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

News Briefs


Tony Gorman photo

Graduates tossed their caps Wednesday night as the Valdez High School class of 2017 marked the end of their high school careers.

Rain in Valdez

Last week was a wet one for Valdez.

Eric Cooper of the Valdez Avalanche Center, the organization that monitors rain and snow for the National Weather Service, reports that 2.06 inches of precipitation for May 22-28.

That brings the 2017 total to 18.61 inches of rain since January 1.

Volcano blows

(AP) An Alaska volcano that has been active for nearly six months has erupted again.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says Bogoslof (BOH-gohs-lawf) Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted at 2:16 p.m. Sunday and sent a cloud of ash at least 35,000 feet (10,668 meters) high. The eruption lasted 55 minutes.

Ash can harm and stop jet engines. Ash from southwest Alaska volcanos is a threat airliners operating between North America and Asia when a cloud rises above 20,000 feet (6,096 meters).

After the eruption, the Aviation Color Code was raised to red, the highest level. It has since been downgraded.

The agency says a person on nearby Unalaska Island reports seeing a large white-gray mushroom cloud form over Bogoslof, with ash falling out to the west.

Territorial Guard

(AP) Army discharge papers were finally issued for 16 members who served in a largely Native citizen militia to guard Alaska during World War II.

Gov. Bill Walker presented the documents to relatives of the deceased members of the Alaska Territorial Guard Friday at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage.

Nearly 2,600 discharge papers have been issued since 2004 as militia members or relatives are found or apply for them. Heritage officials plan to make the Anchorage ceremony a yearly event.

Alaska was still 17 years away from statehood when the 6,400-member militia was formed in 1942 to defend the territory from the threat of Japanese invasion.

The militia disbanded in 1947, but its members weren't recognized by the Army until 2004.

OCS sued

(AP) The Alaska Supreme Court has decided a woman who was sexually abused by her foster brother in 2012 can sue the state Office of Children's Services.

The Supreme Court published its decision Friday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. A message seeking comment from the Office of Children's Services wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

The judge decided her lawsuit against the state's foster care system had not been filed in time under a law that sets a two-year maximum time limit for civil liability cases. But the five Supreme Court justices disagreed.

"We conclude a genuine factual dispute exists concerning when (the victim) discovered information suggesting that OCS had played a role in allowing her to be abused," Justice Joel Bolger wrote.

The court sent the case back to the same judge for consideration of legal issues raised by the justices.

The OCS said it denies allegations that it negligently failed to protect the woman.


(AP) The federal agency that supports basic science research is taking a close look at what's under the ground in Alaska.

Technicians this summer will complete the installation of 260 seismometers in Alaska as part of the National Science Foundation's EarthScope project.

EarthScope aims to advance the field of plate tectonics with an examination of the structures that make up the Earth's upper crust under North America.

Seismometers record seismic waves and give geologists a picture of the upper 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the Earth.

An array of portable seismometers was first installed in western states and then moved east over the last decade.

Researchers say the research could help explain how continents formed as well as indicate where dangerous earthquakes may occur in the future.

Tony Gorman photo

William "Smitty" Smith accepting a veteran's appreciation flag from Mayor Ruth Knight Saturday during the military appreciation day sponsored by the City of Valdez. Jake Meadows was also honored but was unable to attend.

No gun law

(AP) An analysis by The Associated Press and the USA TODAY Network shows that five children under the age of 12 died in Alaska between 2014 and 2016 after accidentally shooting themselves or being shot by another child.

One of those cases, in which a 3-year-old boy in Anchorage died, resulted in an adult being charged and sentenced.

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Alaska does not have laws that specifically penalize allowing children access to firearms.

Cori Mills, a spokeswoman for Alaska's Department of Law, says decisions on whether to pursue prosecution in such instances are made on a case-by-case basis.


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