Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 31, 2016


Officials response to two kitchen-related fire alarms
Firefighters and police responded to two kitchen-related fire alarms Sunday, one of which was the most recent of ongoing spate of incidents where an intoxicated person fell asleep while cooking something in the early morning hours, according to The Governor of Svalbard. The first alarm was triggered Sunday morning when a plastic container left near an active hot plate ignited when the person in the apartment fell asleep, said Police Chief Lt. Vidar Arnesen. “A case has been established, and there will likely be a fine from us and a fee from the fire department,” Arnesen said. The second incident occurred at about 5 p.m. when a person discovered smoke and flames coming from the oven. “We must examine whether there was anything technically wrong with the oven,” Arnesen said. “It looks like the fire started in the fan at the rear of the stove.”

Record number of runners expected at annual marathon
A record number of participants are expected in the 22nd annual Spitsbergen Marathon on Saturday. “When it comes to registration we are 40 ahead of schedule,” said Silje M. Hagen, an official with Svalbard Turn, which organizes the event. “Last year we had 200 participants at this time, while we so far this year there are 240 entrants.” A total of 252 people participated in full-marathon, half-marathon and 10K courses last year. Hagen said race organizers have stepped up their efforts to promote the race and improve the course, including daily checks of the roads to ensure there are no unexpected holes or uneven surfaces.

Book about Longyearbyen School finally finished
A book about the history of Longyearbyen School is finally being released nearly a decade after work on it started and six years after the originally scheduled completion date. The original 1.1 million kroner in total funding eventually ballooned to 1.75 million during the stop-and-stop authoring process, with city officials acknowledging at one point the original project was overly ambitious.