Ice at Historic Lows

9 hours ago
Rick Thoman

A study finds that winter ice in the Bering Sea has been at its lowest levels in the last 5,500 years. KUAC’s Mary Auld reports.


20 hours ago

09-17-20 midday newscast

09-17-20 AM newscast

Public schools in the Fairbanks area are on track to open classrooms to elementary students on October 5 and middle school students October 19. The Board of Education for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District had another late-running meeting late night to hear conflicting testimony from parents, teachers and students. But the issues for returning high school students were too complicated for the board to pick one of two plans and the board rejected both of them.

Robyne / KUAC

The pandemic forced shift to more online education may fundamentally change the way students access the University of Alaska system. Speaking during a press conference yesterday (Tues.), interim UA president Pat Pitney said expanded distance delivery options will likely continue after the pandemic.

…to the offerings.”

Pitney said the university system has fared well during the pandemic because it has offered distance delivery for over 20 years.  That’s been taken to a new level over the last 6 months, and UA recently put 5 Alaska specific classes on the nationwide university platform Ed X, where Pitney sees longer term potential.

…our regional areas.”

While noting the potential for online growth, Pitney emphasized that the traditional on campus educational experience is not going away.

…to come together.”

Pitney said students will likely increasingly have a hybrid experience, taking some courses in person on campus, and others online.


Sep 16, 2020

09-16-20 midday newscast

09-16-20 AM newscast

City of Fairbanks

Meeting last night (Monday) the Fairbanks City Council voted down an ordinance that would have increased the tax on alcoholic beverage sales from the current 5 percent, to 6 percent. The council heard from numerous city restaurant and bar owners opposed to the hike, saying it is not the right time to raise taxes on because their industry, which has been affected by the pandemic. Kurt Newman with K&L Distributors in Fairbanks said many sellers are significantly down.  

…with other citizens.”

The one percent tax increase was estimated to bring in an additional $467,000, but several commenters pointed out that was based on the pre-pandemic level of business. The council recently adopted a gasoline excise tax, bringing the city up to its tax revenue cap. Council Member Jerry Cleworth, emphasized that means any additional revenue from an alcohol tax hike would reduce property taxes.

…our revenues at all.” 

The council voted down the proposed alcohol tax increase 5 to 1, with ordinance sponsor Shoshana Kun the only yes vote. Kun said the tax hike originated from conversations with community members.

”…and it’s significant.”

Kun noted it’s been 35 years since the alcohol tax was raised.

With many Alaskans struggling to pay rent during the pandemic, housing advocates welcomed news of a temporary moratorium on evictions. It went into effect 10 days ago (Sept. 4) by order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It means to keep tenants in their homes even if they can’t pay their landlords right now. But tenants must show they’ve tried everything to come up with the money.


Alaska Live

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2020 KUAC poster!