Alaska

Melted Alaska sea ice alarms coast residents, scientists

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Sea ice along northern Alaska disappeared far earlier than normal this spring, alarming coastal residents who rely on wildlife and fish.

Ice melted as a result of exceptionally warm ocean temperatures, the Anchorage Daily News reported .

The early melting has been “crazy,” said Janet Mitchell of Kivalina. Hunters from her family in early June traveled more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) by boat to find bearded seals on sea ice. Bearded seals in the past could be hunted just outside the village but sea ice had receded far to the north.

Scientists record singing by rare right whale for first time

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — It’s not America’s Top 40, but it’s a cutting edge song.

Federal marine biologists for the first time have recorded singing by one of the rarest whales on the planet, the North Pacific right whale.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers used moored acoustic recorders to capture repeated patterns of calls made by male North Pacific right whales.

Earthquake tests new wireless network in far-flung Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The police chief of Alaska’s largest city hurried out of the department’s glass building after the ground began to shake. Phone lines jammed and even police radios were spotty after a major earthquake, but his cellphone was recently equipped with a national wireless network dedicated to first responders.

Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll was able to reach other officials who had the new high-speed connection after the 7.1 magnitude quake last year caused widespread damage.

Barr in Alaska to talk Native violence, not Mueller remarks

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Tribal representatives in Alaska told U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday that rural Alaska Natives suffer from multiple public safety problems, including no law enforcement presence in multiple villages, substance abuse and alarmingly high rates of violence and sexual assault.

Barr is at the start of a four-day visit to Alaska. Among his first actions in the visit, Barr heard from Alaska Natives Wednesday who participated with him in an Alaska Native justice roundtable in Anchorage.

Alaska air carrier suspends operations after 2nd crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska air carrier involved in two deadly floatplane crashes in a week has voluntarily suspended operations, federal officials said Tuesday.

The halt of flightseeing and commuter flights is in place indefinitely, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The action comes after the passenger and the pilot of a Beaver floatplane operated by Taquan Air were killed when the single-engine aircraft crashed in Metlakatla Harbor on Monday afternoon during a 22-mile (35-kilometer) commuter flight from Ketchikan.

Alaska man given Coast Guard medal years after girl’s rescue

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man has received the U.S. Coast Guard’s second-highest civilian honor for saving a girl from drowning when they were both children more than 20 years ago, a report said.

George Lambert received a silver lifesaving medal in Anchorage Saturday for rescuing Pamela Smith, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.

The award was presented by Coast Guard Rear Admiral Matthew Bell Jr., who told the story of the rescue during a ceremony attended by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

5 killed in U.S. floatplane collision

SAN FRANCISCO, May 13 (Xinhua): Five people from a cruise ship line were killed and one was missing Monday after two floatplanes collided in mid-air near Ketchikan, southeast Alaska, a local TV outlet reported.

The victims were among a group of 16 people from two cruise ships from Princess Cruises line, who were aboard two seaplanes for flight-seeing in Alaska, the cruise ship company confirmed.

Alaska jail fire kills 2 prisoners, seriously injures guard

NAPAKIAK, Alaska (AP) — An early morning fire at an Alaska jail killed two inmates and seriously injured a guard who was trying to release them, officials said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the victims of the fire Sunday in the village of Napakiak in southwest Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.

Alaska State Troopers received a report around 1:30 a.m. that the jailhouse was “engulfed in flames” and that two prisoners inside their cells “were not able to get free” of their cells.

Nearly half of federal workers in Alaska on furlough or work without pay

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Nearly half of the 11,466 federal employees in Alaska have been furloughed or working without pay because of a partial government shutdown in Washington, local news outlet said Sunday.

About 5,624 people who are in unappropriated status are waiting for President Trump to strike a deal with Congress on any solution that facilitates re-opening of the federal government, so that they can get paid in time, the Must Read Alaska reported.

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