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Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The private utility that serves 1,110 Fairbanks customers with natural gas disputes the notion that state regulation of its rates will mean lower costs for consumers.

Fairbanks Natural Gas said Monday it wants a 6.92 percent rate increase, filing a cost study and other documents with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska in which it makes the case that it should be allowed to collect $1.4 million more from its customers under standard utility practice.

A consultant who prepared an analysis for the company argued that FNG deserves an overall return of 11.92 percent “relative to a hypothetical capital structure” of 40 percent long-term debt and 60 percent equity...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The state fiscal year ended Monday, with oil production for the year averaging more than 529,000 barrels a day, only slightly less than the preceding year and beating the projections offered by the state Department of Revenue earlier this year.

Supporters of the Senate Bill 21 oil tax cut will argue that the decline of less than half of 1 percent from the preceding fiscal year shows North Slope oil production has stabilized, thanks to the cut, with average daily oil production nearly equaling the 531,600 barrels per day pumped in fiscal year 2013...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The most effective flood insurance policy in Fairbanks can be found 17 miles east of the city, about 35 river miles along the meandering Chena River.

It takes the form of an unusual dam with four 30-ton gates that operate like giant garage doors, stemming the flow of high water when the river rises. The floodgates are one element in an extensive federal flood control project that cost a quarter-billion dollars by the time of its completion in 1979.

The Army Corps of Engineers activated the dam last Saturday for the 20th time since 1981, partially closing the floodgates to keep water out of downtown Fairbanks...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The most effective flood insurance policy in Fairbanks can be found 17 miles east of the city, about 35 river miles along the meandering Chena River.

It takes the form of an unusual dam with four 30-ton gates that operate like giant garage doors, stemming the flow of high water when the river rises. The floodgates are one element in an extensive federal flood control project that cost a quarter-billion dollars by the time of its completion in 1979.

The Army Corps of Engineers activated the dam last Saturday for the 20th time since 1981, partially closing the floodgates to keep water out of downtown Fairbanks...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- While the successful missile test over the Pacific Sunday increases the likelihood for a $1 billion addition of 14 missiles at Fort Greely by 2017, the Missile Defense Agency hopes to start flight tests in 2018 of a "kill vehicle" that would replace those it plans to buy for the new missiles.

The question of whether it is worth spending $75 million per missile on a kill vehicle -- a device with sensors and an on-board computer intended to hone in on a target high above the Earth -- that the Pentagon says should be replaced by 2020 continues to divide supporters and critics of the missile defense system...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- While the successful missile test over the Pacific Sunday increases the likelihood for a $1 billion addition of 14 missiles at Fort Greely by 2017, the Missile Defense Agency hopes to start flight tests in 2018 of a "kill vehicle" that would replace those it plans to buy for the new missiles.

The question of whether it is worth spending $75 million per missile on a kill vehicle -- a device with sensors and an on-board computer intended to hone in on a target high above the Earth -- that the Pentagon says should be replaced by 2020 continues to divide supporters and critics of the missile defense system...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The state plans to move a 2,000-foot section of the Dalton Highway in 2017, hoping to delay a collision of geologic proportions.

A moving mass of frozen debris -- about 80 feet deep, 600 feet wide and a mile long -- continues to inch downhill toward the highway, both winter and summer, sweeping away everything in its path. Researchers theorize that the giant blob is sliding year-round atop a layer of water that remains a liquid despite the permafrost because it is under high pressure.

It may take five to 10 years for the "frozen debris lobe" to reach the road at its current pace of several inches per week, but a similar formation three miles away has been clocked at 125 feet a year, almost fast enough for someone to hear the rocks move...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS — The state plans to move a 2,000-foot section of the Dalton Highway in 2017, hoping to delay a collision of geologic proportions.

A moving mass of frozen debris — about 80 feet deep, 600 feet wide and a mile long — continues to inch downhill toward the highway, both winter and summer, sweeping away everything in its path. Researchers theorize that the giant blob is sliding year-round atop a layer of water that remains a liquid despite the permafrost because it is under high pressure.

It may take five to 10 years for the “frozen debris lobe” to reach the road at its current pace of several inches per week, but a similar formation three miles away has been clocked at 125 feet a year, almost fast enough for someone to hear the rocks move...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- The Missile Defense Agency declared a $200 million test a success Sunday morning, saying that a rocket launched from California collided with a target fired into space from the South Pacific, more than 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii.

"I am very proud of the government and industry team conducting the test today. Their professionalism and dedication made this test a success," Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, director of the agency, was quoted as saying in a press release.

The two missiles collided in space above the Pacific Ocean, destroying the target, an intermediate-range ballistic missile. The interceptor fired from California was a long-range ballistic missile. Some sources say the closing speed of the two projectiles is in the range of 22,000 mph...

Dermot Cole

FAIRBANKS -- A 29-foot satellite dish automatically locked on to a French satellite about 400 miles above the earth early Thursday afternoon.

The white parabolic dish, delicately balanced on its steel base with lead counter weights, traced a steady arc through the sky with no hint of vibration or rattling in its acrobatics.

Two electric motors, each with the power of a lawn mower, worked in opposition, holding the gears tight and keeping the center of the dish inching along, perfectly focused on a 1,500-pound satellite traveling at 17,000 mph...

Dermot Cole

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