• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 6s

King Cove residents react to road decision

By Bonney Bowman 6:56 AM December 24, 2013

"The secretary chose to look away from the people and say, 'You know, we're going to take care of the birds but we're sure not going to take care of you folks,'" said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

ANCHORAGE – Some say it’s a decision that could mean the difference between life and death for people in southwest Alaska.

Monday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell denied a plan to build a 10-mile road connecting King Cove residents with emergency medical care.

When something goes wrong for residents in King Cove, they go to the local medical clinic. But if it’s something serious, emergency medical care is a plane or helicopter ride away — if weather permits.

That’s why a road is wanted and needed: to connect King Cove and the larger airport at Cold Bay. It’s been a battle people at King Cove have been fighting for 30 years.

On the front lines is lifelong resident Della Trumble, who heard about the decision Monday morning.

She said she felt, “shock, number one and just basically anger, I have to be honest with you. We’ve worked so hard.”

Trumble has seen the problem firsthand.

Over the years, more than a dozen of her friends and neighbors have died waiting to get emergency medical care.

“I couldn’t make my doctor appointments three months in a row because I couldn’t get to Cold Bay,” Trumble said.

King Cove does have a medical clinic, but it can’t handle major emergencies.

“I don’t care how much you upgrade that medical clinic,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. ”You’re not going to have an anesthesiologist out there, you’re not going to have somebody that can handle a heart attack.”

Jewell said she denied the road project to protect the millions of birds and other animals living in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

But Murkowski said other states have roads through preserves, like the highway through the Florida Everglades.

“The secretary chose to look away from the people and say, ‘You know, we’re going to take care of the birds but we’re sure not going to take care of you folks,’” Murkowski said.

The proposed road would have been 10 miles long with one lane, made of gravel and only for medical use.

Trumble said there has to be a way to balance the needs of the community while protecting the environment.

“We will fight until we get access and that is what we will do,” she said. “This isn’t over.”

A year ago, Murkowski threatened to hold up Jewell’s appointment to the cabinet if she didn’t personally visit King Cove to learn about the problem.

Today, Murkowski said she regrets voting to approve Jewell now that the secretary has denied the road project.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Troopers: Missing woman found dead in Southwest Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 28, 21:43

    The body of a 30-year-old missing woman was found Wednesday morning after she didn’t show up for work in the Aleutian village of Akutan, authorities say. Tuesday afternoon, the Akutan Village Public Safety Officer notified Alaska State Troopers that 30-year-old Yuliana Zazueca of Bakersfield, California, was missing and did not show up for her shift at […]

  • News

    Volcano erupts on southern Japanese island

    by Associated Press on May 28, 20:32

      TOKYO – A volcano is erupting on a small island in southern Japan, and authorities have ordered residents to evacuate the island. Mount Shindake erupted in spectacular fashion about 10 a.m. local time Friday, spewing towering black-gray clouds into the sky. No injuries have been reported, although the Japan Meteorological Agency reports that pyroclastic […]

  • News

    New partnership works to create pit bull ambassadors

    by Bonney Bowman on May 28, 20:21

    A new partnership is working to change how people see pit bulls, making local dogs ambassadors for their breed. New owner Crystal Hermosura and her 7-month-old pit bull Kenai have started working on basic obedience skills. “She loves ball,” Hermosura said. “We’re still working on drop it though. Dropping it is still kind of hard […]

  • Weather

    Evening News Weather, May 28

    by KTVA Weather on May 28, 20:09

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Sunny and warmer.   Southeast Decreasing clouds with patch fog in the morning as the ridge of high pressure continues to bring quiet and stable weather.   Interior/North Slope Mostly sunny with patchy morning fog except for northern areas like fort yukon where there will be some clouds and a chance […]

  • News

    Bethel police ask for help ID’ing man in video related to Sunday stabbing

    by Daysha Eaton / KYUK Radio on May 28, 17:55

      This story originates from KYUK Public Media and was published with permission. BETHEL – Bethel Police are asking for the public’s help identifying and locating a person of interest in the homicide of Eunice Whitman. Whitman was found stabbed to death early Sunday morning along a boardwalk in a Bethel park. Police Thursday released a video […]

  • On-Air

    Alaska Fishing Report for May 28, 2015

    by Carlos Faura on May 28, 17:04

    Alaska is famous for many things. And fishing is definitely one of them. In this week’s Fishing Report, Tony Weaver and I went to Little Campbell Lake in Kincaid Park looking for action.  It didn’t take long to find it.   Anchorage King fishing on Ship Creek is open from the mouth up to the […]

  • News

    Canada plans to allow overnight travel at Stewart crossing

    by Associated Press on May 28, 15:38

    The border between Hyder, Alaska, and Stewart, British Columbia, will open to overnight travelers as part of a pilot program planned by the Canada Border Services Agency. The agency released some details Thursday on plans recently outlined to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and local officials. Travelers would use a telephone reporting system to gain entry […]

  • Crime

    East Anchorage trailer park shooting victim dies in hospital

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 28, 15:22

    A 39-year-old man shot in an East Anchorage trailer park on May 11 has died, according to police. The shooting is now being investigated as a homicide. The Anchorage Police Department was first notified at 7:04 p.m. on May 11 of a disturbance between multiple people in a trailer park on the 700 block of Muldoon […]