Atka

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

 

Unalaska's clinic will soon have two different types of "rapid" COVID-19 testing devices — the Abbott IDNow system and the Cepheid GeneXpert IV-2 Molecular system. 

Two systems may seem redundant. But Melanee Tiura, clinic director of Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (IFHS), said it's important to note there are national shortages for both the testing systems and the testing supplies. By using two different systems, the clinic hopes to be able to source adequate testing supplies to meet community and industry needs. 

Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media

 

A heap of slimy fish heads nearly filled a deep tote. Above, workers finished sorting stacks of decapitated halibut they had run through a grim mechanical apparatus.

"Right here, we have a guillotine blade," said Mike Lauer, showing off the de-heading device. "We'll sell the cheeks, and then we can use the heads for bait."

 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

The Yakov E. Netsvetov School in Atka has struggled with low enrollment in recent years. But this month, 10 students showed up for the first day of classes.

As KUCB's Laura Kraegel reports, the increase is helping the school to avoid a shutdown — and hinting at greater stability for the small Unangax̂ community in the western Aleutian Islands.

"First day of school!" announced teacher Sonja Mills as the school bell rang. "We did it!"

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

 

Friday marks the end of Alaska's student count period, which determines how much funding public schools receive.

 

To get full funding, schools need at least 10 students. But at the Yakov E. Netsvetov school in Atka, there are only six. Unless four more students enroll, this will be the last year there's a school in Atka.

 

Zoë Sobel / KUCB

Seventy-five years after Japan invaded the furthest tip of the Aleutian chain, Attuans are returning home.

In 1942, there were 44 people living on Attu Island, nearly all Alaska Natives. They were taken as captives to Japan, where half of them died. And after the war, the federal government forbade them from returning.

But in August, a group of 11 descendants finally visited their ancestral home for the first time.

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