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July 28, 2017

Gov. Bill Walker let a bill that will restrict who can teach sex education in public schools become law without his signature.

In his transmittal letter to the Speaker of the House, the governor stated the parts of the bill on "the teaching of sexual education, human reproduction or human sexuality are controversial, and misunderstood.”

McHugh wildfire caused by campfire

Jul 28, 2016

July 28, 2016

By Joaqlin Estus

The McHugh wildfire was caused by a smoldering campfire. That's according to a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) statement issued today [Thursday]. The campfire was deep in a ravine little used by hikers.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

 July 27, 2016 - By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA

Experienced firefighters can earn from $30,000 to $60,000 in a few months, which may seem like a lot of money. But considering their working conditions, and hazards, many would say they earn every bit of their pay. A few dozen Alaskan firefighters are mopping up the McHugh fire south of Anchorage.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

The McHugh fire response is winding down. Five hotshot crews from the lower 48 were demobilized Monday evening. 

Three Alaska crews are mopping up remaining hot spots that were located using an infrared camera on a helicopter flight over the 778-acre fire area just south of Anchorage. Crews are putting a 300-foot containment line around the fire. They removed protective equipment from the Potter Valley and Rainbow Valley subdivisions on Monday.

Arial footage shows extent of McHugh fire

Jul 26, 2016

Here's a link to some arial footage of the McHugh fire with narration from a firefighter's perspective. It shows the setting of the fire amid steep mountains near Cook Inlet, its location and size, as well as a a helicopter dropping water, and Dall sheep grazing near burned out areas.

Unemployment last month held steady with the same rate as in May, at 6-point-seven percent, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That’s up a tad from seven months before that that held steady at 6-point-6 percent unemployment, indicating the Alaska economy is slowly responding to the decline in oil prices and production and state budget cuts. Typically, the summer season adds about 16,500 jobs in May and June.

Nationally, unemployment was 4- point -9 percent.

KNBA News - Rain helps firefighters at McHugh wildfire

Jul 22, 2016

Firefighters have gone on the offensive on the McHugh fire, south of Anchorage, aided by cooler temperatures and a light rain that is forecast to become steady and widespread today. Rainy conditions are expected to continue into next week.

Firefighters are working on steep, rocky slopes littered with downed trees. The rain is loosening rocks so the Seward Highway is open but may be closed temporarily from time to time to clear debris.

The fire has not grown since yesterday and remains at an estimated 842 acres. It’s five percent contained.

July 21, 2016

By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA - Anchorage

The rain is just the break needed to change the outlook for the McHugh fire south of Anchorage. Officials are now optimistic they can get the fire under control and protect nearby structures.

The Seward Highway is open but officials say it may be temporarily closed at any time to remove debris. Officials have closed turnouts in the area and ask motorists not to stop to watch or photograph the fire.

By Joaqlin Estus

Through the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, middle-school students learn through hands-on activities that teach them science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In a two-week academy they learned how to build a computer and test structures in earthquake simulations.

Fifty-six students are wrapping up a 5-day session in which they assemble motors, batteries and controls to create an unmanned aerial vehicle, otherwise known as a drone. Then they test them.

Power outage affects tens of thousands in Anchorage

Jul 17, 2016

Tens of thousands of people in south, west, and midtown Anchorage were without power for less than an hour Sunday evening. Municipal Light and Power spokesperson Julie Harris says the outage started at the Southcentral Power Plant near Minnesota and International Airport Drive.

“The cause of why it tripped is still under investigation,” said Harris.

Electrical power companies along the railbelt from Homer to Fairbanks plug into the same grid. Julie Hasquet, a spokesperson for Chugach Electric spokesperson,  says the system was rebooted to prevent extensive damage.

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