ST. PAUL

KUCB

Since 2008, the Pribilof School District has devoted a week of classes to scientific and environmental issues unfolding in its own region. Reasearchers from across North America visit St. Paul Island to teach students about the world around them.

This year, KUCB's Zoë Sobel and former KDLG reporter Mitch Borden also taught middle and high school students the basics of reporting — and by the end of class, they had written questions and conducted interviews with the visiting presenters.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

PenAir is headed to the auction block Wednesday — more than a year after the southwest Alaska airline filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Court and company officials have declined to name the prospective buyers that submitted bids last week, but residents say they're hoping for more reliable service.

Lauren Divine has had a lot of "unfortunate" experiences flying PenAir.

"With customer service, reservations, flights being delayed and canceled," she said.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

Citing a nationwide pilot shortage, PenAir is reducing its flights to St. Paul Island and Dillingham.

Starting Oct. 1, the airline will fly between St. Paul and Anchorage three times per week instead of four — and between Dillingham and Anchorage two times per day instead of three.

"PenAir initiated a strong recruitment campaign several months ago and continue to hire and train as quickly and safely as possible," said company officials in a written statement. "We are confident we will be able to resume our schedule once our crew numbers permit."

PenAir

 

PenAir has canceled all flights to the Pribilof Islands for the rest of the month.

In a letter to community leaders, PenAir's Murphy Forner, senior vice president of ground operation and business development, wrote that the airline needs to conduct maintenance on its aircraft.

Forner said PenAir has already reached out to customers and made "other arrangements" for them.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Look to the farthest end of the Aleutian chain, so far west that it’s actually east, and you’ll find the Komandorski Islands of Russia.

In 1867, the Alaska Purchase separated them from the rest of the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. But today, people across the archipelago are still connected by a common history.

A recent cultural exchange helped to renew those ties, bringing Russians and Alaskans together on St. Paul Island.

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