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In Brief

February 9th 7:12 pm | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

College commission renews Ilisaġvik accreditation

By Shady Grove Oliver

The Arctic Sounder

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has renewed Iḷisaġvik College's accreditation once again.

Accreditation is gained through outside review and is important in that to earn it, a college must meet certain standards of quality and performance.

The renewal followed a seven-year evaluation during the fall of 2017, the college noted in a release.

"I know that when this college was first conceived, there were a lot of people who doubted that you could offer a quality education in such a remote area. We've proven that if your community wants education badly enough, it will give you the resources to do it no matter where you are located," wrote President Dr. Pearl Brower in the notice. "I could not be more proud of all the people who have contributed to our success. Quyanaqpak!"

In its evaluation, the commission highlighted some of the areas in which it felt the college was performing well. It noted the institution's master plan, leadership, accountability to its mission, and workforce development program. It also noted the college has consistently submitted timely audit reports that show it has been handling its money responsibly.

"The commission commends the college for its thoughtful use of limited resources, creative use of facilities, strategic alliances with community partners and extraordinary service to students both locally and in remote villages," it wrote in its notice.

This comes as the college is in the process of expanding its offerings, including the start of a new four-year degree program in business.

Troopers seek info on property damage

By Shady Grove Oliver

The Arctic Sounder

Alaska State Troopers are seeking information about an instance of vandalism in the village of Kobuk.

On Feb. 3, just after 2 p.m., the village police officer in town contacted the Kotzebue trooper post to report that someone had "poured salt into another person's snowmachine gas tank," troopers wrote in an online dispatch.

Salt can clog and damage a snowmachine's fuel system.

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact the Kotzebue trooper post at 907-442-3222.

Nominations open for notable volunteers

By Shady Grove Oliver

The Arctic Sounder

Nominations are now open for the 2018 First Lady's Volunteer of the Year Awards. These commendations are done annually by the state's First Lady Donna Walker.

"We have recognized some incredible individuals over the years, and it is my honor to continue this storied tradition," Walker said in a release. "Alaskans give so much of themselves for their communities, and they deserve recognition. I look forward to once again hearing about the amazing things happening across our state thanks to the great work of volunteers."

Then-First Lady Bella Hammond began the awards in 1975 with the goal of recognizing local volunteers who made significant contributions to their communities. It has continued ever since.

Nominations opened on Monday and will continue through the end of the business day on March 5. Anyone can submit a nomination online at Awardees will be announced at the end of May.

Kilo of hash oil seized in Prudhoe

By Shady Grove Oliver

The Arctic Sounder

Police seized just over a kilo, or two pounds, of butane hash oil (BHO) in Prudhoe Bay at the end of January.

The hash oil, or dabs, had an estimated street value of $100,000, according to the North Slope Borough Police Department.

Dabs are made by extracting cannabinoids using a solvent, like butane, from which it derives one of its names. The end result is a thick and sticky concentrated dose of cannabis oil which, when smoked, affects a person faster and stronger than straight marijuana.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Deadhorse Airport called police when they noticed "a suspicious smell emanating from a package in a checked bag." The bag was tagged as heading to Utqiaġvik and belonging to Anchorage resident Lynette P. Craig.

Inside it was 1,087.3 grams of the oil, which was then confiscated by the canine officer and detectives on scene.

Police did not specify whether or not Craig was accompanying her bag on the flight or if she was arrested at the time. However, they did note they have forwarded charges of fifth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance to the assistant district attorney for review. That charge is classified as a class A misdemeanor and may be punishable by a year of jail time and a $10,000 fine, the department noted.

In a release on the bust, the department asked anyone with information on the trafficking of illegal alcohol and drugs to contact a local officer or the police hotline at 1-800-478-3784.


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