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Annie Ropeik, KUCB - Unalaska

Annie Ropeik is a reporter for KUCB in Unalaska.

New Geese Habitat Emerging on North Slope

New Geese Habitat Emerging on North Slope

The US Geological Survey says melting Beaufort sea ice is creating new habitat for geese on the North Slope and that new habitat could have implications for conservation inside the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

February 17, 2014
Shishaldin Volcano Emits Ash Cloud; Scientists Keeping Watch

Shishaldin Volcano Emits Ash Cloud; Scientists Keeping Watch

Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory are going to be keeping a close eye on Shishaldin Volcano over the weekend. The volcano emitted a small ash cloud that was identified early Friday morning. AVO geologist Chris Waythomas said the cloud drifted south of the volcano and dissipated.

February 7, 2014
Kei Kawada, center, looks on as his friends play a game in Unalaska's Magic: the Gathering tournament. Photo by Annie Ropeik, KUCB - Unalaska.

AK: Magic

For more than 20 years, people all over the world have been playing the strategic fantasy card game Magic: the Gathering. But the game has only recently found its way to Unalaska, where the island’s teenage boys have been going through a serious Magic phase for the past few months.

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January 31, 2014
Shishaldin Volcano’s Alert Status Upgraded After Unusual Activity

Shishaldin Volcano’s Alert Status Upgraded After Unusual Activity

The Alaska Volcano Observatory upgraded the alert level at Shishaldin Volcano in the Aleutian Islands on Thursday after observing some unrest at the summit.

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January 30, 2014
The central cone in Akutan Caldera. Photo courtesy Cyrus Read, USGS.

Akutan Volcano’s Geothermal Power Potential Increases

A new study says Akutan Volcano could be an even more promising source of geothermal energy than previously thought.

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January 13, 2014
Dan Magone on the deck of the Arctic Hunter, with debris visible on the beach. Photo by Annie Ropeik, KUCB - Unalaska.

AK: Shipwreck

The grounded crab boat Arctic Hunter has been stuck on the rocks outside Unalaska for more than two months now. Dan Magone of Resolve-Magone Marine Services has been working on a plan to remove the wreck. Right now, the Hunter is at the mercy of the elements. So what happens to a shipwreck while it’s waiting to be saved?

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January 10, 2014

Researchers Say Ocean Acidification Could Make Fish Anxious, Impact Fisheries

Scientists have been saying for years that more carbon dioxide in the oceans is hurting sea life. But a new study says the impact goes beyond the physical. It says ocean acidification is changing behavior in fish. That could be a problem throughout the ecosystem – including for fisheries in Alaska.

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January 8, 2014

Polar Star Called Off After Ice-Bound Ships Get Free

The Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star is standing down from a rescue mission in Antarctica on Tuesday after the vessels it was going to assist broke free on their own.

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January 7, 2014
Coast Guard Icebreaker Heads for Antarctica to Free Two Ships

Coast Guard Icebreaker Heads for Antarctica to Free Two Ships

A newly refurbished Coast Guard icebreaker is en route to Antarctica to free two vessels stuck in ice. The stuck ships are a Russian research vessel and a Chinese icebreaker, according to Allyson Conroy, the Coast Guard’s chief warrant officer for the Pacific Area. The Russian ship has been stranded since before Christmas. The Chinese vessel got stuck when it tried to help.

January 6, 2014

Mild Weather Helps Unalaska’s Christmas Bird Count Expand

The bird count in the Aleutians was also aided by mild weather. Winter is running late in Unalaska this year – and that was good news for those helping with the annual count last Saturday. Such mild weather meant the counters were able to tally the island’s birds in places they usually can’t get to.

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January 3, 2014

Alaska Waters to Brace for More Shipping

Canada’s energy board gave conditional approval earlier this month to the Northern Gateway Pipeline project, which would run through British Columbia and would send hundreds of more crude oil supertankers along high-traffic shipping lanes in Alaska waters. That means the Aleutian Islands will have to prepare for a higher risk of spills and accidents.

December 31, 2013

State Announces Pacific Cod Harvest Level for 2014

There will be about 17.86 million pounds of cod available for harvest, both in the Aleutian Islands state-waters fishery and in the new Dutch Harbor subdistrict.

December 27, 2013
The cast of the living nativity after the show. Photo by Annie Ropeik, KUCB - Unalaska.

At Unalaska’s Methodist Church, Telling A Special Christmas Story

Kids at Unalaska’s United Methodist Church got to tell the story of Christmas during their annual living nativity last week. Fifteen elementary school kids from the congregation dressed up as wise men, shepherds and angels. Pastor Dan Wilcox helped lead the show.

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December 23, 2013
Eagle Wreaks Havoc Inside Unalaska Ship Supply Store

Eagle Wreaks Havoc Inside Unalaska Ship Supply Store

Alaska Ship Supply had an unwelcome customer for about three hours Wednesday night — a bald eagle, which flew in a loading door around 6 p.m. and refused to leave. The juvenile bird flapped around the store for about three hours before state troopers and employees were able to get it out.

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December 19, 2013

Coast Guard Crew Member Dies After Injury During November Rescue

A Coast Guard petty officer has died after being injured during a rescue in the Eastern Aleutians in November.

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December 18, 2013
Photo courtesy of KUCB - Unalaska.

At Reopened Museum of the Aleutians, A Focus On Storytelling

The Museum of the Aleutians in Unalaska re-opened recently after five months of renovations. The space has been transformed in an effort to tell the whole story of the chain.

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December 17, 2013

Hovercraft To Be Replaced With Helicopter At Akutan Airport

For more than a year, getting in and out of Akutan has meant taking a hovercraft. The vessel ferries passengers to and from the island’s airport. But high costs and inconsistent service have sent the Aleutians East Borough looking for a better solution. Now, they think they’ve found one.

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December 10, 2013

Late Start for Flu Shots Causes Concern

The Lower 48 has been on the offensive against the flu virus for weeks. But in Unalaska, most people didn’t have access to vaccines until late November. An attempt to tailor flu prevention around Unalaska’s unique population didn’t go over well with locals.

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December 3, 2013

State Proposes Changes to Oil Spill Response Plan

State officials were in Unalaska on Friday to talk about a proposal pre-authorizing the use of chemical dispersants on oil spills in Alaska waters.

November 25, 2013
Map from Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

Tanner Crab Fishery Closed for 2014 Season

State officials announced this week that the tanner crab fishery would not open for the 2014 seasons in the eastern Aleutian Islands. But Unalaska’s small boat fishermen think they’ve found a way to expand the fishery — in an area that’s been closed for two decades.

November 20, 2013