Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Elmendorf C-130 fleet takes final flight

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ANCHORAGE - Elmendorf Air Force Base is bidding farewell to the C-130 Hercules, a military workhorse cargo plane that first arrived 43 years ago.

A crew took one of the last two C-130 flights out of Elmendorf for the 517th Airlift Squadron, known as the Firebirds. Along for the ride Friday were some of the spouses and crew who stepped aboard the C-130s assigned to the 517th or its predecessors.

Lt. Col. Gary Gottschall piloted Firebird I on a tour of Southcentral Alaska, flying over the Skwentna River basin, Hayes Glacier, Mount Spurr and other points. He was finishing what Lt. Sammie Hunter, a passenger Friday, started in June of 1964.

Over the years, Elmendorf's C-130s have supplied Arctic science stations, Cold War DEW Line outposts on Greenland and radar stations in the Aleutians. More recently, the planes have delivered disaster relief to Pakistan earthquake victims in Pakistan and Indonesia tsunami victims.

Since January, the C-130s have been shifting out to Japan, and back to Dyess. The planes are being replaced with newer C-17s, which require smaller crews.

SE Alaska schools get health grants

SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has awarded grants of $4,000 to $14,549 to five school districts in Southeast Alaska.

It was the second round of grants awarded under the Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program. The funding goes to help schools offer healthier food choices, more physical activity, smoking prevention and other programs.

Grants were:

• $13,991.76 to the Haines Borough School District to implement the K-6 SPARK PE program (SPARK stands for Sports, Play & Active Recreation for Kids).

• $13,100 to the Sitka School District, for a vending machine makeover, administrative regulation and nutrition standard development.

• $7,182.60 to Hoonah City Schools, for a School Health Index.

• $4,000 to the Craig City School District for a School Health Index.

• $14,549 to the Chatham School District/Angoon to implement the SPARK PE program in grades K-8.

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