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Stories from the KUCB Newsroom from the Aleutian Region, the Pribilof Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, and beyond.

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

The state's plan to build a new ferry for southwest Alaska has been fast-tracked.

Originally, construction was scheduled to start in 2019, but now contractors could begin building the new ship as early as next year.

Communications Officer Jeremy Woodrow says the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to replace the Tustumena ferry as soon as possible.

"It's more than 50 years old, it runs in one of the more harsh climates in the world, and it's shown its age more than other vessels in the fleet that are around similar age," said Woodrow.

Melissa Good/Alaska Sea Grant

Unalaska has seen a lot of whale activity in recent years, with many pods passing through the bay and even a few entanglements. 

That's why Melissa Good wants to train more local people to respond to distressed whales.

"The Marine Mammal Stranding Network has been arranging funding to do a training out here," said Good, an agent for the Alaska Sea Grant program and a level one entangled whale responder. "I think it's highly likely that we'll either have a training next summer or the summer after."

Zoe Sobel/KUCB

 

On one of the nicest days of the summer, the Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau needs help. The boat is playing the role of distressed vessel. A local tug slowly approaches its bow while crew members ready the Emergency Tow System. Horns blare and bang. One end of the rope is on the tug and the other on the Morgenthau. On both sides, people scramble to secure the lines for towing.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaska’s clinic will soon become the first community health center in Alaska to implement an eICU program.  

That's a type of telemedicine technology that will connect health care providers at Iliuliuk Family and Health Services with intensive care providers in Anchorage.

Officially, the local clinic is a community health center, which means it’s only supposed to provide primary care and some urgent care. But the reality in Unalaska is a little different.

Stephanie Joyce

In Akutan, a 36-year-old man died by suicide at the Trident Seafood plant last week.

According to Alaska State Troopers, Akutan's village public safety officer responded to the incident Aug. 23, along with a Wildlife Trooper from Unalaska.

Troopers say they do not suspect foul play. The man's body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.  

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