been made at this time.

Anchorage police are currently investigating who assaulted Clinton and why.

If you have any additional information, call the police at 907-786-8900 or Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP.  There is a cash reward up to $1,000 for any information.

 

October 1, 2013 Suhaila Brunelle

Motion filed to free the Fairbanks Four
This week the Alaska Innocence Project filed a motion to clear the Fairbanks Four of murder charges. These are the four Alaska Native men charged in the 1997 murder of teenager John Hartman. The men have been serving lengthy prison terms, mostly in out-of-state prisons far from home or family contact and have maintained their innocence. Bill Oberly, executive director of the Alaska Innocence Project, has conducted independent investigations, and has garnered confessions from several other men who are currently serving prison terms for other Alaska murders.

Homeless housing proposed near Kincaid Park
Mayor Dan Sullivan has proposed using federal land near Kincaid Park to build housing for the city’s homeless population. The site would be called Raspberry Court and would include temporary housing for over 90 people.

Anchorage man fatally beaten outside mental health clinic
Four men have been charged in the beating death of fisherman and seasonal worker Ferdinand Marquez this week outside of Anchorage Community Mental Health. David Wallent, 24; Jerrick Blankenship, 18; Mat Martin, 22; and Lewis Martin, 33, received charges ranging from murder to manslaughter.

Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America Line donate money to UAA
The cruise lines have donated $1 million to the University of Alaska Foundation for research and education. The money will be used for research and scholarships critical to the health of the sea, tourism and the hospitality industry in Alaska.

UAA students plant trees
UAA Student Volunteers met on Friday to plant trees in the Mat-Su Valley. Volunteers have planted over 6,000 seedlings on the Kenai Peninsula, and plans are in the work to plant 500 seedlings in the Mat-Su Valley.

Senator’s speech against Affordable Care Act lasts 21 hours
Congress met last week to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Senator Ted Cruz spoke in protest of the bill for 21 hours, one of the longest Senate speeches in U.S. history.

Quake creates new land mass
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Pakistan created a new island. Witnesses to this event stated that it did not occur suddenly, but was a gradual process. Thirty-nine lives were lost in this quake.

One step closer to a lightsaber
MIT physicists Mikhail Lukin and Vladan Vuletic discovered a way to make subatomic light photons stick together. These particles that make up light have no detectable mass the way most matter does, and they usually don’t stick together. However, Lukin and Vuletic discovered a way to make light form into molecules. Their work was published this week in Nature, an academic natural sciences journal.

September 24, 2013 Thomas McIntyre

Keith Hackett was officially introduced as the new athletic director at a press conference Friday afternoon. He used the event to share his vision for UAA athletics and to address some lingering questions. Hackett’s plan for the department is a three-headed monster.

The first step is ensuring they are always in alignment with the educational mission of the university. He wants to stress the “student” aspect of being a student-athlete.

September 11, 2013 Tim Brown

In the wake of former USUAA President Andrew Lessig’s resignation, former Vice President Drew Lemish has taken over the position. Lemish explained the transition at a press conference on August 29th.

Andrew Lessig had cited an inability to keep up with the demands of being USUAA president as a reason for stepping down.

April 20, 2012 TNL Staff

The University Police Department is seeking the community’s assistance in locating Stryker L. McLane. McLane (pictured below) is charged with Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the 4th Degree, a Class C Felony.  He is also charged with Resisting a Police Officer, a Class A Misdemeanor. McLane is a 20 year old male with a dark complexion.  He…

March 28, 2012 Evan Dodd

Briefs for the week of March 18-24 include: Police ID 2 Anchorage officers in shooting, Body found in Alaska not missing barista, Documents show NYPD infiltrated liberal groups, and French spymaster: Gunman didn’t plan school attack.

February 23, 2012 TNL Staff

Heard about a “mental subject” running around campus? How about that animal attack? Or even missing something? Do you suspect larceny…? Find out in this week’s UPD Crime Blotter! All the suspicious shenanigans that happen on campus brought to you for your viewing pleasure. UPD Crime Log 2.10.12

February 15, 2012 TNL Staff

Curious if that kid in your building got caught for their housing violation? If that shady character you saw was ever questioned by the police? If that larceny was reported? Look no further! It’s all here, in this weeks UPD Crime Bulletin! UPD Crime Log 2.3.12

February 6, 2012 The Associated Press

Anchorage police investigating the abduction of a barista are asking for the public’s help. Police ask anyone who was in the parking lot of the midtown Alaska Club on Tudor Road last Wednesday night between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to call them. Samantha Koenig was abducted from the Common Grounds Espresso coffee shack located…

February 4, 2012 TNL Staff

Breakdown of the shady happenings around UAA campus between 1.26.12 and 2.03.12. Over 22 calls were investigated in the span of one week. Wondering if anything happened near you? Curious if that cop car you saw was investigating something? Figure it out in this weeks Crime Bulletin! Crime Log 1.26.12 Includes simple assaults, larcenies, hit…

June 7, 2011 Jeremia Schrock- UAF Sun Star

June 6, 2011

The following article was compiled from information gathered before, during and after the June 1-3 Board of Regents (BOR) meeting.

Student government budgets approved

The BOR approved the budgets of all the student governments within the UA system. The Associated Students of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (ASUAF) budget for FY 11-12 will be just over $532,000. The Regent vote was unanimous at 10-0 in favor.

UAF dining and residence hall RFP approved

The Regents unanimously approved a request for proposal (RFP) for UAF to look into expanding it’s dining and housing options for students. The RFP covers a possible dining addition to the Wood Center, a repurposing of the Lola Tilly Commons and the construction of new dorms for students. According to Chancellor Brian Rogers, “the facilities we have for housing are quite dated.” Rogers intends to have the new dorm facilities available by 2019.

During a discussion with the Facilities and Land Management Committee, the chancellor mentioned to those present what UA President Patrick Gamble had told him during a tour of the Lola Tilly last year. The president remarked that he recognized much of the equipment being used by dining services as equipment he had seen used over 30 years ago in the military.

UAA revamps health programs

The BOR unanimously approved a reorganization of the health programs at the University of Alaska – Anchorage (UAA). The College of Health and Social Welfare was renamed the College of Health.

The WWAMI program was moved out of the College of Arts and Sciences and into the newly named college. According to the WWAMI website, the program “ is a collaborative medical school among universities in five northwestern states” – Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.

The Division of Allied Health was also moved from its original college (the College of Career and Technical Education) to the College of Health. The division will be renamed the School of Allied Health.

UAF to see new power plant

Also unanimously approved by the regents was a plan to maintain and eventually replace the Atkinson Heat and Power Plant. The plant, built in 1964, provides heat, light and water to the UAF campus. Maintaining the plant while a permit and financing are secured for a new facility will cost an estimated $40 million over the next five to seven years.

The current plant, labeled the “house of horrors” by Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Scott Bell, will eventually be replaced by a new facility. The new facility is estimated to cost between $140 million to $180 million. According to Chancellor Rogers, if UAF can construct the new facility within the next seven years, the campus may be able to avoid spending the entire $40 million allotted for maintenance. Both the improvements and an addition would be completed by 2017.

UAA gets expanded sports arena

The board authorized UAA to begin developing a 5,600-seat sports arena. The project will not exceed $109 million. The vote was 9-1 in favor of the arena, with Regent Kirk Wickersham voting against it.

Part of the projects funding comes from the legislature’s Capital Budget ($34 million according to the Juneau Empire) that Governor Parnell has yet to sign.

Juneau and Kenai to get new halls

The board unanimously approved $16 million for a student-housing complex at Kenai Peninsula College.

The board also approved an addition to Banfield Hall, a student housing facility located on the University of Alaska – Southeast (UAS) campus. The addition will cost approximately $8.5 million and is subject to FY12 legislative appropriation and the governor’s approval of the Capital

September 21, 2010 TNL Staff

Chancellor Fran Ulmer cuts the ribbon at the unveiling of the name of the Amenities Building Coffee Shop September 15. The winning entry was “Fireside Cafe,” submitted by Maunch Garhart. Fireside Cafe is locates near the CPISB, Administration Building and new parking garage. Garhart was awarded $100 in Wolfbucks. There were also runner-up prizes awarded.

September 16, 2010 Jerzy Shedlock

Racism, despite substantial progress over past decades, still permeates the landscape of American culture. It has existed throughout human history and many people around the globe still have a long way to go before diminishing thoughts of hatred based on skin color, language and customs. Young debaters at UAA are not retreating from discussing race-based…

November 10, 2009 Kam Walters

Obama to stop in Alaska Wednesday on way to Asia

President Barack Obama will visit Alaska as he begins a longer trip to Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore.

The White House said Obama will stop Nov. 11 at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage to refuel Air Force One. Obama will mark the Veterans Day holiday with military personnel at the base.

The visit will be Obama’s first trip ever to Alaska. He never made it to the 49th state during the 2008 campaign

Alaska Army posts stay open after Texas shootings

An Army official said Forts Richardson and Wainwright remain open following the mass shootings at Fort Hood in Texas.

Maj. Bill Coppernoll said the Alaska posts are “not in lockdown” mode as a result of the shootings Nov. 5 that left 12 people dead and 31 wounded.

Coppernoll, however, declined to say if any special security precautions have been implemented at Richardson or Wainwright.

He said the Army continually reviews its security environment and takes “appropriate, prudent precautions to protect our soldiers, civilians and family members who live and work on our installations.”

Bear hunters stranded when bear shreds raft

Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear — shreds your raft.

Alaska State Troopers said several members of a bear-hunting party found themselves stranded early Nov. 4 near Klukwan in southeast Alaska after a sow bear with two cubs shredded their Zodiac inflatable raft.

None of the hunters were injured.

Troopers said the hunters walked upriver toward Klukwan and fired rifle shots to attract attention. A Klukwan resident took a canoe across the Chilkat River after hearing the shots and yells from the other side. The hunters were given a ride back across the river in the canoe and returned to their vehicles.

Alaska officials release pipeline progress report

Alaska state officials said they continue to be optimistic about the chances for a large-diameter natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Lower 48 markets.

A state report completed to meet a legislative deadline concluded that TransCanada Alaska, which holds a state pipeline license, is on target to complete an initial open season by the end of July.

An open season is the period when natural gas producers can commit to reserving space on a proposed pipeline. The Alaska gas pipeline is estimated to cost $26 to $40 billion.

Mark Myers, the state’s Alaska Gasline Inducement Act coordinator, said the state’s expectations are being met.

He said TransCanada has expanded its project management team to 100 full-time employees and the state is seeing “a considerable uptick in activity.”

Alaska charities get $550,000 from Permanent Fund

More than 300 charities around Alaska received a total of $550,000 that was pledged by state residents from their Permanent Fund dividend payments.

The Anchorage Daily News reported this was the first year of the campaign called “Pick. Click. Give.”

Some of the biggest recipients: the Food Bank of Alaska, $29,000; Alaska public radio and TV network, $19,000; and Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue, a Mat-Su charity, $15,755.

“It’s a nice surprise,” said Marleah LaBelle, spokeswoman for the Food Bank of Alaska.

That could allow the food bank to buy 2,800 more turkeys for needy families during the holiday season, she said.

Donations are unrestricted, so donors can’t require the nonprofits to use the money for a specific purpose.

– Compiled by Kam Walters

September 1, 2009 Compiled by Suzanna Caldwell

The CBR Gold Corp. said gold exploration will resume early next month at the Niblack project on Prince of Wales Island.

Derek Iwanaka, manager of investor relations for CBR Gold, says equipment and supplies have been barged to the Moira Sound site about 30 miles of southwest of Ketchikan.

The 25,000-foot drilling program will assess the gold, silver, copper and zinc resources.

No actual mining is planned.

Iwanaka says exploration could last through December.

September 1, 2009 Compiled by Suzanna Caldwell

The Federal Elections Commission has found that former Gov. Sarah Palin’s political action committee gave excessive contributions to two well-known Republicans.

The problem is highlighted in a letter sent to SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford.

Crawford told the Anchorage Daily News that the problem has been fixed.

He said SarahPAC has sorted out the $5,000 contributions to Sens. John McCain and Lisa Murkowski, and the campaigns have already refunded $200 each.

Crawford blamed the problems on election software used to deal with required disclosures.

Federal law allows political action committees to give candidates up to $5,000 per election if they meet certain conditions. Lower limits of $2,400 per election can apply.

Crawford said SarahPAC has redesignated the $5,000 going to the McCain and Murkowski campaigns so that each received $2,400 for the 2010 primary and another $2,400 for the general election.

The FEC wants a response by Sept. 24. It says an audit or enforcement action is possible if the deadline is not met.

September 1, 2009 Compiled by Suzanna Caldwell

A very expensive tree-thinning project in the Tongass National Forest is receiving more than a half-million dollars in federal stimulus money.

It will cost $2,800 to thin each acre of the 238-acre Ocean Boulevard project in southeast Alaska. That’s nearly three times as much as some other tree-thinning projects.

Tongass Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole says the $677,000 project’s true value may be in what it reveals about future management of the 17-million-acre Tongass.

He says there are about 450,000 acres of second-growth trees, and the key is to find viable uses for the wood.

September 1, 2009 Compiled by Suzanna Caldwell

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District says more than 200 students have been absent with flu-like symptoms and there are at least 35 confirmed cases of swine flu.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the school district will provide shots to all students and staff when the vaccine arrives.

The district’s head nurse, Maureen Kauleinamoku, says a total of more than 1,300 students have complained to school nurses about flu-like symptoms – fatigue, nausea, fever, sore throat, congestion or body aches. The majority were sent home.

She says the flu is unusually early. The typical flu season runs from October to April.