Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:38 AM AKST


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Flags Lowered in Honor of Roseburg Victims

Alaska NewsOctober 2, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker today ordered all Alaska state flags to be lowered in honor of the victims of yesterday’s Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg, Oregon. This action follows a proclamation by President Barack Obama to lower all United States flags in honor of those who were killed in this tragic event.

“Yesterday’s shootings in Roseburg broke the hearts of Alaska,” said Governor Walker. “This senseless act of violence robbed families, friends, and colleagues of their loved ones. Donna and I want to extend our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts, and prayers to all those who are suffering.”

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Administration Discusses Fiscal Future

Alaska NewsSeptember 15, 2015 ANCHORAGE—Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott today announced they have solicited input from more than 20 leaders of the state’s business community about Alaska’s fiscal future. The Walker-Mallott administration convened the meeting on Friday—the second such business roundtable discussion so far this year.

“I wanted to assemble a number of business leaders and owners from various industries to get their input on Alaska’s fiscal challenges and opportunities,” Governor Walker said. “We received some great feedback, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with this group about Alaska’s future.”

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Governor Orders Flags Lowered on September 11

Alaska NewsSeptember 10, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker today ordered all Alaska state flags to be lowered tomorrow in honor of Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, which is an annual recognition of the events that took place on September 11, 2001. This action follows a proclamation by President Barack Obama to lower all United States flags in honor of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.

“Fourteen years ago, our world changed forever,” said Governor Walker. “The lives of 3,000 men, women and children were taken from their families and communities. I hope Alaskans will join Donna and me in taking a moment of silence tomorrow morning in remembrance of those precious souls, and to renew our commitment to the values for which America stands—freedom, service and courage.”

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Recent Fire Related Fatalities

Alaska NewsThere has been a recent spike in fire fatalities within the state of Alaska. Although these fires are still under investigation and it is difficult to determine any commonalities, the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to remind all citizens that all fires are preventable by practicing fire safe behavior. The following tips are a good starting point for fire safety.

 Making sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and testing those alarms at least monthly.
 When you are alerted there is a fire, GET OUT AND STAY OUT.
 Give special consideration to older adults and those with special needs: they may need specialized alerting devices and help with egress if there is an emergency.
 Have home heating equipment cleaned and inspected at least yearly by a trained professional. Keep heating equipment a safe distance from combustibles.
 Have installed and correctly working carbon monoxide detectors.
 And most importantly, be responsible and take you and your family’s safety seriously.

Residential fires are 100% preventable and we all have the same goal: prevent or reduce harm to the public from fire. This will never happen if we do not take this issue seriously. Fire Is Everyone’s Fight
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Stats for Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign

Alaska News(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national campaign ended on Labor Day. The high visibility enforcement effort was designed to discourage impaired drivers from hitting the highways. For period 8/19/2015 thru 9/7/2015:

- 51 misdemeanor DUI arrests, 4 felony DUI Arrests

- 54 drivers charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license

- 673 REDDIs reported with 78 drivers contacted and ultimately determined not to be DUI

- 124 damage only crashes 23 injury crashes and 1 fatal collision were investigated by troopers

- Of the 1359 citations issued, 809 were issued for speeding and 61 issued for seatbelt or other occupant restraint violations

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Uber Agrees to Stop Worker Misclassification in Alaska, pays $78,000

Alaska NewsJUNEAU, Alaska—Uber Technologies, Inc. and Rasier, LLC (Uber) have entered into a settlement agreement to pay $77,925 to the state and stop operating in Alaska unless or until they comply with state law. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Workers’ Compensation Division brought Uber before the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board because Uber was misclassifying driver employees as independent contractors, which is contrary to the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act.

Misclassifying employees allows companies like Uber to avoid paying unemployment insurance, taxes and workers’ compensation premiums. The Uber settlement is part of a broader state and federal effort to reduce worker misclassification fraud. Worker misclassification is the practice of mislabeling employees as independent contractors, or inaccurately classifying employees in lower paying job categories, in order to avoid paying state and federal taxes.

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Governor Walker Issues Aviation Appreciation Month Proclamation

Alaska News(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Governor Walker proclaims September as Aviation Appreciation Month.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities joins with aviation organizations such as the Alaska Air Carriers Association, Alaska Airmen Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Federal Aviation Administration, and Alliance for Aviation Across America to recognize the significance of aviation in Alaska.

Aviation plays a critical role in everyday life for Alaska’s citizens, businesses, industries, and government agencies. Eighty-two percent of Alaska’s communities are not connected to a highway or road system and rely on aviation to provide all-season access for commerce, transportation, and emergency medical services.

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Gov. and Lt. Gov. Applaud Naming of Denali

Alaska NewsGovernor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott applauded today’s announcement from the Department of Interior and the White House to officially change the name of Mount McKinley to Denali. This announcement comes after Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued a Secretarial Order officially changing the name of North America’s tallest mountain.

“For decades, Alaskans have been urging the federal government to recognize Denali by its proper name. I am pleased that the White House and the Department of Interior have taken the necessary steps to finally make this important change,” said Governor Walker. “Alaska’s place names should reflect and respect the rich cultural history of our state, and officially recognizing the name Denali does just that.”

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State Files Opening Brief in Akiachak Appeal

Alaska NewsWhether or not the federal government should be able to take lands into trust in Alaska presents complex policy issues for Alaska Tribes, the State, and all Alaska citizens. The Department of Law received numerous comments on both sides of the issue, illustrating the interest and passion that surrounds this topic.

“Many of the comments I received, whether pro or con, made good points. It is clear that there are good elements and bad elements about the creation of trust lands in Alaska for both the Tribes and the State,” said Attorney General Craig Richards. “But ultimately this is a fundamental change to a law that has been in place for over 30 years, and a change of that magnitude requires thorough and deliberative dialogue that can’t occur in just a matter of months. The current legal question will continue before the courts, but the State’s policy position will also continue to develop in dialogue with the citizens of Alaska, including Tribes.”

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Law Firm Offers Pro Bono Representation

Alaska NewsAugust 26, 2015 ANCHORAGE – On Tuesday, Governor Walker announced that he had accepted the offer of pro bono representation from the Anchorage law firm Dillon & Findley to defend the Governor’s actions to expand Medicaid in Alaska.

Dillon & Findley is a boutique law firm that specializes in complex litigation, including medical legal work and tax litigation. Ray Brown, who has worked as an attorney with the firm for the past 23 years, reached out to the Governor’s office last week with the offer.

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Peratrovich Nominated for Ten Dollar Bill

Alaska NewsAugust 14, 2015 JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott sent letters to the U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew today, nominating Elizabeth Peratrovich to be featured on the redesigned ten dollar bill. This effort follows the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement in May that it would be selecting a woman recognized by the public as a champion for democracy in the United States to be featured on the next ten dollar bill.

“It is with great conviction and admiration that I nominate Elizabeth Peratrovich as the woman featured on the redesigned United States ten dollar bill,” said Governor Walker. “Elizabeth was a driving force for civil rights in Alaska, and played an instrumental role making Alaska the nation’s first organized government to end legal discrimination – nearly twenty years before passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. She is a true hero of American democracy.”

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Governor Launches Review of Corrections

Alaska NewsGovernor Bill Walker announced yesterday that his office recently began an administrative review on the Alaska Department of Corrections to look for ways to improve department policies and ensure inmate safety. The review is being led by Dean Williams, former Superintendent of the McLaughlin Youth Center and Special Assistant to Governor Walker, and Joe Hanlon, a retired Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I have been looking for ways to improve Department of Corrections’ operations since my first day in office, and this review is the critical next step to appropriately address these matters,” said Governor Walker. “I have assigned Dean Williams and Joe Hanlon to lead this administrative review because their experience in the criminal justice and corrections systems will allow them to better comprehend the information presented and provide valuable analysis of the department’s policies.”

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Alaska 2035 Long Range Transportation Policy Plan Update

Alaska NewsThe Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) is updating the statewide long-range transportation plan (LRTP), which will provide future direction for our highways, aviation, transit, rail, marine, bicycle, and pedestrian transportation. The LRTP, written with agency and public collaboration, will develop Alaska’s transportation priorities based on the common interests and needs of stakeholders statewide.

The Plan aligns with the state’s policy direction, addresses statewide needs for all modes of transportation, communicates issues, and prioritizes solutions. The LRTP guides regional and area planning processes, which identify and prioritize local solutions and identify resources required to implement those solutions.

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DOT&PF responds to flooding on Glenn Highway near Sutton, Alaska

Alaska NewsAlaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) Commissioner Mark Luiken signed an Emergency Determination today allowing the DOT&PF to respond to the rapidly deteriorating river erosion and flooding situation on the Glenn Highway at Milepost 64 near Sutton, Alaska.

The Matanuska River has risen to flood levels near the community of Sutton due to recent rainfall and excessive glacier runoff in recent days, threatening the Glenn Highway. Approximately 50 feet of river bank has been washed away since Friday, July 24. DOT&PF hydrologists and maintenance and operations personnel assessing the site this week determined that the rising water poses a threat to the Glenn Highway.

DOT&PF personnel are issuing an emergency procurement allowing the department to hire a contractor to begin necessary construction work this week.

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Quake shakes Southcentral

Alaska NewsAn earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.34 shook South central at 6:35 p.m., 56 miles (90 km) WNW of Homer. No injuries or damages have been reported.

Source: AEIC
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