Dave Bendinger, KDLG - Dillingham
Come November, gone will be the days of the three free totes filled with goodies from Anchorage. PenAir, which for most of the year serves as the only commercial airline between Anchorage and several rural hubs in southwest Alaska, has announced new fees on baggage.
The General Education Development test, better known as the GED, is the standard high school equivalency exam. This January, the test will be updated –made more rigorous according to the test developers. But with the update comes a deadline: those currently working toward a GED need to finish before Dec. 31 or they’ll have to start over next year.
International mining giant Anglo American announced Monday in London that it is pulling out of the Pebble Partnership. Anglo will book a $300 million loss and leave the project in the hands of Northern Dynasty.
Meth hasn’t been a common narcotic on Dillingham streets. Its appearance last week has the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team concerned that the drug problem is getting worse.
A request by the Bethel-based Association of Village Council Presidents would see hunting of Mulchatna Caribou in Bristol Bay and the Kuskokwim closed to all but federally-qualified users living in those areas from now until July 1 of next year.
Port side vents reported plugged; now divers are turning their attention to the Lone Star’s starboard side, currently buried in the mud. There was no fuel sheen spotted around the Lone Star during Tuesday’s overflight by federal and state officials. Divers are working to seal fuel vents on the starboard side which is buried in the mud. Despite the progress, the fishery remains closed.
In another, earlier tender grounding in Southwest Alaska, Magone Marine divers contracted by the US Coast Guard have been working to seal off fuel vents on the tender Lone Star, which sank near the mouth of the Igushik River in Bristol Bay a week ago Sunday.
Bristol Bay fishermen at the mouth of the Igushik River were shut down again this afternoon, following reports of oil in their nets. An aerial survey flown earlier today observed a mile and a half long sheen of oil coming from the sunken tender Lone Star.
After the 78’ tender Lonestar went down Sunday morning, fishermen at the mouth of the Igushik River were told to pull in their nets. Igushik fishermen are predominantly from the village of Manokotak. The three-week season provides the sole income for many of them and the closure came just as the fishing was getting good.
The sinking of the tender “Lone Star” in the mouth of the Igushik River could not have happened at a worse time to close a fishery due to a fuel spill. It was right at the peak of the Sockeye Salmon run. The fishery was closed and then opened again.
The village of Chignik Lagoon on the Alaska Peninsula, with a year round population of around 70, hopes to break ground this season on a small, long-awaited hydroelectric project. For a price tag of about 2.5 million dollars, the simple system may produce as much power as the village typically needs. This is one of several alternative energy projects the Lake and Peninsula Borough has undertaken in an effort to lower costs and ease off of fossil fuels in its villages.
As of 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, the 2013 Togiak commercial sac roe herring fishery has closed. Fishing through tough weather over the weekend, the gillnet fleet scraped by with a couple hundred tons landed each day, and on Monday the buyers announced they were done buying for the season.
Some invasive species of bark beetles, if they make it to Alaska, could pose a serious threat to our trees and forests. In ten years of surveys, none have been detected, but state and federal forestry officials are coming to rely on volunteers to help monitor for them across the state. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger reports on one such volunteer who’s keeping an eye out the beetles around Dillingham.
The Bristol Bay Native Corporation and the mineral exploration company Millrock Resources made an agreement to explore for gold, copper, and molybdenum prospects on BBNC land near the Chigniks.
State narcotics officials say unsuspecting travelers are being used as drug mules to carry illegal pills to rural Alaska. Earlier this month, authorities intercepted a package of oxycodone pills at the Anchorage airport. They were inside a bag a traveler agreed to take to Dillingham for another woman.
At a first felony appearance before the magistrate at the Dillingham courthouse Wednesday morning, Leroy B. Dick, Jr, 42, of Manokotak, initially refused legal counsel, telling the judge: “To be honest, I could say I’m guilty of the crime.”
A Village Public Safety Officer has been shot and killed in the community of Manokotak, about 25 miles southwest of Dillingham. VPSO Thomas O. Madole, 54, is dead of an apparent gunshot wound. The Alaska State Troopers arrested Leroy B. Dick, Jr., 42, of Manokotak. Dick is being held at the Dillingham jail, facing charges of murder in the first degree.