• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers. Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA. Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 19s

Residents say dangerous medevac shows King Cove’s need for a road

By Heather Hintze 6:43 PM February 18, 2014

The small community continues to fight for a "life-saving road" to an all-weather airport in Cold Bay.

ANCHORAGE – A King Cove woman remains in critical condition after being medevaced out of the small Aleutian town on Friday.

Residents said the situation highlights their need for a life-saving road to Cold Bay, one Interior Secretary Sally Jewell denied in December.

King Cove Mayor Henry Mack was in Anchorage on Tuesday to visit his sister-in-law Irene Newman, the woman the U.S. Coast Guard rushed to a hospital on Friday.

Video of the rescue shows just how bad the weather was. With his smartphone, Vincent Perino captured the Coast Guard’s decent into King Cove. The helicopter is only visible for a few seconds before it disappears in the heavy snow and high winds.

The Coast Guard is the last resort for the community. On Friday, Mack said, the weather was so bad even the Coast Guard almost didn’t make it.

He’s said he’s frustrated with Jewell’s decision to protect birds in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge instead of letting the community build a life-saving road.

Doctors were still performing tests to see if his sister-in-law might have been in heart failure by the time she got to Anchorage, he said.

“Every hour on the ground and not being at a hospital, it doesn’t do your heart any good,” Mack said. “We’re hoping it’s not serious heart problems. We could have been at the airport to life flight a lot earlier if we have a road over to Cold Bay.”

Jewell visited King Cove last year and heard residents’ stories of medical emergencies. One elder was medevaced out in a crab pot; a pregnant woman miscarried her baby before she was able to make it to an Anchorage hospital.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski accompanied Jewell on that trip. She said she continues to fight for King Cove residents after Jewell denied the road.

Murkowski has sent three letters to Jewell since the December decision. In her most recent letter she said, “The stress felt by the residents of King Cove, for the safety of their families, is unforgiveable. While plenty of our smallest communities face transportation challenges, none are as close to an all-weather runway and access to hospital care as King Cove. To be left in harms way, not because of geography, but because of the callous decision of Washington bureaucrats is unacceptable.”

Mack said he still can’t believe Jewell met with the community face-to-face and still said no to a road.

“We spent hours, many meetings with the Wildlife Service, Sally Jewell,” Mack said. “They heard our stories, but apparently they never listened because of a decision that they made over a few birds over human life. So it’s very disheartening.”

KTVA called Jewell’s office Tuesday afternoon but was unable to reach her for a comment.

Latest Stories

  • Alaskans weigh in on new deportation rules from Trump administration

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 21, 22:27

    New rules from the Department of Homeland Security regarding illegal immigration will allow for increased deportations. The rules, announced Tuesday by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, outline a number of ways the government will speed up deportations. It requests the hiring of 10,000 new Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel, publicizing crimes illegal immigrants […]

  • Lifestyle

    Lovers of Italian olive oil in for some sticker shock

    by Associated Press on Feb 21, 21:59

    From specialty shops in Rome to supermarkets around the world, lovers of Italian olive oil are in for some sticker shock this year, with prices due to jump by as much as 20 percent. The combination of bad weather and pests hit the harvest in Southern Europe, most of all in Italy, where production is […]

  • News

    Attorney: Some victims, witnesses of crimes may not feel safe coming forward under immigration changes

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 21, 21:33

    Robin Bronen is an Anchorage attorney and the executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, which works to protect human rights, refugees and immigrants, among other things. She sat down with Joe Vigil to discuss recently released guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security regarding immigration and deportation. Bronen said one concern with the new […]

  • Suspect arraigned on new charges related to deadly shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 21, 21:06

    A man accused of killing an Anchorage 19-year-old appeared in court Tuesday on two new charges in the case. Christopher Birotte, 23, was arraigned for first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder in connection to a Jan. 24 shooting that resulted in the death of Tiwan Johnson. Birotte was previously arraigned on other charges of second-degree […]

  • Weather

    KTVA Weather Lab: Scenic Park Elementary School

    by Melissa Frey on Feb 21, 20:33

    In this week’s KTVA Weather Lab, I visited Scenic Park Elementary School. The third-graders in Ms. Westfall’s class are learning that the sun is always shining, regardless of what the weather looks like outside their window. While I was there, they asked me the Weather Lab Question of the Week: How do clouds get their shapes? Every Tuesday, […]

  • Sports

    Aces hit the road, and the timing may be right

    by Dave Goldman on Feb 21, 20:31

    It has not gone well of late for the Alaska Aces. Uncertainty over their future, combined with a slide on the ice has the team reeling. Perhaps a road trip will do them some good—a long one.  Tuesday was their final skate at Sullivan Arena for a while. On Wednesday, they’ll depart for the East Coast on a 10-game, three-week trek. “We go […]

  • News

    DHS issues memos meant to crack down on illegal immigration

    by Rebecca Shabad / CBS News on Feb 21, 20:15

    The Department of Homeland Security issued two memos Tuesday morning that could expand the number of immigrants detained or deported as part the administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The memos are intended to implement President Trump’s immigration actions from last month and enforce existing immigration law. CBS News’ Jeff Pegues previewed some […]

  • Weather

    Alaska Weather Forecast – Feb. 21, 2017

    by KTVA Weather on Feb 21, 20:01

    Winter weather advisories are in place for parts of the state, including Bristol Bay, according to meteorologist Carlos Faura. He explains what the rest of the state can expect in the coming days, including whether there will be more snow, and how much. Follow KTVA 11’s Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Got a weather-related […]