Alaska News

Friday, December 6, 2019

Unalaska Searches For New Fire Chief

For the fifth time in five years, Unalaska is looking to hire a new fire chief. Ramona Thompson was fired in early October after about a year and a half leading the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Due to the fatal plane crash that month and Thompson's travel schedule, KUCB couldn't reach her for an interview until this week. "Our current city manager pretty much said that she had determined that it was in the best interest of the community and the organization to terminate me without cause, and that's why I'm not working there anymore," she said. Thompson has more than 35 years of fire and EMS experience. She previously worked as EMS coordinator for the Department of Public Safety, as well as director of clinical services for Iliuliuk Family and Health Services.
Unalaska Community Broadcasting - Your Voice in the Aleutians

Delivering Christmas to McKinley Fire victims

Like Santa and his elves, Karen Wilson and her young granddaughter are busy performing Christmas miracles. The weather is frigid -- below zero -- at mile 84 of the Parks Highway. But cold weather isn't stopping Wilson from gathering up Christmas donations to hand-deliver to victims of this summer's devastating McKinley Fire. "I'm out delivering Christmas decorations and trees," Wilson wrote in a post on a Facebook recovery page for McKinley Fire victims. Wilson has no issues giving out her number if it might connect her with someone who needs help. She has been collecting donations -- Christmas trees, decorations, gifts -- and storing them until a family calls. Then she hits the road, driving as far as she has to on her own dime to bring a little Christmas cheer to families who lost so much in the fire.
KTUU-TV NBC 2 Anchorage

Thursday, December 5, 2019

State moves forward with plans to address PFAS contamination in Dillingham

A year after PFAS was first detected in Dillingham wells, the state and a consulting firm are taking steps to address the situation. A plan now in the works would address PFAS contamination in Dillingham. Shannon & Wilson, Inc., an engineering consultant based in Anchorage, and the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities are drafting a feasibility plan to tackle the issue, after several months of testing wells around the Dillingham airport. Shannon & Wilson was in town at the end of November for its third quarterly PFAS sampling. The firm tested five of six contaminated wells south of the Dillingham airport. (The sixth well was sampled when it was in use during the summer.) Testing started in February, and the latest round, completed in July, showed that no further sampling was required to begin a feasibility study. Sammy Cummings, a PFAS coordinator for the DOT & PF, said Shannon & Wilson is now looking at ways to address the affected wells.
Alaska Public Media

Group aims to help McKinley Fire victims without insurance rebuild

People who lost their homes in the McKinley Fire will get help to rebuild. The McKinley Fire Long Term Recovery Group aims to help people who didn’t have insurance. The fire started Aug. 17 and quickly tore through the woods along the Parks Highway around mile 90. Ned Sparks evacuated knowing everything he had would likely be gone when he returned. “Firefighters felt they had control and it took over the top, the flames over the top of the trees with the wind,” Sparks said in an interview outside the Upper Susitna Senior Center on Aug. 19. “They had to flee for their lives too. All the structures are gone.” Sparks was one of about 50 people who lost their homes to the fast-moving flames. He said he and his wife couldn’t get insurance because their home was still under construction over the summer. They were finishing up the second floor when the fire started.
KTVA-TV CBS 11 Anchorage

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