ST. GEORGE

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

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.

Pipa Escalante/KUCB

The only air carrier for the Pribilof Islands is asking for financial support to keep its remote market afloat.

PenAir has requested the U.S. Department of Transportation subsidize flights to St. Paul and St. George Islands, which are guaranteed Essential Air Service.

Courtesy of USGS

St. George Island is waiting on an emergency water delivery after falling ice damaged the community’s reservoir on Monday.

In St. George, water is stored in a 280,000-gallon steel tank that draws from an aquifer. The reservoir isn’t insulated, so when cold winds batter the island from the north, water freezes inside the tank, usually near the top.

Mayor Pat Pletnikoff said that leaves ice hanging dangerously as the water level drops, like it did on Monday.

Zoë Sobel/KUCB

 

The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea are a magnet for scientists who come to study everything from fur seals to migratory birds. When they leave, that research often leaves with them.

But for the last nine years, the local tribe has found a way to bring it back home. Each fall, a group of scientists return — not to do research, but to share its findings with the students of Saint Paul and Saint George Islands.

For the first time this year, a former student is now a teacher.

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