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Tustumena's Return Delayed Until August

Jun 7, 2017
Nancy Heise

The M/V Tustumena’s return to service has once again been delayed. The Alaska Marine Highway announced Monday more of the vessel’s steel structure would need to be replaced.

The Tustumena has been in Ketchikan for scheduled maintenance since March, and its return to Western Alaska was set for May 27. Staff found the first batch of damaged steel in early May, cutting the vessel’s scheduled sailings in half.

U.S. Navy

This week, the U.S. Navy is searching for World War II-era explosives that may still be hiding in waters around Unalaska.

It’s unclear how much leftover ordnance is lurking offshore, according to Leslie Yuenger of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. But she needs help from Unalaskans to find it.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Seventy-five years ago, almost 900 Unangan people were removed from their homes by the U.S. government and interred in southeast Alaska.

Officials said they were trying to protect Native communities from the Japanese during World War II. But the Unangax were forced to live in crowded camps with little access to food, water, or medical attention.

This week,  we heard from Unalaskan descendants of the evacuees about what that difficult history means to them.

Janice Krukoff

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The head of PenAir fielded questions Thursday from frustrated flyers in Unalaska.

Thirty island residents gathered at a public meeting to ask CEO Danny Seybert why their only option for traveling to and from Anchorage has been so unreliable over the last year.

Nancy Heise

While the M/V Tustumena sits in the shipyard for another two months, residents of southwest Alaska have another option for cargo service.

The Seattle-based Coastal Transportation company has offered to carry cargo along the Tustumena’s route while the ferry undergoes unexpected repairs.

“It doesn’t completely solve the problem, but it definitely helps to alleviate some of the crisis,” said Meadow Bailey of the Alaska Department of Transportation.

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