Feb. 20, 2011 — JUNEAU — The state railroad has asked the Legislature to double a 2010 grant of $40 million to help it bridge the Tanana River near Salcha, a request that could make — or, left unfulfilled, break — the project.

Local and state lawmakers suggested the request may not fly, particularly if it would mean sacrificing other projects proposed for Interior Alaska.

The Alaska Railroad Corp. had already secured a $104 million promise from the U.S. Department of Defense and Congress before the Legislature last year ponied up $40 million to help. It was thought the money would all-but fund a bridge and levee expected to collectively cost $160 million.

But the project’s price tag grew early this w inter to between $186 million and $207 million, and officials for the railroad said they’ve submitted a $44 million request to Juneau.

Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, said the Interior Delegation would need to sacrifice other priorities if they w ant to push for more bridge money. Other interests in Interior Alaska — the university, schools and libraries, for example — would see less collective support, he said.



Feb. 20, 1996 — Hey Dad! Look what I figured out. The sum of any two consecutive integers is equal to the difference between their squares.

Meet Wes Gregory, a homeschooler and winner of the Fairbanks-region MATHCOUNTS competition.

During one of his frequent late-night dances through math problems, the 13-year-old discovered on his own what is actually a common factoring formula. For instance: 3+ 4= 7, and the difference between 3² (9) and 4² (16) is also 7.

“I tried it on about five or 10 different numbers,” said Wes, who at the time was working on problems using the Pythagorean Theorem (A² + B² = C²). “I just got really excited.”



Feb. 20, 1971 — U.S. Rep. Nick Begich, in Fairbanks yesterday to listen to his constituents, spent a full day making speeches, chatting, and talking, and hardly stopped a minute for a breath of air.

Begich met with the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at 11 a.m., and told them his views on Native land claims, the pipeline, flood control projects, making Congress more democratic, freight rates, shared revenue, and the Fairbanks railroad spur.

The chamber board did have several requests to make of Begich, and he indicated a favorable reaction to them.

President Al Parrish asked what the chamber could do to help fight the provision in the Senate Native land claims bill for an additional five year land freeze.

Begich replied that he thought the chamber’s plan to fly to Seattle to meet with Sen. Henry M. Jackson, D-Wash., was a good one. Jackson is the author of the Senate bill.



Feb. 20, 1946 — Local grocery stores and other shops will be closed Friday in observance of Washington’s Birthday, it was announced here today by local merchants. Stores will reopen Saturday, however, rather than take a three-day holiday at this time. Banks and government offices will be closed Friday.

The Fairbanks Clinic will be closed, although Dr. Paul Haggland expressed regret that the Father of His Country couldn’t have been born during the fishing season.

Members of the Elks Lodge have canceled their meeting for Friday evening and the Junior Chamber of Commerce will postpone its regular luncheon meeting.