• 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

  • Sports

    Local Seahawks fans voice their support ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

    by on Jan 30, 23:11

    The Seattle Seahawks continue preparing for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Fans back in Anchorage are sending a loud message to their favorite team hoping the Seahawks win their second straight championship. Fans staged a rally early Friday night at Flat Top Pizza. It took place after they took part in another event at […]

  • Sports

    Former NFL player helps teens become successful, avoid trouble with the law

    by Dave Leval on Jan 30, 22:50

    Former defensive end Mao Tosi has tackled many people during his playing days in college and with the Arizona Cardinals. However, being home in Anchorage may provide his biggest obstacle. Tosi created AK Pride 10 years ago, a program in which he teams mentors with kids in a variety of programs ranging from arts to […]

  • News

    Alaska Regional Hospital announces plans for Mountain View clinic

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 30, 21:48

    The Anchorage Community Land Trust and Alaska Regional Hospital have signed an agreement to open a community health clinic in Mountain View to better serve residents in the area. The clinic would provide primary care services for residents in the Mountain View community, many of whom may not be getting the level of healthcare they […]

  • News

    Mayoral candidates address recent Anchorage violence

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 30, 20:34

    With the recent surge in violent crimes in Anchorage, some of the candidates in the upcoming mayoral race are speaking out against the actions of perpetrators and looking for ways to protect other residents. Candidate Andrew Halcro says the recent shootings in Anchorage need to be addressed with dedicated gang and drug task forces. “When […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Jan. 30

    by Carlos Faura on Jan 30, 19:23

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Lots of sunshine and mild temperatures as a ridge builds into the area. Because of such a stable atmosphere and because there is little wind, conditions are ripe for some fog to develop overnight into the morning hours. It should just be patchy in nature and be gone by […]

  • News

    Last man on the moon lands in Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jan 30, 17:40

    The last man to walk on the moon visited Anchorage on Friday, and spoke with students enrolled in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Capt. Eugene Cernan, 80, was the invited speaker to help celebrate the ANSEP’s 20th anniversary. He told […]

  • News

    APD releases traffic fatality stats for 2014

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 30, 17:06

    Anchorage saw an uptick in traffic fatalities last year compared to 2009-2013, according to data released by the Anchorage Police Department Friday. Twenty-three people died in traffic collisions in 2014, which includes all collision types involving vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Of those, alcohol or drugs were a factor in 15 of the cases. The department […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Jolly Good Fellow

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 30, 15:04

    With a mix of indie pop and rock, Jolly Good Fellow stopped by Daybreak Friday for a Mic Check in the Morning. Based in Anchorage, the band includes vocalist and guitarist Kyle Harrington, bassist Mapy Preskitt and drummer Brandon Echols. For more information on Jolly Good Fellow, check out their Facebook page. You can also listen […]