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

News Briefs


Back to school

Valdez students are slated to return to classes this week after the traditional two-week winter break during the Christmas season.

School officially reopens for classes this Thursday, Jan. 5.

Educators return to school today, one day before students return to class.

The Prince William Sound College campus opened earlier this week. Classes for the spring semester begin Jan. 17, according to its website.

City lobbyist

Members of the Valdez City Council were slated Tuesday night to renew its annual contract with its Juneau lobbyist.

The contract was slated for a vote on the council agenda for Jan 3.

The one-year contract pays $50,000 to Trust Consultants, the business name of the city's long-time lobbyist, Kim Hutchison.

Hutchison acts as the eyes and ears - and sometimes mouthpiece - in Juneau during the legislative session.

This year's session begins Jan. 17.

George Rauscher (R-Sutton) will be the House Representative for District 9, which includes Valdez, in this year's legislature.

Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) represents Valdez and Senate District E.

Refinery demo

(AP) The company that owns the shuttered North Pole Refinery has begun its demolition.

The decision by Flint Hills Resources to tear down refining facilities ends modest hope that a buyer could resume operations, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Flint Hills spokesman Jeff Cook in a prepared statement Wednesday said no buyer was found.

"With no parties interested in purchasing and operating the refinery, the prudent step is to demolish the refinery to best protect the site and repurpose the site for productive future use," he said.

The refinery opened in 1977. Flint Hills in 2014 ended refining operations but continued using the property as a storage facility.

Volcano erupts

(AP) A volcano on a remote island in Alaska's Aleutian chain has erupted again, prompting an aviation alert.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says the Bogoslof (BOH-goh-slawf) volcano sent an ash plume about 20,000 feet in the air by early Friday morning.

The eruption caused the observatory to issue its highest alert level for aircraft.

During an eruption of the volcano last week, the Federal Aviation Administration said flights were rerouted around the plume.

The center says the volcano began erupting shortly before midnight Thursday and its activity was recorded by seismic data and in satellite images.

The volcano is located on an island of the same name in the Bering Sea about 850 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Alcohol laws

(AP) Alaska lawmakers could take another run at revising statutes governing alcohol when the legislature convenes next month.

Steve Revis photo

Ruth Pond was open for ice skating or other frozen pond activities Monday.

A Soldotna state senator, Republican Peter Micciche, is expected to again push for reforms that were partially addressed in his bill in 2015, the Juneau Empire reported.

The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and interested parties since 2012 have worked on new drafts of Title 4, the chapter of state statutes that regulates the manufacture, possession and sale of alcoholic beverages.

"I don't want to say revising so much as bringing Title 4 into the new millennium," said Bob Klein, chairman of the ABC board.

Alcohol statues have not seen a major revision in 36 years even though the industry has undergone significant changes. Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing opened Dec. 26, 1986, and became the first successful craft brewery in modern Alaska. There are now more than 35 across the state.


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