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.


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. 

Bering Sea Storm Starts to Peter Out

Saturday, November 08 2014

After a late-night squall, Unalaska saw clear skies Saturday morning. (Lauren Rosenthal/KUCB)

A potent low-pressure system is quickly losing power over the Bering Sea. 

From the western Aleutian Islands to the Pribilofs, National Weather Service meteorologist Shaun Baines says "everybody has seen the worst of it." 

"Originally, all indications were that this low was going to progress a little bit further into the Bering Sea before it slowed down," Baines says.

That would have made for rougher seas and higher winds near Adak and Atka. Instead, the storm stalled out in the southwest Bering Sea. 

No Records, But Abundance of Caution As Storm Hits

Friday, November 07 2014

Cargo ships have scattered to avoid the storm in the western Bering Sea. (Courtesy of Marine Exchange of Alaska)

After a week of warnings, a heavy-duty storm washed into the Bering Sea early Friday morning.

Hurricane-force winds smacked the far western Aleutian Islands. And while the storm has disrupted life at sea, it’s expected to start losing power fast.

As the storm approached Friday morning, it became clear that it wouldn’t be entering the record books.

Bering Sea Communities Brace for Incoming Storm

Thursday, November 06 2014

The remnants of Typhoon Nuri are heading across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. (Courtesy of NWS)

The Aleutian and Pribilof islands are no stranger to strong winds and rough seas.

That's exactly what the region will see on Friday, when a high-powered storm hits the Bering Sea.

Seas of up to 50 feet are forecast on the open water, and winds could gust up to 90 miles per hour in the western Aleutian Islands.

Now, coastal communities are gearing up to face the front -- hopefully, without fear. 

Massive Typhoon Bears Down on Aleutian Islands

Tuesday, November 04 2014

Typhoon Nuri is expected to reach Shemya and Attu on Friday. (Courtesy of National Weather Service)

An Alaska-sized storm could bring high winds and destructive waves to the Aleutian and Pribilof islands this weekend.

"This low-pressure system is going to be the size of two-thirds of the United States," says Matthew Clay. He's been tracking the storm for the National Weather Service. 

Right now, Typhoon Nuri is churning off the coast of Japan. It's been downgraded from a super storm. But Clay says it's going to gather steam once it hits the jet stream and starts traveling across the Pacific Ocean.

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