House Education amends Parnell's billFriday, March 7, 2014 7:30am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The House Education Committee has amended Gov. Sean Parnell's omnibus education bill over complaints over the pace with which the process was moving. Republican Rep. Lora Reinbold said she had a problem with how fast amendments were being adopted while two committee members were absent. None of the amendments had details on their fiscal impact. The majority of the amendments were taken from committee chairwoman Lynn Gattis' education bill. They included tightening language in the governor's bill with regards to eliminating the high school graduation exam. Gattis has proposed setting aside a provision in Parnell's bill that would raise the per-pupil funding formula known as the base student allocation. Gattis said that was a matter for House Finance to discuss. Continued work on Parnell's bill is planned for Monday.
Kenai seeks fast action on new water wellFriday, March 7, 2014 7:15am
- KENAI, Alaska (AP) - The Kenai City Council has approved a no-bid purchase of a new water well aimed at staving off possible shortages. The approval Wednesday followed a declaration of an emergency by city manager Rick Koch. He says a second well is needed to eliminate water use restrictions as spring approaches. Changes in federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations led to a request by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to keep two other city wells offline. Koch told council members in a memo that small amounts of sand had entered the remaining well despite installed screens. The Peninsula Clarion reports the council approved a $39,000 contract with M-W Drilling Inc. for a new well by late April. The city is also pursuing a third well.
Tesoro drops sponsorship of Arctic Man ClassicFriday, March 7, 2014 7:00am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic has lost its major sponsor. Race director Howard Thies tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that Tesoro Corp. dropped its sponsorship of the event more than two months ago. Thies says he's working to find a new sponsor. Tesoro had been kicking in $25,000. The event is held in the in the HooDoo Mountains near Summit Lake about 160 miles south of Fairbanks. The signature race features snowmobiles pulling skiers or snowboarders. Contestants start atop a 5,800-foot summit, descend 1,700 feet, grab the towrope of a snowmobile, get pulled up a gully and are sling-shot down another hill for a 1,200-foot drop to the finish line. Race officials say 13,000 spectators attended last year.