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Scientists to measure ash stirred from 1912 Alaska eruption

Friday, September 4, 2015 9:30am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Volcano Observatory is sending scientists to Kodiak Island to set up equipment that can monitor a century-old hazard: volcanic ash from the Novarupta-Katmai eruption in 1912. The eruption was the largest in the 20th Century and created the Valley of 10,000 Smokes in what is now Katmai National Park on the Alaska Peninsula. U.S. Geological Survey geologist Kristi Wallace says ash up to 60 feet deep remains in some valleys in Katmai and can be kicked up and blown toward Kodiak when it's not covered by snow, creating a hazard for aircraft and possibly human health. Each spring and fall, strong northwesterly winds blow ash around. Wallace says the wind can reconstitute ash clouds so large they're detected by satellite. The observatory will install particulate measuring instruments at two locations to collect ash samples and assess how much is blown around.

Woman suspected of stealing patrol car holding cuffed spouse

Friday, September 4, 2015 9:15am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State Troopers have arrested a Big Lake woman suspected of stealing a patrol car that held her handcuffed husband in the back seat. Troopers say 28-year-old Amber Watford and 38-year-old Joshua Watford were arrested Thursday at a Wasilla home. Troopers on Wednesday received a tip that Joshua Watford, who was wanted on a warrant, was in a Big Lake pawn shop. An officer arrested him, placed him in handcuffs and put him in the back of a patrol car. Troopers say the officer was speaking to a passing motorist when Amber Watford got behind the wheel of the patrol car and took off. Troopers recovered the patrol car an hour later. A tip led them to the Watfords. They're being held on suspicion of vehicle theft and other charges.

Invasive plant spreads to Interior Alaska beyond Fairbanks

Friday, September 4, 2015 9:00am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - An invasive plant species previously thought to only have invaded Interior waterways around Fairbanks has been spotted north of Nenana. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that federal agencies have confirmed that elodea has been found in Totchaket Slough, a small side stream of the Tanana River about 12 miles from Nenana. Elodea is a leafy, long-stemmed plant, known to crowd out native species of freshwater flora. Elodea was found in Lake Hood last month causing officials to worry that departing aircraft could bring the weed to new sites. The weed has been previously spotted in Chena Slough, Chena Lake and in a small part of the Chena River in west Fairbanks. Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District officials are reminding boaters to rinse boats and other gear before putting them in new bodies of water.

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