ST. GEORGE ISLAND

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Thanks to a new direct flight, Unalaskans are bringing food and clothes to their northern neighbors on St. George Island, some 200 miles across the Bering Sea.

The community of 60 people has already received dozens of boxes filled with canned goods, winter clothing, and spare blankets.

"I can't thank the people enough in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor for caring about us," said Mayor Pat Pletnikoff of St. George. "It's pretty amazing."

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

St. George Island has a new air carrier.

Grant Aviation won the community's Essential Air Service contract this fall, after PenAir decided to drop the route during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Residents of the notoriously hard-to-reach island are hoping the change will bring more reliable flights, but they're not sold yet on their new provider.

KUCB's Laura Kraegel was on the first flight.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

While students head back to class across Alaska, the school on St. George Island has stayed closed.

District officials said it’s the latest casualty in a statewide trend where small, rural communities struggle to hold on to their kids.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Seventy-five years after supervising the Unangax̂ internment during World War II, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has apologized to the people of St. George Island.

Federal officials visited the island last month to make amends in person.

Before a small crowd at the St. George community center, Wes Kuhns said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)  is ready to take responsibility for its actions.

"I'm here to deliver a long overdue apology for the tragedies that befell the Aleut people on our watch," said Kuhns, acting captain of a USFWS research vessel.