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May 07 2014
Drug Bust Seizes $2,000 in Heroin PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 May 2014


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            A joint effort by the Alaska State Troopers and Kodiak Police Department resulted in a drug bust on Friday. Three grams of tar heroin were seized in addition to $3,970. The estimated street value of the heroin is around $2,000.
            The bust was the result of a joint investigation following a traffic stop made by Troopers. A press release from the Kodiak Police Department identified the occupants of the vehicle as Sarena Espinoza and Michael Richardson. Troopers became suspicious of possible drug activity based on prior histories with both occupants and contacted a drug enforcement officer from KPD. They obtained several search warrants which led to the discovery of the heroin and cash.
             Both Espinoza and Richardson were arrested for misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree, a class A felony. They were arraigned in court on Saturday and bail was set at $50,000 each. The investigation is ongoing.

May 07 2014
Round Two For Tugidak Clean Ups PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 May 2014

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            This summer will be the second and final summer of the NOAA-funded Tugidak community marine debris clean up program.
           “It’s on Tugidak Island, a really beautiful and super exciting place to spend time.”
           That’s Tom Pogson, the director of marine programs at Kodiak Island Trails Network. Pogson spent a sizeable portion of his summer on Tugidak Island last year, where he helped facilitate the hardworking volunteers that ITN flew to the island to clean the beaches. Tugidak is a part of the Trinity Island Group, south of Kodiak.
            Pogson said NOAA funded two years worth of removal and kicked off the program last year.
            “And this year we’re going to concentrate on the tidal zone and the near shore environment. And the goal is to clean as much of the beach as we can without going too far inland, because going inland causes a lot of disturbance and it’s difficult to remove the debris. We’re focusing on plastics, foam and things that are really nasty for the environment. Not so much on metal and aluminum – which is relatively inert.”
            Pogson said ITN crews and volunteers will head to the island around July 8, and wrap up their work by August 17. He said the organization is currently looking for volunteers to commit to one or two weeks during that time frame.
             Last year a total of 13 volunteers and 6 staff members spent a combined 37 days on the island and filled 130 super sacs with debris – or roughly 33,000 pounds. Pogson said that was collected from 4.5 miles of coastline.
             To put the density of debris on Tugidak in perspective, Pogson said 80,000 pounds were cleaned up by ITN from 50 miles of coastline on Afognak Island.
             “There’s at least three times as much debris down on Tugidak as there is up on Afognak and there’s a lot of debris on Afognak.”
             He said this will be the organization’s last season on Tugidak, pending future grants to help fund further efforts.
              The full Tugidak schedule is on ITN’s website.

May 06 2014
Air Station Kodiak Crews Make Long-Range Rescue PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 May 2014

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Annie Ropeik/KUCB
    The Coast Guard sent three aircraft on a long-range rescue for a mariner aboard a container ship near Unalaska yesterday (Monday).
    The 751-foot bulk carrier TW Manila first called for help late Sunday night. They reported a 28-year-old crewmember was suffering from appendicitis-like symptoms on board.
    The ship was 450 miles south of Unalaska at the time. That’s too far out to sea for a helicopter to safely conduct a hoist, says Coast Guard public affairs officer Jonathan Klingenberg.
    “They have to get within 125 nautical miles in order so the helicopters can get out there with the fuel that they have, pick up the individual and get him back safely. Any further than that, they risk fuel consumption.”
    He says the Coast Guard told the Manila to steer closer to Unalaska. Then, the Coast Guard deployed a Jayhawk helicopter and Hercules airplane from Air Station Kodiak. They also called in a Dolphin helicopter from the Seattle-based Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, which was on patrol nearby.
    Klingenberg says the extra aircraft provide back-up for the medevac and support for each other during a rescue so far from land.
    “These long-range medevacs illustrate our crews’ abilities to coordinate a highly complicated medevac such as this. It takes a lot of planning with not only our cutters but also our air crews and the vessel that the patient needs to be rescued from in order to get them within range for us to get out there and safely get him back to the medical care that he needs.”
    The aircraft met the Manila 125 miles south of Unalaska early yesterday (MONDAY) morning. Klingenberg says there were 15- to 20-foot seas and winds up to 40 mph at the time.
    The Jayhawk crew hoisted the mariner off the ship and took him back to Unalaska. He was transferred to a Guardian med-flight for further care.

May 06 2014
Afognak Native Corporation Changes Leadership PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 May 2014

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           The Afognak Native Corporation has a new president and CEO. Gregory Hambright’s official start date was May 1, but he’s been with the company for more than 10 years. Gerad Godfrey is the director of corporate affairs for Afognak Native Corporation and said Hambright will be relocating to Alaska from Alabama, where he currently works as a senior vice president at one of the corporation’s offices.
             “He’s overseen and directed our technical services division and he’s helped grow that division into a very successful and profitable business line for Afognak Native Corporation. And he had quite an impressive resume prior to coming and working for us in 2004.”
             Godfrey said the corporation engages in a number of government contracts so it has offices outside Alaska where those projects take place.
              He said Hambright will be in Kodiak for the company’s annual meeting later this month at its new building on Near Island.

May 06 2014
Special Olympics Torch Run Next Week PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 May 2014

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Later this month folks will have a chance to participate in a tradition that has been running, quite literally, for more than three decades. Dan Canavan is the community director for Special Olympics here in Kodiak and said this year’s Torch Run will be May 17.
“And it’s led by the law enforcement throughout the nation and I forget the statistics on it but there are about 32,000 communities around the United States that participate.”
Here in Alaska, Canavan said about a dozen communities around the state will begin the race at the same time on the 17th.
“So if you can imagine we’ll have an entire state basically participating in a torch run all at the same time. And locally, again this year, Kodiak Police Department has taken lead and really has charge of the torch run.”
Lieutenant DJ Chumpner is with KPD and said law enforcement started partnering with Special Olympics for the torch run back in 1981.
“The police chief came up with the idea for his officers to interact with the community and support the local athletes. And it took off from there. And as you said it’s grown across the country, it’s actually worldwide now. There’s runs in the Caribbean, Canada, all over the place – Central America. So it’s become quite a phenomenon.”
You can hear more about the Torch Run and other Special Olympics events happening this month by tuning in to KMXT’s Talk of the Rock today at 12:30 p.m. We’ll hear more from Canavan and Chumpner, as well as talk with some local athletes and unified partners.

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