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Zoë Sobel/KUCB

 

In Unalaska, it can cost more than $500 a month to heat a typical home in the winter. Because the treeless island is 1,000 miles from Anchorage, everything is shipped in — including heating oil. It’s the source of heat for the vast majority of houses in the city.

Unalaska resident Travis Swangel heats his small home on the island with a Toyo stove.

The Cost of Cold is a series from Alaska’s Energy Desk about how Alaskans around the state heat their homes. Reporter Zoe Sobel produced this story.

Courtesy of Hans Rosenkranz/MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man who reportedly fell overboard from an oil tanker traveling past the Aleutian Islands.

Air crews spent 14 hours searching for the 22-year-old mariner, who went missing from the M/V Challenge Prelude on Sunday afternoon.

"Due to the length of time, and with the extreme environment, the District 17 Command Center made the call to suspend the search," said Petty Officer Lauren Dean.

Courtesy of Hans Rosenkranz/MarineTraffic.com

About 24 hours after he went missing from an oil tanker, the U.S. Coast Guard is deciding whether to continue its search for a man who reportedly fell overboard in Aleutian waters.

The master of the M/V Challenge Prelude noticed the 22-year-old mariner was missing Sunday afternoon when the vessel was 110 miles south of Sand Point.

The tanker turned around to search for the man, while Air Station Kodiak sent two aircrews to assist.

Courtesy Paradigm Marine

 

Western Alaska will have better oil spill response capabilities with a new vessel. The OSRV Ocean Liberty was expected to arrive in Unalaska by the end of March, but the ship is awaiting modifications and clean up of an oil spill in Shuyak Straight near Kodiak has delayed the process.

Unalaska Mayor Frank Kelty is excited for the added layer of safety the vessel will bring to the region. In a given year at America’s top fishing port, he says local fuel docks can pump up to 60 million gallons of fuel. Plus, large vessels pass through the region on major shipping routes.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska’s new city manager started this week.

Thomas E. Thomas comes to the island with 22 years’ experience in local government after he was selected unanimously by the City Council last month.

KUCB’s Laura Kraegel sat down with Thomas to ask how he’ll lead City Hall.

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