M/V Tustumena Hits Snag in Shipyard

Monday, April 20 2015

Courtesy of Nancy Heise

Southwest residents will have to wait a little longer for the Tustumena ferry to make its return to the region.

The Tusty's first trips in May -- including a run down the Aleutian Chain -- have been canceled due to delays in shipyard.

The vessel was only supposed to undergo minor repairs in Ketchikan this winter. But Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeremy Woodrow says the aging ferry needed some extra help.

Facing Budget Cuts, Aleutians East to Close Cold Bay School

Friday, April 10 2015

The playground at the Cold Bay School. (Courtesy: Kerry Burkhardt)

The Aleutians East Borough is closing its second school in three years. The school board voted this week to shut down the Cold Bay School, with state budget cuts looming and enrollment on the decline.

Local parents are worried the closure could put the tiny community in jeopardy.

The Cold Bay School has had fewer than 10 students for four years now. That means it no longer receives state funding, and the Aleutians East Borough School District has been paying for Cold Bay on its own.

Entrepreneur Pitches "Fish Franks" As Key to Recovery in St. George

Tuesday, March 17 2015

The Aleutian Marketplace contest was designed to gather ideas and provide funding for new start-up businesses around the Bering Sea.

As the competition heads into its second round, one winner is asking for extra support -- and a chance to turn his recipe for success into the real thing.

"It’s called Captain K Fish Franks," says inventor Kristjan Laxfoss. "But it’s just like a hot dog."

USCG, Public Safety to Stage Shooting Drill

Thursday, March 12 2015

The active shooter drill was proposed by the crew of the USCG cutter Munro. (Pipa Escalante/KUCB)

The Coast Guard is teaming up with emergency personnel in Unalaska to practice their response to a mass shooting on the docks -- in one of the region’s busiest ports.

On Friday afternoon, a lone gunman will approach the Coast Guard cutter Munro at its berth in the City Dock and begin firing off blanks.

Radio Stations Weigh Rural Impact of Proposed Public Media Cut

Thursday, March 05 2015

Dillingham-based public radio station KDLG covers a rural area the size of Ohio. (Courtesy: KDLG)

Public radio and TV in Alaska could lose $2.5 million next year if a proposed state budget cut goes through.

It would be a small reduction compared to the overall deficit legislators need to close.

But it would eliminate more than half of the funding public media gets from the state.

As lawmakers try to spare towns with only one source for broadcast information, KUCB's Annie Ropeik reports that distinction might not be so easy to make. 

P/V Stimson Likely to Move From Unalaska to Kodiak

Tuesday, March 03 2015

(Courtesy: Alaska Wildlife Troopers)

The state is once again looking to move the Wildlife Trooper patrol vessel Stimson from Unalaska to Kodiak. And this year, the change seems poised to go through.

Officials in Unalaska fought hard to hang on to the troopers’ biggest vessel when the move was on the table a year ago. But this time around, city manager Chris Hladick says they’ve had to reconsider their priorities.

"I just don’t see us, with this budget climate, being able to save everything," Hladick says.

Interior Dept. Appoints New Leader for Offshore Energy

Thursday, December 18 2014

The federal agency that regulates offshore oil drilling is about to get a new leader.

Abigail Hopper has been named director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, according to a report from FuelFix

Hopper has spent several years running the Maryland Energy Administration. She recently worked on a project to set up wind energy farms off Maryland’s shore -- leading to a federal lease sale in August.

Coast Guard Phases Out of Oryong 501 Search

Tuesday, December 09 2014

The Coast Guard cutters Munro and Alex Haley have been helping search for the missing crew of the sunk trawler Oryong 501 in the western Bering Sea. (Credit: Diana Honings/USCG)

The Coast Guard is preparing to pull back from a search effort in the Western Bering Sea, a week after a fishing vessel sank there with dozens of people on board.

Rescuers have found 27 deceased crew members from the South Korean pollock boat since last week. Twenty-six are still missing. Others were rescued just after the Oryong 501 was hit by a wave, flooded and sank.

Search Goes On for Missing Crew of Sunk Pollock Boat

Wednesday, December 03 2014

An undated photo of the Oryong 501. (via Korea Times)

Rescuers have recovered the bodies of 11 more crew members from a South Korean pollock boat that sank in the Bering Sea on Monday. 

The U.S. Coast Guard has been helping Russian officials and good Samaritan fishing vessels look for survivors from the Oryong 501. The trawler was hit by a wave, and sank in Russian waters northwest of St. Matthew Island.

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