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Emily Schwing, KUCB - Unalaska

Engine Failure Forces USCG Cutter to Return to Dutch Harbor

The Coast Guard Cutter Sherman had to return to Dutch Harbor a few days early this week. The cutter and its crew were forced to turn back from a regular patrol in the Bering Sea when one of the ship’s diesel engines malfunctioned.

July 3, 2015

Polar Pioneer: An Economic Boon For Dutch Harbor

Billions of dollars worth of drilling equipment and support vessels operated by Royal Dutch Shell are sitting out in the Bay in front of Dutch Harbor this week. The company has plans to take most of that equipment north for exploratory drilling operations later this summer. Many of the local businesses benefit from the oil giant’s presence.

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July 1, 2015

Sand Point Post Office Burglars Sentenced

Two men have been sentenced in U.S. District Court to serve 21 months in federal prison for burglarizing the post office in Sand Point.

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July 1, 2015
A map of the Chukchi Sea offshore leases. The green squares are Shell leases. (Image: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Shell Gets Federal Approval to Head North, With Some Stipulations

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Letter of Authorization on Tuesday to Shell. The authorization allows the oil company to “take small numbers of Polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to activities occurring during its ‘Outer Continental Shelf 2015’ exploration drilling program in the Chukchi Sea” this summer.

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June 30, 2015
Shell’s Arctic drilling rig arrives to Dutch Harbor

Shell’s Arctic drilling rig arrives to Dutch Harbor

The Transocean Polar Pioneer, a drill rig contracted by Royal Dutch Shell, has arrived in Dutch Harbor. The oil company plans to use the port as a hub this summer as part of their exploratory Arctic drilling effort. There’s very little opposition in the tiny Alaskan town in comparison to that in Seattle, where some environmental activists went so far as to chain themselves to one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support vessels last month.

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June 29, 2015
Shishaldin Volcano with a typical steam plume, pictured on Sept. 14, 2013. Photo by Joseph Korpiewski, U.S. Coast Guard.

Two Volcanoes Under Watch in the Aleutians

Two volcanoes in the Aleutian chain have been showing signs of activity for years, but recent satellite images prompted the Alaska Volcano Observatory to raise its alert level and aviation color code.

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June 23, 2015

Shell’s Oil Rig Departs Seattle for Dutch Harbor

A giant drill rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell undocked Monday morning from Terminal 5 in Seattle. The Polar Pioneer is headed for Dutch Harbor. It’s expected to arrive in 12 days.

June 16, 2015

Maritime Group Approves Aleutian Shipping ‘Buffer Zones’

The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Safety Committee is in the middle of its 95th session in London this week. Included on the committee’s agenda is the adoption of five recommended “areas to be avoided” in the Aleutian Chain. The shipping buffer zones come in anticipation of increased mariner shipping traffic in the region.

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June 12, 2015

Pollock B season opens in Aleutians, Eastern Bering Sea region

Pollock ‘B’ Season opened Wednesday in the Aleutian Islands and Eastern Bering Seas Region.

June 12, 2015

9th Circuit Court rules in favor of Shell’s spill response plans

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday in favor of the Department of Interior’s approval of two oil spill response plans for Arctic drilling put forward by Royal Dutch Shell. The company plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas this summer.

June 12, 2015

International Group Grants Formal Approval of Aleutian Shipping ‘Buffer Zones’

The International Maritime Organization’s Marine Safety Committee is in the middle of its 95th session in London this week. Included on the committee’s agenda is the adoption of five recommended “areas to be avoided” in the Aleutian Chain. The shipping buffer zones come in anticipation of increased mariner shipping traffic in the region.

June 9, 2015

With Matson Acquisition Final, Horizon Lines No Longer Exists

The finalization of a deal to acquire Horizon Lines’ Alaska operations means the nation’s largest Jones Act shipping company no longer exists. But the Matson Navigation Company isn’t planning any major changes to shipping service in the state.

June 3, 2015
Coast Guard Adds Response Vessels in Anticipation of Shell’s Arrival

Coast Guard Adds Response Vessels in Anticipation of Shell’s Arrival

Two 25-foot Coast Guard response boats arrived in Dutch Harbor this week. The boats will patrol waters off the coast of Dutch Harbor as oil giant Royal Dutch Shell moves forward with plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

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May 28, 2015

Alaska’s Orthodox Bishop Visits Unalaska

Alaska’s Orthodox Bishop, David Mahaffey was in Unalaska last week. He has held his post in Alaska for just over a year. He said in that time, he’s placed more focus on work with the Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Training Program, or RADACT, to address issues of substance and alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

May 27, 2015

APICDA-owned Fish Company Opens Processor in Washington State

A new fish processor opened its doors in Kent, Washington this spring. It is operated by the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association. Revenue from the processor is expected to help fuel economies in remote communities along the Aleutian chain.

May 25, 2015

Robert Mumford named to Board of Fish

Alaska Governor Bill Walker late Tuesday night appointed Robert Mumford to the seven-member Board of Fish. The governor was required by state statute to make the appointment by May 19th.

May 22, 2015
Delayed ferry heads for Unalaska despite government shutdown threat

Delayed ferry heads for Unalaska despite government shutdown threat

The Alaska state Ferry Tustumena spent at least five extra days off the water and missed its first scheduled sailing earlier this month, and it is headed for Unalaska this weekend. But it’s still unclear what a possible state government shutdown could mean if the legislature fails to fund a budget by the start of the next fiscal year.

May 21, 2015
Wade Marrs at the 2015 Iditarod ceremonial start. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

Out With The Old, In With The New: Up-And-Comers Outpace Longtime Career Mushers

For decades, a few big name mushers have dominated the standings in the Iditarod, but after decades of racing, many of them are reconsidering their priorities. Professional mushing may be in the midst of a “changing of the guard” as a small group of young mushers start to post top finishing times.

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March 20, 2015
Aliy Zirkle talks briefly with her mom at the Iditarod finish line. She carried a picture of the two of them in a sled bag for 1000 miles because her mother couldn't be in Nome this year. (Photo by Emily Schwing)

Iditarod Front-Runners Looking Forward To Time Away From Competition

The top-10 Iditarod mushers have arrived safely in Nome and their sled dogs are tucked in for a long rest in the dog yard. For most of the front-runners, a top-10 finish is nothing new.

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March 19, 2015
Dallas Seavey won the 2015 Iditarod. (Photo via KNOM)

Dallas Seavey Predicts His Winning Team Will Be Back

Dallas Seavey is the winner of the 2015 Iditarod. This is his third win in four years. The 27-year old musher says he’s not the only young member of his team. Many of his dogs are only three years old. Some sled dogs can race beyond the age of eight. Seavey says his team has a long future of competitive mushing ahead.

March 18, 2015