Friday 20, Jan 2017

Alaska's Office Of Children's Services Being Investigated

The State Office of Children's Services is being investigated.

State Representative Tammie Wilson said last week that she had requested a grand jury investigation, but had heard nothing back from the state.

The Department of Law now says that recommendations from a grand jury have been unsealed, and will be looked at by the Alaska citizen review panel and the state ombudsman.

The Citizen Review Panel meets four times a year, and its next meeting is in March.

Low Salmon Numbers Cause Disaster Declaration For Fisheries

The federal government has issued a disaster declaration for Alaska's pink salmon fishery and several other salmon and crab fisheries along the West Coast.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday that Governor Bill Walker requested the declaration after last year's pink salmon harvests in Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Chignik, and lower Cook Inlet came in far below forecast.

The estimated value of Kodiak's catch in 2016 was about 2 million dollars, compared to a five-year average of 14.6 million.

Women's March Organized For Saturday In Fairbanks

In an act of solidarity with those participating in the 'Women's March on Washington', there will be a March here in Fairbanks on Saturday.

The event is a peaceful bipartisan march.
It is neither an anti-administration rally, nor an endorsement of any party or representatives.

Pioneer Park Hosting Hot Wheelz Drag Racing Carnival This Weekend

The third annual 'Hot Wheelz Drag Racing and Carnival' will take place at Pioneer Park over the weekend.

The event begins on Saturday and runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The cost to attend the festivites is five dollars per person, and kids of all ages are welcome to participate.

There will be hot wheel cars available for kids to use during the drag racing, but kids can also bring their own Hot Wheels as well.

Food and drink will also be available for purchase, and there'll be door prizes for those who participate in the drag racing.

Inua Wool Shop Receives New Yarn Samples

The Inua Wool Shoppe held a knitting party today to test out new products.

A representative from Cascade Yarns in Seattle brought different yarns for customers to try.

Those who attended picked from the samples and began knitting away.

The owner of the wool shop, Leah Walker, says she will add new product to her store based on the performance of the yarn today.
Walker says that for nearly 30 years, she has been working hard to bring the best quality of products, and an inviting environment for her customers.

FoodBank Receives Large Donation From Santa Claus House

The Fairbanks Community Food Bank received a generous check from the Santa Claus House this afternoon.

Back in December, Paul Brown at the Santa Claus House in North Pole got a hold of the food bank and offered to give them a cash donation.

During the month, he invited people to come out to the business and make donation in support of the food bank.
He decided to donate to the food bank because he knows times are tough, and wanted to help those in need to obtain food.

Brown says it was a pleasure to help out..

Investigation Of Former FPD Chief Randall Aragon Substantiates Claims Of Conflict

Fairbanks Mayor Jim Matherly has reviewed the report of an outside investigation regarding an alleged conflict of interest from the secondary employment of former Fairbanks Police Chief Randall Aragon.

Russell Consulting was contracted to perform the investigation of allegations made by Dan Hoffman, who is also a former Fairbanks Police Chief, that Aragon used his position as Chief as a platform for his private security business.

Aragon resigned as police chief in October of 2016, a month after the allegations surfaced.

Fairbanks Ranked 16th Safest City In Alaska

Fairbanks was ranked at number 16 according to a Safe-Wise report of the safest cities in Alaska.

Alaska's crime rate increased from 2014 to 2015, but criminal activity remained low in coastal cities.

Cordova was ranked as the safest city in Alaska, followed by Un-Alaska, Haines, Wrangell and Sitka.

North Pole was ranked lower than Anchorage as the 22nd safest city; Anchorage was ranked as number 21.

Governor Walker Introduces Bill To Halt Pay Raises To Non-Union State Employees

In an effort to combat the state's more than 3-billion dollar budget deficit, Governor Bill Walker introduced legislation today to implement a two-year pay freeze for non-unionized state employees.

Senate Bill 31 halts salary increases from July first of this year, until June 30th of 20-19 for exempt, partially exempt, and nonunion employees in the Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, and the University of Alaska.

Governor Walker Delivers State Of The State Address

Wednesday night, Governor Walker delivered his third state of the state address to the Alaska Legislature.

During his speech, Walker outlined a 5-step approach to addressing the epidemic of opioid use in Alaska.
Steps include limiting the amount of opioids a doctor can prescribe, as well as stepping up screening and enforcement measures to dissuade the influx of opioids into rural Alaska.

Walker says the ideas are based on the work of a task force, and that he plans to refine the plan with lawmakers, the medical community and the public.