The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

News Briefs

 

October 11, 2017

Photo courtesy City of Valdez

The statue honoring workers that built the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has been placed at it's permanent home at the Kelsey Dock. The statue was donated to Valdez by Alyeska and TAPS owners to commemorate the pipeline's 40th anniversary. North Star Stevedores donated the equipment and labor.

Rain fall

Valdez received over five inches of rain last week - 5.79 inches for the week of Oct. 2-8 - according to Eric Cooper of the Valdez Avalanche Center, which reports rain and snow fall to the National Weather Service.

In total, Valdez recorded 49.79 inches of rain since Jan 1.

Fires

People and pets were uninjured last week when fires broke out in private residences last week.

The Valdez Fire Dept. reported that neighbors pulled a dog out of a mobile home that was on fire a week ago Monday at Simmons Trailer Park. The owner was not present at the time and minor damage was caused by the fire according to the city's public information officer, Allie Ferko.

A fire Wednesday on Mendeltna St rendered a home uninhabitable, Ferko said.

The local Red Cross chapter coordinated assistance to the residents.

"...several local businesses offered assistance with shelter, clothing and supplies," Ferko said.

Big State settles

(AP) A Fairbanks trucking company that has a large presence in Valdez will pay $43,000 to settle Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions following three fuel spills along the Richardson Highway.

The EPA says the spills by Big State Logistics, Inc., occurred in 2016 between Valdez and Fairbanks.

The spills ranged from ranged from 339 gallons (1,283 liters) to 3,571 gallons (13,517 liters) of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

The EPA says the company and its contractors quickly cleaned up each spill.

Big State Logistics also stopped transportation of double trailers during the harshest weather months and gave drivers discretion to not haul double trailers if roads were judged to be in poor condition.

The largest spill occurred at Birch Lake when a trailer tongue failed and a secondary "pup" trailer overturned in a ditch.

Rejected

(AP) a Superior Court judge issued a ruling allowing the "Stand for Salmon" ballot measure to move forward through the initiative process.

The ruling requires the Alaska Lieutenant Governor to certify the initiative and allows proponents to begin collecting signatures. The purpose of the proposed ballot measure is to update state statutes to protect Alaska's vital salmon habitat.

Attorneys for the state and Alaska group Stand For Salmon made an appearance in front of an Anchorage Superior Court judge, arguing for and against Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott's rejection of a proposed pro-fisheries ballot measure.

The attorneys were in court a week ago Tuesday as part of an appeal filed by the pro-salmon group, which was called for after Mallott ruled the proposal unconstitutional. He says the proposal calls for specific appropriations - which is against Alaska's constitution.

The proposal calls for improved vetting of all construction projects that impact salmon streams, and attempts to declare all Alaska waterways as salmons streams unless proved otherwise.

The Juneau Empire reported that the future of Pebble Mine, the Susitna dam and any trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline might be determined by Judge Mark Rindner's decision.

STDs rise

(AP) The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services says the state is experiencing an outbreak of gonorrhea, part of a national increase in the disease.

Valdez Star photo

The fire department closed off Mendeltna Street Wednesday while responding to a house fire. There were no injuries but the home was rendered uninhabitable according to the City of Valdez.

Alaska's reported cases climbed from 1,115 in 2015 to 1,454 in 2016.

That's a 31 percent increase and the problem has not abated in 2017.

The department reports 1,035 cases this year. More than half were in Anchorage and nearly 60 percent were in people age 29 or younger.

Untreated gonorrhea can cause infertility, pregnancy complications and other serious health problems.

The department says any sexually active person can get gonorrhea by having unprotected sex with an infected partner.

Gonorrhea is curable with proper medication. The department says sexually active people should use condoms and regularly get tested for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.

 

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