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

News briefs


September 12, 2018

Steven Weber photo

Valdez fire fighters, the US Coast Guard and others paid tribute on 9/11 with 343 flags, representing 343 firefighters whose lives were lost during the national tragedy.

Driver pleads not guilty on oil pollution charge

The driver of a tanker truck that overturned on the Richardson Highway at Dayville Rd. last February has pleaded not guilty to a charge of oil pollution.

Louis Nations, age 61, of Valdez appeared before Judge Dan Schally last Thursday in Valdez Court.

The charge stems from a crash in February where the truck Nations was driving failed to stop at the stop sign at Dayville Road and the Richardson Highway; the resulting crash spilled an estimated 2,500 gallons of #2 Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel after it careened and the tankers overturned into the brush on the highway.

During the arraignment, a not guilty plea was entered by Nations through his attorney Jon Wiederholt. Wiederholt conferenced in via telephone while Nations appeared in person.

Neither Nations nor his attorney made any statement during the arraignment on the additional charges.

The next scheduled court date for Nations is on October 15, at 8:30 a.m. At that time, he will be appearing for a Calendar Call for both the oil pollution charge and an earlier reckless driving charge that stemmed from the wreck.

The reckless driving charge was issued in March and the summons for the oil pollution charge was issued on August 22. Both charges are from the February crash.

Volcano active again

(AP) A lava flow has been spotted on an Alaska volcano that recently became active again.

Alaska Volcano Observatory scientists say witnesses aboard the state ferry Tustumena saw the lava flow and fountaining on Mount Veniaminof (VEN'-ee-ah-mean-off) Monday morning.

Scientists say satellite images obtained Sunday shows the lava flow is about one-half-mile long on the 8,225-foot (2,500-meter) volcano, one of Alaska's most active.

The observatory last week increased the threat level of Veniaminof from yellow to orange. That color designation indicates sudden explosions could send ash above 20,000 feet (6,100 meters) and threaten international airplanes.

The volcano erupted for several months in 2013. Other recent eruptions occurred in 2005 and between 1993 and 1995.

Veniaminof is 480 miles (772 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. Perryville, a town of about 100 people, is 20 miles southeast of the volcano.

ExxonMobile advances on gasline


Associated Press

Steven Weber photo

Dr. Angela Alfaro, left, and Rowena Palomar, executive director of Advocates for Victims of Violence, prepare to launch a luminaria on World Suicide Prevention Day Monday. The event followed a march around town to bring attention to a serious problem.

ANCHORAGE - A second major oil company has agreed to key terms for the sale of Alaska North Slope natural gas to a state-sanctioned corporation that seeks to build a $34 billion liquefied natural gas project, including an 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) pipeline to move gas to an ocean port.

The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. announced Monday that ExxonMobil has committed to a price and volume basis for the sale of natural gas from fields at Prudhoe Bay and Point Thompson along the state's north coast.

The development corporation reached a parallel agreement with BP in May. Negotiations continue with ConocoPhillips. All three producers are envisioned to be part of the project.

Andy Mack, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, said the commitment of gas is a milestone but just one of many steps necessary in the undertaking of such a huge project.

"BP in May, and now ExxonMobil today, are saying as clear as one can say at this point, that we're on board with the project, the project structure," Mack said at a press briefing.


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