Jan. 2, 2009 — Was it a meteor falling from space?

Officials think that might be what residents saw shooting through the Alaska sky near Tok Monday afternoon.

A tremendous explosion, like a sonic boom, drew people outside, where they watched irregular contrails scribe a path in a clear sky.

At her home four miles west of Tok, Kathy Olding was loading a large sled with firewood to haul to her house when she was startled by an explosion. Peering out from the tarp-covered wood pile, she saw even her imperturbable Chesapeake Bay retriever, Journey, was on edge, ears cocked.

“I could kind of hear it still rumbling, like thunder,” she recalled. “I thought, what in the world?”


Jan. 2, 1994 — JUNEAU — Here’s the dilemma: How do you cut the budget, raise taxes, deplete most of the state’s savings or do all three without offending voters and losing your seat in the Alaska Legislature?

“The No. 1 issue that’s in the back of every legislator’s mind is this is going to be an election year and a bad budget year,” political consultant Tom Begich said. “Whenever you put those things together, it doesn’t come up roses for incumbents.”

Former lawmaker Fritz Pettyjohn said he does not envy the members of the 18th Alaska Legislature as they prepare to convene Jan. 10 in Juneau.

“This has all the earmarks of the session from hell,” he said.


Jan. 2, 1969 — Low temperature records fell like icicles yesterday and today, and a frozen, fog-shrouded Fairbanks faced the possibility of a low of 65 below zero tonight, just one degree above the all-time low record of 66 below recorded on Jan. 14, 1934.

There was no relief in sight from the bone-chilling, paralyzing cold, the Weather Bureau reported.

Adding to the misery of the cold was dense ice fog with all its attendant problems — low visibility, curtailment of air service and hazardous driving conditions.


The News-Miner did not publish on this date. Here is an item from Dec. 31, 1943 — Funds have been approved and assigned to the Federal Housing Authority for construction of a 72-bed transient hotel in a semi-permanent building in Fairbanks, City Councilman John Clark was informed from Washington yesterday.

Plans have already been approved, except for a minor change in the heating system, and construction of the emergency structure may be expected to begin in a matter of days, according to Mr. Clark, who has been acting for the city in handling details of the project.