State and local briefly

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2000

Sun returns to Barrow today

BARROW - After an absence of more than two months, Barrow residents will get a brief glimpse of the sun today - weather permitting, that is.

The U.S. Naval Observatory said the sun is scheduled to rise above the horizon at 1:13 p.m. and drop back down again at 2:06 p.m.

The sun was last seen in Barrow on Nov. 19.

Chuck Evans of the National Weather Service in Barrow said partly cloudy skies and cold temperatures were expected today in the nation's northernmost city.

The sunrise is the inspiration for a 4-mile ``Run to the Sun'' running race that starts at 1 p.m.

KTVA-TV sold to MediaNews Group

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage's No. 2 television station announced Friday it has reached an agreement to be bought by the newspaper publishing company that owns the daily papers in Fairbanks and Kodiak.

KTVA owner Robert Gottstein said MediaNews Group Inc. has agreed to buy his shares in the station for a price he wouldn't disclose. Gottstein owns 42 percent of the station.

Denver-based MediaNews Group said it also has an option to buy KTVF, the NBC affiliate in Fairbanks. KTVF and KTVA were sister stations until Gottstein sold the Fairbanks operation to Seattle-based Ackerley Group in August 1998.

Gottstein bought out Alaska broadcasting pioneer Augie Hiebert's stake in Northern Television Inc. in early 1997, and then invested millions of dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to close the news ratings gap between KTVA and long-time market leader KTUU-TV.

State sides with union firefighters

FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Labor Relations Agency has sided with the Fairbanks firefighters union in a dispute with the city over a grievance filed on behalf of a wrongfully terminated firefighter trying to regain his job.

The agency ordered the city to stop threatening the firefighters union and its agent with legal damages.

The city, which claims the board erred in finding that its actions violated state unfair labor practices law, has appealed the decision in Fairbanks Superior Court.

The matter arises from a July 1998 letter sent by Deputy City Attorney John Eberhart to union agent Mark Drygas that rejected a grievance filed by the union on behalf of firefighter Lee Despain.

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