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Alaska News

Manley Hot Springs fire chief resigns after using racial slur on Facebook

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: February 2
  • Published February 2

The chief of the Manley Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department resigned Thursday after a newspaper reported that he used a racial slur on Facebook.

On Thursday, Terry Russell stepped down as the chief of the Manley Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Department and as a board member for the Interior Region EMS Council. (Screenshot Interior Region EMS Council website)

Terry Russell also resigned from the board of the Interior Region Emergency Medical Services Council, a Fairbanks-based nonprofit, board chair Scott Learned confirmed.

Learned said Russell sent his resignation in an email Thursday night. The council had been investigating a Facebook comment from Russell's account after a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reporter inquired about the post Wednesday.

The News-Miner later published an article about the post. It said Russell commented on an article written by longtime Alaska journalist Dermot Cole about Ohio lawmakers asking President Trump to change the official name of Denali back to Mount McKinley.

The comment from Russell's Facebook account read, "yes sir its alway been and always will Mt McKinley to me, not n—-r Mt ."

The comment was later deleted, the News-Miner reported.

"I just made a mistake; that's all," Russell said when reached by phone Friday. "One word — that's all it takes."

Manley Hot Springs is a small village roughly 100 miles west of Fairbanks.

Russell said he volunteered with the fire department for 13 years, serving as chief for five or six of those years. He was elected to the board of the Interior Region EMS Council in 2016.

Russell said he did not earn a salary in either of those positions.

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