Local and statewide
Photo courtesy Ryan McCune
This boat was reportedly blocking portions of the Richardson Highway near milepost 31 last week.
Free flu shots
Roll up your sleeves Valdez - it's time for the town's annual flu shot event.
Mass inoculations will be given next week, Thursday, Oct. 22 at Hermon Hutchens Elementary School from 6-9 p.m., the city's public information office said.
The vaccine is free and everyone is eligible according to the city.
Participants are asked to enter the school through the north parking lot entrance on W. Klutina St.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Boat capsized on Richardson Highway
A boat being hauled up the Richardson Highway was found upside down and blocking traffic last week according to Valdez police.
The Della Ellen, which staff at the small boat harbor in Valdez said was loaded onto a trailer that day, was reported blocking traffic at mile 31 a week ago, Monday.
The harbor's data base lists the owner of the vessel as Dwayne Shelton of Wasilla.
Ferry staff cuts hit Valdez terminal
(AP) The Alaska Marine Highway System has cut 20 shore positions as officials deal with a scaled back budget.
In the past week, 14 people have been laid off in the ferry system, and other vacant positions were also cut, according to the Ketchikan Daily News.
Alaska Department of Transportation spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says customer service and ferry docking positions were cut at Petersburg, Cordova, Skagway, Haines, Valdez, Whittier, Kodiak and Bellingham terminals. One position was cut from the system's headquarters.
"As a department, we did our best to try to find ways we could - if you had to eliminate positions, try to find vacant positions,'' Woodrow said, "... but unfortunately there were people who were laid off."
Woodrow said there are no more layoffs planned for fiscal year 2016, but more could come next year. Close to 60 positions were cut this year from DOT. The agency's budget was reduced by 12.5 percent from last year.
"I think us in Southeast are going to have some challenges keeping the Alaska Marine Highway System in good financial position," said Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka.
Stedman said he is concerned there doesn't appear to be a clear plan for how to manage the marine highway system while Alaska deals with its budgetary issues.
"I know one thing: We're in trouble with the marine highway, and we're not in a strong political position throughout coastal Alaska," he said.