News Minute: Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. AKST
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Volcano Observatory says smoke has risen miles above a volcano on one of the Aleutian Islands. Anchorage Daily News reports lava flowed down the side of Shishaldin Volcano on Unimak Island Saturday. Smoke rose more than 5 miles high Sunday from the volcano about 700 miles west of Anchorage. The National Weather Service issued an alert for pilots as plumes were recorded 30,000 feet in elevation and extending up to 90 miles east. No flights were canceled by midday Sunday and the volcano observatory said the ash emissions had ended in the evening.
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TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska (AP) - The 2020 census in the U.S. will begin this week in a tiny community in Alaska. It has started in rural Alaska ever since the U.S. purchased the territory from Russia in 1867. This year, the first people will be counted in Toksook Bay, a city of 661 on the Bering Sea. Once the spring thaw hits, the town empties as many residents leave to hunt and fish. The mail service is spotty and the internet connectivity unreliable, which makes door-to-door surveying important. For those reasons, they have to start early here.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The 2020 census will begin next week in rural Alaska. The census always starts in remote parts of the nation's largest state out of tradition and necessity. It's easier for Census workers to travel on frozen ground than after the thaw. Plus, they are likely to get more residents, who tend to leave for hunting and fishing grounds after the thaw. The first count will be conducted Tuesday in Toksook Bay, located on Nelson Island just off Alaska's western coast. Census Director Steven Dillingham will conduct the first count, but is doing census outreach this weekend in Anchorage before flying west.
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