JUNEAU (AP) -- A radio station in Kotzebue will receive $90,000 in emergency aid to replace its tower and antenna under an administrative order issued Friday by Gov. Tony Knowles.
The tower and antenna, operated by KOTZ-AM, was destroyed Aug. 13 when a small plane struck it. The station provided the Emergency Alert System for the northwest arctic area.
Knowles said in his order that the loss of the tower threatens the safety of numerous communities and subsistence and commercial fishing and hunting camps in the area. The next six months are historically a peak period for destructive sea storms and river floods, Knowles said in the order.
The single-engine Maule M-6 plane struck the tower in poor weather, knocking off about 60 feet of the antenna before crashing. The crash killed the pilot, John Martin Pursell, 45, and injured his 13-year-old son, Erik.
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