Valdez Insider
 
Question ofthe Week
What percentage of your holiday shopping is done?
  25%
  50%
  100%
 
View Results
Local News

LEGO ROBTICS

Have you heard the great news about the Bananabots, Super Brotatoes and Red Hot Robot Masters?  These names belong to three LEGO robotics teams in Valdez, and all three teams performed extremely well at a recent “virtual” qualifying event last Saturday, December 6th at George Gilson Middle School (GGMS).   It was a “virtual” event for the Bananabots from GGMS and the Super Brotatoes and Red Hot Robot Masters from Hermon Hutchens Elementary (HHES) because they competed via video conferencing along with four LEGO teams in North Slope communities.   At this event, all three Valdez teams earned top honors in 3 categories: robot performance, robot design and core values/teamwork.   This is the fourth year for LEGO robotics in Valdez, yet it is the first year that 30 students have been able to participate instead of being limited to 10 team members.  All of the team members and coaches would like to thank the community sponsors who have allowed us to reach our current level of success and student involvement:  United Way of Valdez, Copper Valley Electric Association, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Petro Star, and most importantly, the Valdez City School District.  Here are some highlights from each team.
The Bananabots, an eleven person team coached by Officer Baczuk, has practiced for a number of weeks now and has overcome a variety of obstacles to include a new location and newly formed team. Team members really stepped up the quality of their practices in the weeks leading up to the tournament. They displayed a high level of cooperation, commitment, and innovation which ultimately led to them winning the robot performance competition as well as coming in first place for the overall qualifying event.  The team would like to thank Mr. Morrison and Mrs. Franciosi for all of their support and efforts, as well as Mr. Langseth and the wood shop students for sharing their space with us. A big thanks to the Valdez City Schools district office and custodial staff as well!
The Super Brotatoes and Red Hot Robot Masters, coached by Erica Shirk and Cynthia Shidner, earned top awards thanks to the teamwork skills and the creative minds of both teams. Super Brotatoes won the “core values” award for their teamwork and cooperation.  The Red Hot Robot Masters wowed the judges with their creative attachments in the area of robot design.   Both teams would like to thank Mrs. Reese and Mr. Nygaard for their “above and beyond” support of our LEGO robotics program as well as a huge thank you to Jason Caudle for ensuring that our technology was top notch during the virtual event.
All three teams are working hard to prepare for the statewide “First LEGO League” competition in Fairbanks, which will take place on February 7th, 2015.  At this event, the Valdez teams will compete against 35 LEGO robotics teams in four categories:  robot design, robot performance, team “core values” and a real-life project related to this year’s theme about improving education.     We are very proud of how our LEGO robotics team members have represented our community of Valdez for the fourth year in a row. Thank you again to all of the community sponsors of our teams!

CLICK HERE to view Lego Robotic teams
SENIOR AND VETERAN TAX EXEMPTION
Public notice from the City of Valdez - The FY 2015 Senior Citizen and Disabled Veteran Tax Exemption Applications and Community Purpose Exemption Applications are now available at City Hall. Qualified applicants may obtain an application from City Hall or on the City’s website. 
Applications must be filed with the City Clerk’s office no later than
January 15, 2015
.

 CLICK HERE for more information.
CLICK HERE for the tax exemption application

 For further information, please contact the City Clerk's office at 834-3468 or ahendrickson@ci.valdez.ak.us
GMS GREAT HALLOWEEN GIVEBACK
Mrs. Haase-Bushong challenged her students to lead Gilson Middle School in the Great Halloween Giveback Challenge. As a result the students donated over 500 plus items for the Valdez Food Bank and Animal Shelter this year. Haase-Bushong's 6th grade class was the overall winner of the class competition
KVAK TV
News Watch
Anchorage Daily News
Real Christmas trees better for environment, says Sweden’s farmers union
Avoid plastic trees, and take steps to keep your real trees fresh and useful, an expert advises. 
Ruble collapse hits Finland; Forex stops buying Russian currency
Russia's currency and economic woes, which go beyond anything that country's central bank can fix, are already being felt in Finland
Northern Sea Route traffic plummets
The volume of cargo shipped through the Arctic route fell by 77 percent this year, and some experts say potential for ship traffic has been overstated.
Annual Arctic Report Card details continued warming on land and sea
While the Arctic in 2014 continued its long-term warming, much of the rest of the world was struck by wacky and extreme weather, and studies are underway to determine whether the trends are related, said scientists who released an annual report on the Arctic on Wednesday. 
Ruble crash expected to hurt cross-border trade
The free-fall of the ruble -- and the Russian recession that is expected next year -- will create hardships for neighboring areas of Norway that depend on Russian customers. 
Fresh saline pulse reinvigorates Baltic Sea
The storm-driven inflow of oxygen-rich, salty water will improve circulation and might boost fish stocks, an environmental expert says. 
Russia to follow Denmark with Arctic shelf claim in March
The Russian government, interested in expanding territory for oil and gas production, also has designs on the North Pole but says it can work out its differences with Denmark.
Sweden and Denmark protest to Russia; Finnish planes evade Russian jets
Officials in three Nordic countries have taken steps to respond to aggressive aerial moves by the Russian military...
Sami character keyboard app released
A new app makes it easy to send texts in the indigenous languages used in northern Scandinavia. 
Tourism boom in North Norway
Visitation to the northern Norway is up by about 10 percent this year, as more people want to see the northern lights in winter and midnight sun in summer. 
Fairbanks Daily News
Coast Guard rescues stranded Alaska hunter
KODIAK, Alaska - The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued a hunter who was stranded on Chichagof Island in Alaska after he was separated from his hunting party.
New director plans Alaska's Medicaid expansion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska's new Medicaid expansion project director plans to extend health care coverage to some of Alaska's lowest-income residents.
Alaska airman gets 18-year sentence for DUI death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska airman has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for a drunken driving collision that took the life of a 20-year-old woman.
Ishmael Hope releases his first book of poetry
JUNEAU, Alaska - Ishmael Hope spent six years putting together his first collection of poetry, "Courtesans of Flounder Hill," a period of time in which the manuscript went through many changes - as di
Alaska State Troopers boost patrols for holidays
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska State Troopers say they are boosting patrols to enforce drunken driving laws during the holidays.
All-terrain wheelchair connects disabled woman with outdoors
SOLDOTNA, Alaska - On her wooded property outside of Soldotna, Jill Erickson had a hill which, until recently, she had never been to the top of.
Man indicted in shooting death of Alaska prosecutor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A man accused of shooting an Alaska prosecutor in a jealous rage over a woman was indicted on murder charges by a grand jury.
Skier digs head out of snow after Alaska avalanche
ANCHORAGE, Alaska  - An Alaska backcountry skier walked away uninjured after being completely buried under a 350-foot-wide avalanche, and survived because he was initially able to dig his head out of
Rule allows trust status for Alaska tribal lands
ANCHORAGE, Alaska  - Tribes in Alaska are applauding a regulation that allows them to apply for federal trust status for their lands.
Arctic offshore drill company enters guilty pleas
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The company hired by Royal Dutch Shell PLC in 2012 to drill on petroleum leases in the Arctic Ocean pleaded guilty Friday to eight felony environmental and maritime crimes.
Weird weather lingers in Alaska's largest city
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A week before Christmas, Alaska's largest city should look like a postcard wonderland, and the last place you'd expect to see equipment making snow.
Alaska minimum wage increase to take effect Feb 24
JUNEAU, Alaska - Alaska's minimum wage will go up by a $1 an hour, to $8.75 an hour, starting Feb. 24.
Juneau officials cut state funding request list
JUNEAU, Alaska - Juneau officials are whittling down a list of state funding requests amid potential state budget deficits of more than $3 billion for both this year and next due to low oil prices.
Feds sue to recover costs of sunken vessel in Cordova
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The federal government is suing the owner of a 117-foot boat that sank in a commercial fishing port in Alaska and was cleaned up at public expense.
Alaska marijuana activist in dispute with business neighbor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A former Alaska television reporter who quit her job on-air and vowed to work toward legalizing marijuana is involved in a dispute with a business neighbor that's prompted a flurry
31 mushers sign up for Kuskokwim 300
BETHEL, Alaska - Thirty-one mushers have signed up for the Kuskokwim 300 next month.
Group to provide rural dog care in southwest Alaska villages
BETHEL, Alaska  - A nonprofit veterinary group will provide free spay and neutering services for dogs in two Yukon-Kuskokwim villages this week.
Arctic keeps warming and polar bears are feeling the heat
Air temperatures at the top of the world continue to rise twice as fast as temperatures in lower latitudes, causing significant ice melt on land and sea, and affecting populations of polar bear and mi
Gas pipeline coordinator office in Alaska to close
JUNEAU, Alaska - The office of the federal coordinator for Alaska gas pipeline projects is shutting down after not being included in the budget bill that Congress recently passed.
Alaska ferry project caught in flap over U.S. steel
JUNEAU, Alaska - A U.S. requirement that American steel be used to update an Alaska ferry terminal is causing some tension with Canadian officials, potentially threatening the project.
Juneau health clinic faces staffing challenges
JUNEAU, Alaska - A Juneau health center that faced closure earlier this year over funding now is struggling to keep top positions filled.
Man sentenced to 99 years in Anchorage hotel shooting death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A fired worker was sentenced to 99 years in prison after pleading guilty in the shooting death of his former supervisor at an Anchorage hotel.
Alaskan reported dead in small plane crash in Montana
Updated:
Soldotna man gets prison time for tax evasion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A 60-year-old Soldotna man gets 16 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for federal tax crimes.
Man charged in death of woman found near Anchorage park
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Anchorage grand jury has indicted a man in the death of a woman whose body was found near a municipal park.
PODCASTS

VHS Wrestlers



Flynn Farewell



Melissa Reese



Valdez weather