News Director

Lauren joined KUCB as a summer intern, and stuck around to work as a producer and reporter. She now covers transportation, local politics, Arctic shipping, unexploded ordnance, and much more.

In the past, Lauren has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Conservation Minnesota. She is a product of western Washington State.


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.

Planning Board to Weigh Public Nuisance Penalties

Thursday, December 18 2014

Unalaska’s planning commission will meet tonight to discuss new tools for responding to public nuisances.

That’s what it’s called when a resident breaks local rules on land use, zoning, or property maintenance. The city has the authority to fine residents $300 for those offenses.

Pollock Limit Set to Rise In 2015

Monday, December 15 2014

Although there's plenty of fish in the water, the Bering Sea's biggest fishery won't get too much bigger in 2015. 

The federal board charged with setting catch limits agreed to put 3 percent more pollock -- or 1.31 million metric tons -- up for harvest next year.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council set the limit this weekend during a meeting in Anchorage. The industry stakeholders and regulators on the board were presented with new data, which shows a substantial increase in the biomass of pollock. 

Unalaska Raiders Make a Splash at State

Monday, December 15 2014

The Unalaska Raiders made a strong showing this weekend at two state championship tournaments in Anchorage.

The girls’ volleyball team overcame an early loss against Koliganek to shut out Hooper Bay. The Raiders notched another victory against Kenny Lake, finishing in fourth place overall.

Unalaska has been a strong performer in the 2A Borealis conference over the last few years. The Raiders took second place in 2013 after a hard-fought game against Su Valley. But Su Valley was absent from the state finals this weekend. The championship title went to Klawock.

For Better Storm Warnings, NWS Goes Local

Thursday, November 20 2014

The morning after a major storm passed over Unalaska, mechanic Dale Miller stopped into CarQuest auto supply. (Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB)

Predicting storms in a fast-changing environment isn’t easy.

But the National Weather Service is slowly working on a plan to improve their forecasts in Alaska -- and across the country -- by adding in the view from the ground.

Dale Miller has weathered a lot of storms since he moved to Unalaska 12 years ago.

Senators Seek to Extend Deckwash Exemption

Thursday, November 20 2014

A pair of coastal senators -- including Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski -- are racing against the clock to extend an environmental exemption for small-boat fishermen.

Right now, vessel operators aren’t required to hold permits for spilling bilge water or deckwash if their boats are less than 79 feet long. But that waiver is set to expire next month. Legislation that would have made it permanent has stalled out in Congress.

UniSea President Passes Away at 67

Monday, November 17 2014

Courtesy of UniSea

The president of Unalaska's biggest processing company has passed away. Terry Shaff, 67, died this weekend shortly after he began treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Shaff served as UniSea's top executive for 16 years. But his first job at the company was on the ground in Unalaska. When Shaff arrived in the early 1990s, the company was still breaking down fish on a barge.

"It just started out as almost like a remote fish camp and [he] built it right up into a city," says Chris Plaisance, UniSea's corporate human resources director. 

Former Westward Employees Jailed for Air Pollution

Friday, November 14 2014

An alleged cover-up involving air pollution at the Westward Seafoods plant in Unalaska has landed two former employees in jail.

James Hampton, 45, has been sentenced to 70 days in prison. Hampton was the engineer who used to oversee Westward’s powerhouse -- and a system for reducing nitrogen dioxide emissions from it. But a federal investigation revealed that equipment was hardly ever used between 2009 and 2011 on Hampton’s watch.

Horizon Lines to Sell Alaska Operations

Wednesday, November 12 2014

Horizon Lines has operated from the Unalaska Marine Center for more than 20 years. (Annie Ngo/KUCB)

After years of financial trouble, Horizon Lines has announced plans to sell off its routes in Alaska and Hawaii.

Horizon has accrued more than half a billion dollars' worth of debt. Chief financial officer Michael Avara says they tried refinancing and restructing, but it just wasn’t sustainable.

Driver Walks Away from Flipped Truck

Tuesday, November 11 2014

Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB

A patch of black ice claimed a truck on Airport Beach Road Tuesday morning, without seriously hurting its driver.

The man was heading toward the airport when the car in front of him started to turn into the LFS parking lot. The driver of the green Chevy 4x4 tried to slow down, but he lost control on the slick roads.

"He slid into the ditch, hit and rolled," says police sergeant Bill Simms.

While the driver did have some injuries to his face, Simms said the man decided to take himself to the clinic for treatment. 

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