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

and Associated Press 

News briefs


Steve Revis photo

Details were slowly emerging Tuesday morning, a day after this vehicle crashed into a small apartment building on W. Klutina.

Big crash

A compact car crashed directly into an apartment building on W. Klutina Monday afternoon.

The driver of the vehicle and at least one passenger were transported to Providence Valdez Medical Center. Valdez officials had not released the identify of the driver nor the condition of the vehicle's occupants as of Tuesday morning.

No one was inside the apartment, which is occupied, according to the building's owner, Katey Connell.

The accident, which was reported to police dispatch Monday at 2:29 p.m. is under investigation according to police.

Connell, who spoke briefly as she worked to address issues with the building and the tenents, said the vehicle appeared to be traveling down Copper St, where it ends at W. Klutina. Instead of stopping and turning right or left, the vehicle went forward and veered to the left, straight into the apartment building, narrowly avoiding a direct hit on the building's propane tank.

It is speculated that a "medical issue" is to blame for the accident.

Fall back

Remember to reset your clocks back one hour before going to sleep Saturday night; daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 6.

Daylight Saving Time was extended in the United States in 2007.

Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Tunnel reopen

(AP) The state-run tunnel taking vehicle and train traffic to and from the port town of Whittier has been closed for rock-stabilization work after two boulders fell near the side of the roadway last week.

The tunnel was reopened for travel until 7 p.m. Tuesday November 1 and Wednesday November 2 according to DOT.

"The tunnel will reopen at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 and Thursday, November 3, 2016," DOT said on its website. "The tunnel will resume the normal schedule once the maintenance has been completed on Wednesday. Please plan your travels accordingly."

The work caused cancellation of ferry service to Whittier last week.

Fees upped

(AP) The state Department of Fish and Game has announced that fees will increase for sport fishing, hunting and trapping licenses starting next year.

KTUU-TV said the agency's announcement Thursday comes as the result of a bill approved by lawmakers earlier this year. Fish and Game says the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, was supported by conservation groups, sportsmen's organizations and the guiding industry.

Officials say it's the first time in 24 years that fees for Alaska hunting licenses will increase. Fees for fishing licenses haven't gone up in a decade.

Hunting licenses will cost Alaskans $45 next year, up from the current price of $25. Sportfishing licenses will increase from $24 to $29.

Nonresidents seeking an annual hunting license will have to pay $160 in 2017, nearly double what they're paying this year.

Online pamphlet

(AP) Alaska election officials say information on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson have been added to the online version of state's election pamphlet ahead of the general election.

The addition comes after neither the Trump nor Johnson campaign submitted biographical information, campaign statements or the $300 fee to be included in the printed version by the Aug. 30 deadline.

Election officials said Friday the Trump and Johnson campaigns submitted the required payment and information by the Oct. 25 deadline for the online version.

Officials say the names of Trump, Johnson and several state candidates who missed the print deadline are included in the printed version, but not the biographical information.

The printed version does feature biographical pages for Democrat Hillary Clinton, Green Party nominee Jill Stein and other minor candidates, along with other down-ticket and state races.

All candidates will be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Alaska oil

(AP) Alaska is a bright spot in ConocoPhillips' third quarter earnings.

The region was alone in bringing in positive cash flow for a company with third-quarter losses totaling $1.04 billion worldwide, reported the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Chief Financial Officer Don Wallette Jr. told investors the company cut operating expenses and has taken other steps.

"Financially, we are very well positioned," he said.

Wallette said $1.23 billion in operating cash flow was generated during the quarter, paying capital costs and dividends.

Investors were paid 25 cents per share in June. The company plans to pay dividends of 25 cents per share on Dec. 1.

The quarter's capital project spending totaled $199 million in Alaska compared to $304 million during the same time period in 2015.

ConocoPhillips is focused on exploration and production, making it more vulnerable to low commodity prices than some other companies.

Alaska North Slope crude averaged a price of $43.43 in the third quarter.

Crude oil production in the state improved 2.7 percent year-over-year.

Training grant

(AP) The state of Alaska has received a $1 million grant to help bolster employment within the state's health care and aviation industries.

The U.S. Department of Labor grant will support apprenticeship programs, which the state hopes will encourage more companies to hire Alaska residents, The Alaska Public Radio Network reported. The programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction.

Steve Revis photo

The vehicle narrowly missed crashing directly into the building's propane tank.

"We've gotta do everything we can, and apprenticeship just seems to provide a really good opportunity to get folks on the first ladder and beyond into these careers that are generally good-paying jobs, generally with benefits, and are a family-wage job," said Ed Flanagan, director of employment and training services for the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Flanagan said health care is particularly important to Alaska, as the field is expected to grow despite the state's economic struggles.

"Particularly community health workers, which is a new, emerging occupation to coordinate care, reduce costs and reduce readmissions to hospitals and just generally improve the system," he said.

The health care and social assistance sector is projected to add more than 7,000 jobs by 2024, according to data from the state labor department.

Flanagan said aviation industry jobs can be localized within rural communities and help boost economies.


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