Tony Gorman, KCHU - Valdez
Tony Gorman is a reporter at KCHU in Valdez.
Three men are okay after their vessel sank near Valdez while participating in an oil spill response drill. The Coast Guard Sector Anchorage Command Center received a report Wednesday night that the landing craft Belltech 5 was taking on water and sinking near Valdez Arm.
The wait is over for residents in Valdez. The Richardson Highway is now completely open to motorists ahead of schedule. The announcement comes after avalanches buried and flooded the roadway nearly two weeks ago.
After nearly two weeks, the Alaska Department of Transportation says the Richardson Highway in the Keystone Canyon area could reopen as soon as Wednesday.
Nobody knows when the Richardson Highway is going to reopen, but the Valdez Parks and Recreation Department is hoping everyone has a fun time guessing.
Valdez remains cutoff by road from the rest of the state due to avalanches and flooding over the weekend. Progress has been made in clearing some of the debris on the Richardson Highway, but crews still have a long way to go.
A high school cross-country ski team is okay after its bus was struck by a semi-truck on the Richardson Highway on Friday morning. Valdez Police say the accident involving the Kenai Central High School cross-country ski team happened at mile 55 of the Richardson Highway at 11:30 a.m.
The Copper Basin 300 appears to have another loaded race field with big name veterans and a lot of rookies starting Saturday. This year, forty-five mushers from Alaska and five different countries will compete in the qualifier for the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod.
GCI and KTUU-TV have been negotiating a new deal to broadcast the NBC affiliate to rural communities. Without a deal, subscribers in those areas will have to settle for something else as talks continue.
In Valdez, only one of five incumbents survived Tuesday’s Municipal Election. Three seats on the City Council and two on the School Board were up for grabs.
A key figure in Valdez history has died. John Kelsey wore many hats, but is best known for building Valdez to what it is today. He’s most remembered for bringing economic development to the city in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Kelsey led the way in rebuilding Valdez after it was destroyed by the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake.
A hunting guide from Wasilla is heading to jail after being found guilty of two counts of big game violations by a jury in Cordova District Court. The violations stemmed from an illegal wolf hunt a year ago.
Crews have been very cautious in salvaging a fishing tender that grounded near Valdez last weekend. According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Fate Hunter is currently laying on rock ledge as divers assess the vessel.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued an emergency order that will restrict hunters to harvesting Nelchina caribou bulls for most of the upcoming season in Game Management Unit 13. The low number of cows was a factor into the decision.
There was a collision at the docks in Cordova that damaged a Coast Guard buoy tender.
Lester Lunceford is still the mayor of Whittier – at least for now. According to the unofficial results, the long-time mayor is poised to keep his position following Tuesday’s recall election. The recall stems from this year’s hiring of a permanent city manager.