Alaska News

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fairbanks City Council works with ’tighter than tight’ budget

The Fairbanks City Council advanced an ordinance that would award the Fairbanks Firefighters Union’s arbitrated contract, but no funding mechanism has been identified. When the council met Monday night at City Hall, it also advanced an ordinance comprising the first budget amendments of the year. Fairbanks Chief Financial Officer Carmen Randle told the council this year’s budget is “tighter than tight” and the latest word from Juneau is the city would receive a little more than $505,000 from state revenue sharing, which is $295,000 less than was previously expected.
Fairbanks News-Miner

’It’s just taking over the whole forest’: Jurors in Sockeye Fire trial hear 911 calls

Jurors heard the first frantic 911 calls that alerted authorities to the start of the Sockeye wildfire as the trial for the couple accused of starting it continued Wednesday. The calls outlined the time frame for the fire's start and also marked a tense moment for those gathered in the Palmer courtroom. Greg Imig, 61, and his wife, Amy DeWitt, 43, are each charged with a dozen counts related to starting the blaze, including second-degree negligent burning, failure to obtain a burn permit, burning without clearing the area, allowing the wildfire to spread and leaving the fire unattended. The fire burned more than 7,000 acres and destroyed over 100 structures, including 55 homes. Located in a neighborhood of numerous sled dog mushers, the fire killed animals, including pets and sled dogs. The fire cost the state more than $8 million to fight.
Alaska Dispatch News

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Update: Two 13-year-olds charged with arson in connection to Juneau playground fire

Two 13-year-old boys face charges in connection to a fire that burned down a playground located at Juneau's Twin Lakes Park on Monday. The boys are charged with second degree arson and first degree criminal mischief. Erann Kalwara with Juneau Police said that the first 911 call came in at 5:42 p.m. and officers were on the scene just a minute later at 5:43. Kalwara said seven police officers responded. Upwards of 25 staff and volunteers with Capital City Fire and Rescue assisted in fighting the blaze. Dan Jager, a fire marshal with CCFR, said that the fire was determined to be "under control" after roughly 45 minutes, however it wasn't declared "extinguished" until around 11 p.m. owing to the fact that the playground utilized a rubber fill to pad the ground.
KTUU-TV NBC 2 Anchorage

Fire on Chena Hot Springs Road displaces family, levels Fairbanks home

A fire on Chena Hot Springs Road has left one family displaced after a furnace ignited inside the home. A house near 17 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road caught fire at around 11 a.m. Tuesday after homeowner Randy Cheap turned on his furnace. Cheap built the home almost 40 years ago, and it was the family homestead he raised his children in. Cheap says he attempted to throw water at the furnace, but it seemed to just flare the fire up, so he got himself and his dog out quickly. Cheap ran to the neighbor's to call for help. Unfortunately, his house is not in a fire district, so not much could be done to save the home. Cheap says he is thankful for his neighbors who came out to assist the best they could.
KTVF-TV Webcenter 11

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