The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

 
 

News Briefs

 

Photo courtesy PWSCC

A cake topped the mock graduation Friday for the fifth-graders attending Kids2College program at PWSCC.

Life of Pie

Most college students go to school to learn about pi, but this Friday students - or anyone else with $3 in their pocket - can get a hands-on experience with pie, when Prince William Sound Community College hosts an event its calling "Pie your Professor."

In its weekly newsletter, PWSCC invited students and the community to attend the pie throwing fundraiser featuring guest pie-in-the-face volunteers Dr. Julie, Professor Ballou, Professor Dasgupta, Registrar, Shannon Foster and more.

The student government sponsored event is open to the public and slated for April 25 in the college parking lot at 6 p.m.

Road to Denali open

Warm weather is helping crews plow the only road into Denali National Park and Preserve.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the road opened Friday to all traffic for the first 30 miles of the 92-mile road.

The road has been cleared as far as 60 miles into the park, but traffic has to stop at Mile 30. People can park there, and hike or bike further into the park.

Weather permitting, park officials say people will be allowed to drive the first 30 miles into the park until tour buses begin running May 20. After that, normal rules will apply _ meaning the road is closed to private vehicles at Mile 15.

Kids2College Valdez

Students from Gilson Middle School may be going to school in a new building next year, but last week, 46 Valdez students attended college.

Prince William Sound Community College hosted the middle schoolers Friday, in the Kids2College program, a statewide initiative that brings 5th and 6th grade students to local college campuses in what boosters say could be the first step the students take in planning for higher education.

According to a PWSCC press release, the event is sponsored by a partnership between the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and the UA College Savings Plan.

During the field trip, PWSCC said the visiting students took part in an appropriate classes, met professors at professions/career panels and later held a mock graduation ceremony.

The college said "Kids2College encourages students to aspire to education and training beyond high school – whether it's an apprenticeship, a one-year technical program or a seven-year professional degree sequence – through its message that postsecondary training is important and attainable."

Pension cure passed

(AP) The Legislature has approved a new approach to addressing the state's unfunded pension obligation.

The House unanimously agreed to a Senate plan Sunday that would put $2 billion from savings toward the teachers' retirement system and $1 billion toward the public employees' retirement system. The plan calls for payments that are somewhat back-loaded, starting lower, at about $345 million in 2016, and slowly building until 2038. Projections call for a final $490 million payment the following year.

The idea was to improve the health of the pension systems while also lowering payment costs in the years ahead considering budget obligations and revenue concerns.

Gov. Sean Parnell proposed a different approach but praised the Senate plan.

A separate vote authorizing the transfer of money from the constitutional budget reserve was needed.

Unemployment up

Photo courtesy VHS

Buccaneer wrestlers (l-r) Austin Rake, Isaac Deaton and Adam Downing signed letters of intent last week to wrestle at the college level. The colleges are St. Cloud State in Minnesota, University of Nebraska at Kearney and Baker University in Kansas. Go Bucs!

(AP) State labor officials say Alaska's unemployment rate in March was 6.6 percent.

That's up a tenth of a percentage point from February.

The national unemployment rate for March was 6.7 percent.

Labor officials that the national rate continues to creep downward, and it's becoming increasing evident that it will drop below Alaska's rate after a long stretch of being higher.

Officials said in a release that this says more about the U.S. economy's continuing recovery than about any fundamental change in Alaska.

 

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