Stories from the KUCB Newsroom from the Aleutian Region, the Pribilof Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, and beyond.

Courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

Scientists have downgraded the alert level for an Aleutian volcano that began showing an increase in signs of eruption and emitting harmful ash late last week. 

According to Dave Schneider, a geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, over the last several weeks, satellites and pressure sensor data revealed ramped up activity at Semisopochnoi Volcano, which is located on an uninhabited island in the Rat Islands about 600 miles southwest of Unalaska. 

Courtesy of Phil Zavadil

A fuel ration on the Pribilof Island of St. Paul ended Tuesday after more than a month and a half of limiting fuel for both residents and fishermen.

The Bering Sea community announced the ration in late February after bad weather repeatedly canceled the arrival of a fuel barge. 

The North Pacific Fuel barge finally arrived at the dock on Tuesday, according to City Manager Phil Zavadil. The city had been waiting on its arrival since November of last year. 

Courtesy of APIA Head Start

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) is bringing a new Head Start facility to Unalaska. The new facility will replace the island’s existing Head Start building. Currently, the Head Start building can only hold about 10 students, aged three to five, due to social distancing mandates meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. The new building can accommodate programming for about six times as many kids.

Roughly 60 students will be able to enroll in the program at the new facility, according to Paula Pinder, the director of family and community development with APIA.

Courtesy of Dustin Newman

Last month, the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA) launched a pen pal program for Alaska Native youth and elders in the region.

It's meant to create a space — amidst the coronavirus pandemic — where different generations of Alaska Natives can safely connect, according to APIA Youth Services Coordinator Jenna Larson.

"We want to see the youth learning from the elders, and the elders passing on their knowledge and their favorite things about their culture," Larson said. 

Courtesy of Paul Schaughency's Family

The mailboxes of a group of World War II veterans have recently been flooded with a number of postcards and letters.

The veterans all served in the Aleutian Campaign, which is often referred to as the "Forgotten War," and began in 1942 when the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor and occupied the western Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska. And the cards are part of a letter-writing campaign aimed at commemorating the World War II vets who served in the area.