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Alaska 87 articles

Helicopter company to pay widow $6 million in wrongful death case

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-based Haverfield Aviation Inc., will pay a New York woman $6 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit involving a 2012 helicopter crash that killed her husband. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford granted the motion to approved the settlement between the aerial power line inspection company and Brenda Crout, whose husband, Dale, 41, died while inspecting power lines in Corning, New York, for New York State Electric and Gas Corporation (NYSEG). The crash also took the life of pilot Mackenzie Bleth, 24, of Grand Ronde, Oregon. Though young, Bleth was an experienced pilot, having worked previously for Coastal Helicopters ... Read More

U.S. Gun Deaths Hit Record High In 2017

Gun violence in the United States shot to a record high in 2017, claiming nearly 40,000 lives, a new analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found. On an average day, more than 90 people are killed with guns in the U.S. – about 1,300 per year, the CDC’s latest figures show. The 39,773 people who were killed by guns in 2017 marks the highest level of gun violence since the U.S. began coding gun-related deaths in national mortality data in 1979. Analyzing the CDC data by race and gender, CNN found that ... Read More

14-Year-Old Boy Survives Helicopter Crash in Alaska’s Glacier Bay

Federal investigators, Airbus officials, and others are investigating a helicopter crash in a Southeastern Alaska bay that killed at least one person and critically injured a 14-year-old boy. Two other occupants of the helicopter were still missing as of Tuesday. Alaska’s KTOO Public Media reports that Coast Guard rescuers located 14-year-old Aiden Pepperd near the helicopter crash site in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, about 120 miles northwest of Juneau. The boy had broken ribs and other internal injuries but was pulled from the icy water and flown to a hospital in Sitka for treatment, where he remains in intensive ... Read More

Sitka Police Detective Files Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint Against Department

A police detective in Sitka, Alaska, has filed a whistleblower complaint against the city’s police department, alleging it took retaliatory action against him for raising concerns about gun procurement and other dubious practices within the department. According to Sitka’s KCAW News, trouble started for Sitka Police Department investigator Ryan Silva when he discovered the department had unlawfully purchased five fully automatic weapons in November 2017. Det. Silva joined the Sitka Police Department in 2008 after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was promoted to detective in 2011 and has served in that role since. He is also one of ... Read More

Worker Disability, Illness An Increasingly Costly U.S. Problem

If ever there were a sound argument for strong occupational safety and health laws, better regulator funding to enforce those laws, and affordable health care for all Americans, it would be this: the simple fact that a full quarter of the U.S. population has a disability that diminishes their ability to work or deprives them of it altogether. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that one in four U.S. adults – about 61 million citizens – has a disability that impacts major life activities. Analyzing data pulled from the ... Read More

Recovery of Alaska Tour Plane Crash Victims Too Dangerous to Proceed

Efforts to recover the bodies of five people killed in an Alaska “flightseeing” plane crash earlier this month have been called off, park rangers said, because the operation would exceed an acceptable level of risk to recovery workers. “Due to the unique challenges posed by the steepness of terrain, the crevasse, avalanche hazard and the condition of the aircraft, NPS has determined that recovery of the deceased and/or removal of the aircraft exceed an acceptable level of risk in all three factors and will not be attempted,” the National Park Service said in a news release. The de Havilland Beaver ... Read More

Alaska Flightseeing Plane Crash Kills Four; Fifth Person Missing

Four people are dead and a fifth is missing but presumed dead after a sightseeing plane crashed on a steep mountain face in Alaska’s Denali National Park Saturday evening. The de Havilland Beaver flightseeing airplane operated by K2 Aviation was carrying four tourists from Poland and pilot Craig Layson when it crashed Saturday, Aug. 4 about 6 p.m. The airplane took off from Talkeetna Saturday evening for a tour of Kahiltna Glacier when it crashed about 14 miles southwest of Mt. Denali (formerly named Mt. McKinley). The plane crashed near the top of Thunder Mountain, a mile-long ridge with an ... Read More

E.coli tainted romaine lettuce sickens more people, kills one

The E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region has taken the life of one person and sickened an additional 23, bringing the total number of infections to 121 since the outbreak began in March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, infections have been reported in 25 states. A California resident who consumed the romaine lettuce and developed E.coli infection died. It is the first known fatality connected to the multistate E.coli outbreak. Fifty-two of those sickened were hospitalized and 14 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious complication of E.coli. The ... Read More

The Arc of Anchorage Settles False Claims Act Allegations

The Arc of Anchorage, an organization supporting Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has agreed to pay nearly $2.3 million to settle a False Claims Act complaint alleging it defrauded Alaska’s Medicaid Program. In an April 24 announcement, the Alaska Department of Law said the State of Alaska accused Arc of Anchorage of billing Medicaid for services that it never provided and billing for overlapping services with the same provider. Additionally, the state further alleged that Arc of Anchorage failed to repay funds owed to the Medicaid program that the organization had identified in fiscal audits. The allegations constitute violations ... Read More

Wing detachment eyed in Deadly Flight School Plane Crash

Federal investigators probing a plane crash that killed an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student and his flight instructor in Daytona Beach last week said they are focusing on the aircraft’s wing after multiple witnesses said they saw the wing fall off the plane during flight. Air traffic controllers and other witnesses said the Piper PA-28R-201 airplane spun out of control after its wing detached. The incident occurred while the plane was in “cruise climb” following takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport. The plane crashed into a cow pasture about a half mile from the airport, killing 25-year-old Zach Capra and flight ... Read More