Brianna Gibbs, KMXT - Kodiak
Brianna Gibbs is a reporter at KMXT in Kodiak.
This is an important week for anniversaries of big disasters in Alaska history. Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Good Friday earthquake and tsunami. The 9.2 quake took lives and destroyed houses and infrastructure in Anchorage, Valdez, Seward and other communities.
The Kodiak High School girls basketball team wrapped up an undefeated regular season over the weekend. The Lady Bears are ranked number one among large schools in Alaska, and will be looking to advance to the state championship tournament with a good performance at regionals this weekend. The last time Coach Amy Fogle wrapped up an undefeated season, her team, the Kodiak High School boys, went on to win the state championship in the year 2000.
It’s been about three years since the tsunami in Japan washed away entire towns, sending thousands of tons of debris out to sea. Less than eight months after the tsunami, items started showing up in Alaska and have continued to do so in the months and years since. It will still be a few months before clean up crews take to Kodiak’s beaches, but the planning process for those clean ups is already well under way.
Two men have been arraigned in Kodiak District Court following a drug seizure over the weekend. Kodiak Police Chief Ronda Wallace said the drugs were seized during a search of two hotel rooms on Sunday and have an estimated street value of at least $120,000.
It’s expensive to travel in and out of Alaska. And for Puni Timu, that price tag has kept her from seeing her parents for more than a year and a half. Puni went to Kodiak High School where she was a star player on the girls’ basketball team. When she graduated, she signed with the University of Jamestown’s basketball team in North Dakota. It’s been a long time since Puni last saw her parents and her teammates recently decided to something extraordinary for her.
Preliminary results from yesterday’s election are in, with 2,204 people casting their votes at Kodiak’s nine precincts.
For almost a year the ferry Tustumena has been out of service for repairs, leaving much of Southwest Alaska accessible only by air. The Kennicott picked up additional sailings between Kodiak and Homer, but the impacts from reduced ferry service were still felt throughout the island. Now, as summer quickly fades into fall, classes are resuming at Kodiak High School and young athletes are starting to feel the impact as well.
A former Alaska Aerospace Corporation employee was sentenced in Anchorage federal court on Monday for violating conflict of interest laws.
Alaskan singer songwriter Marian Call has a new album out called “Marian Call Live In Europe.” The album grew out of an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $60,000 and sent her to Europe to perform and record a new album. Now she’s finishing up a statewide tour and about to set out to play music in the western Lower 48.
It’s been about a year since Ophelia, the marine debris octopus, was built by Kodiak High School art students. The sculpture, which now resides in the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, was constructed using items collected from Kodiak beaches. Ophelia has become a mascot for marine debris clean up, and a vivid example of how much trash is circulating in the world’s oceans. But she won’t be the only example for long.
A video recording that went viral earlier this week has prompted an internal investigation by the Alaska Department of Public Safety. The 11-minute video was posted on YouTube Monday afternoon in Kodiak and shows a woman thrown to the ground by an Alaska State Trooper before being arrested.
A series of aluminum canisters have been washing up on the shores of Southeast Alaska, and more recently in the Kodiak Archipelago. Two were discovered on Afognak Island earlier this month and last week another was found on Queer Island, near Kalsin Bay.
Cruise ship season has officially kicked off in Kodiak. The Crystal Symphony called on Alaska’s emerald isle early yesterday morning, and brought with it 480 passengers and 550 crew members. Despite the rain, hundreds of tourists were able to explore the downtown area. KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs caught up with some of them and filed this report.
Two bodies were found on separate fishing vessels in two Kodiak harbors on Friday. Police Chief T.C. Kamai says there were no signs of trauma on either body, leading some to speculate they may be drug related, but Kamai said that can’t be confirmed until a toxicology screening is complete.
A fish processing vessel went aground near the Ouzinkie on Friday. The 169-foot “Pacific Producer,” out of Seattle, hit bottom between Kodiak and Spruce Island with sixteen aboard. Ten were rescued and taken to Kodiak, while the rest hope to re-float the vessel at high tide.
The Coast Guard lifted an order restricting movement of Shell’s Kulluk drill rig Thursday morning. Petty Officer David Moseley says the company had to provide information about assessments of the rig and their tow plan to the Coast Guard for review.
Suspect James Michael “Jim” Wells is expected to appear in court this week. An arrest was made on Friday for a double-murder at the Communications Station on Coast Guard Base Kodiak last spring.
Kodiak’s Representative Alan Austerman and Senator Gary Stevens are two members of a 20 member Alaska Arctic Policy Commission appointed to address statewide and national Arctic issues in the coming years.
On Kodiak Island, the body of a Coast Guardsmen missing since Saturday was recovered Monday on Barometer Mountain.