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2:17pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Science & Environment

Scientists say funding cuts threaten Alaska tsunami preparedness

The federal government is proposing at least a million dollar reduction in funding for tsunami programs in Alaska.  The agency in charge says the cuts are necessary and won’t hurt the state’s tsunami preparedness, but some scientists and officials disagree.  They say the reduction in funding will weaken Alaska’s tsunami programs and leave the state’s coastal communities at risk.

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2:09pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Science & Environment

Seismic Stations Pick Up Cleveland Blast

Cleveland Volcano has blown its top again.  An explosion shook the restless Aleutian volcano at around 7 o’clock Wednesday night.  There’s no monitoring network on the volcano itself, but seismic stations as far away as Dillingham picked up the signal.

Alaska Volcano Observatory seismologist Steve McNutt says that like a similar explosion in December, Wednesday’s was relatively small.

“They were strong enough to generate a healthy signal that showed up on our instruments, but in terms of what Cleveland has done in the past, they’re relatively small.”

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10:49pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Science & Environment

Fukushima Disaster Tested Alaska's Radiation Monitoring Capability, Says New Report

(NADP)

Nearly a year ago, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan suffered a catastrophic meltdown after being damaged by a tsunami. In the wake of that disaster, the federal government put their radiation monitoring into gear and tracked fallout levels at 167 sites across the country. Now, the United States Geological Survey has issued a report releasing their final data, and as expected, some of the highest levels of radiation were detected at Alaska sites.

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6:07pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Industry

Snow Crabbers Request Season Extension

Sea ice is wreaking havoc on the Bering Sea snow crab harvest for the second time this season. 

It happened in a single day.  The ice was way up north, fishing was good, and then overnight the ice was everywhere, covering up pots, blocking harbors and generally causing problems for the crabbers.

National Weather Service ice forecaster Becky Legatt says the Bering Sea ice edge moved south more than 50 miles in a single day last week, effectively shutting down the fishing grounds.

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5:47pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Industry

Coast Guard Medevacs Man Struck by Cable

The National Museum of American History

In an incident eerily reminiscent of last week’s fatal accident aboard the Alaska Juris, a flying cable struck a crew member aboard the 327-foot pollock catcher-processor Alaska Ocean on Monday morning. 

The cable hit 47-year-old Franz D’Alquen in the head.  He was lifted from the ship by a passing Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter and taken to Cold Bay for medical transport.  Petty Officer Charly Hengen says D’Alquen’s condition is reported as stable.

5:19pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Regional

Judge Rules on Timeline for Steller Sea Lion Impact Statement

There won’t be an Atka mackerel or Pacific cod fishery in the western Aleutians until at least 2015.  U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess ruled Monday that the National Marine Fisheries Service would have 23 months to assess the impact of its Steller sea lion protection measures in the region.

The agency shut down the Atka mackerel and Pacific cod fisheries in 2011 after determining that they were adversely affecting the endangered western stock of Steller sea lions.  Fisheries groups and the State of Alaska sued NFMS over the closures. 

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4:44pm

Mon March 5, 2012
Sports

Raiders Win Some, Lose Some in Western Conference

It was a mixed bag for the Raiders at the Class 3A Western Conference in Anchorage.  The boys opened with a 50-38 win over Bethel on Wednesday, followed by a 59-34 loss against Barrow on Thursday.  The team rallied and managed to come back for a 45-37 win against the Kotzebue Huskies, only to lose the final game of the tournament by two points to the Nome Nanooks. 

That placed the boys fourth overall in the tournament.  They also won the sportsmanship award.  Players JJ Fernandez and Andrew Seman made the 10-person All-Tournament team.

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2:04pm

Fri March 2, 2012
Industry

Man Suffers Fatal Injury on Factory Trawler

(Andrew Lester/Shipspotting)

A 25-year-old man died aboard a fishing vessel on Thursday after being struck by a snapped cable.

The Coast Guard received a call Thursday morning that the F/V Alaska Juris was in need of a medevac for a crew member who had sustained a head injury. According to Petty Officer Charly Hengen, the Coast Guard launched two Jayhawk helicopters from Unalaska at 10:40am. Once on scene, a rescue swimmer lowered onto the vessel determined that Andrew Fotu of Seattle, Washington, was dead and could not be revived.  The accident is the first fishing vessel fatality of this year.

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1:37pm

Fri March 2, 2012
Science & Environment

Kanaga Alert Level Lowered

Kevin Bell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Kanaga Volcano is back to normal, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.  Scientists at the observatory lowered the alert level for the Aleutian volcano on Friday morning, saying in a release that, “the level of unrest has declined to background levels.”

On February 18 the Observatory issued an advisory after detecting tremors and a small ash cloud in the vicinity of Kanaga.  The volcano lies on a major international flight path and its last eruption in 1994 produced ash clouds that affected air travel to the nearby community of Adak. 

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11:59am

Fri March 2, 2012
Crime

Details Emerge in Homicide Case

Court documents concerning the murder of Jonathan Adams, a 55-year old seafood processor from Vancouver, Washington, tell the story of a fight spun horribly out of control.

Denison Soria, 40, of Unalaska, and Leonardo Bongolto, Jr., 34, of Maple Valley, Washington, stand accused of fatally beating their co-worker outside of the Bering Fisheries bunk house on Tuesday night. The two were arraigned yesterday, and they were both charged with murder in the first degree.

According to the criminal complaint, two individuals witnessed the incident and provided statements.

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8:17pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Sports

Raiders Beat Bethel in Conference Opener

The Unalaska boys basketball team opened with a strong performance at the Class 3A Western Conference in Anchorage.

The Raiders soundly beat Bethel in an upset on Wednesday. They won the game with a score of 50-38. JJ Fernandez was the team's lead scorer, with 20 points. On Thursday, they face off against Barrow.

Meanwhile, the Lady Raiders struggled in their first game. Kotzebue won the match 50-14.

Dillingham and Nome are also competing in the tournament.

3:52pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Industry

Coast Guard Promises Port Security for Dutch Harbor

The Coast Guard is gearing up for a busy Arctic drilling season this summer – and for the protesters that are expected to accompany it. 

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3:25pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Industry

Network Upgrade Causing TelAlaska Outages

If you’re a TelAlaska customer who’s been having trouble with the internet this week, you’re not alone.  Company spokesperson Celine Kaplan says the company has been doing upgrades to its network that are affecting internet services. Kaplan says information about the upgrades is proprietary, but added that it’s related to several new internet packages the company will be rolling out in the near future.  She couldn’t provide a definitive timeline for completion of the maintenance work, although she did say that it shouldn’t be affecting cellular service or cable television.

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2:50pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Crime

Two Men Face Murder Charges in Beating Death

Two men have been charged with homicide, after allegedly beating a co-worker to death.

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2:42pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Local Government

Scrap Metal Sparks Discussion at Council Meeting

What seemed like a routine budget amendment at Tuesday night's City Council meeting ended up resulting in a lengthy discussion about scrap metal disposal.  The amendment proposed transferring $60,000 from the general fund into a scrap metal removal fund.  In a memorandum to Council, City Manager Chris Hladick explained that the money would be used to pay a contractor to remove scrap metal from the landfill and the rest of the island this summer.  

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