Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2001

Small cracks found in tanker

VALDEZ - Two small cracks, less than 2 1/2 inches in length, were found by divers Wednesday in the hull of the tanker SeaRiver North Slope. Officials with the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company said the cracks appear to have caused the small oil sheen spotted in the water near the vessel Tuesday afternoon.

The crew of the SeaRiver North Slope was unloading the 2.3 million gallons of crude in the affected tank and have patched the cracks temporarily. SeaRiver and the Coast Guard are working on a revised loading plan to enable the ship to sail. Alyeska officials said the ship will undergo Coast Guard-approved repairs before returning to Valdez.

GCI posts first-quarter profit

ANCHORAGE - General Communication Inc. on Wednesday reported a first-quarter profit of $2.4 million on revenue of $96.9 million. That compares with a loss of $5.5 million on revenue of $68.3 million for the same period last year.

Anchorage-based GCI attributed its profit and big revenue increase to a $19.5 million sale of capacity on its fiber-optic cable, the same reason the company recorded a profit during the second quarter of 1999.

Without the fiber-optic sale, GCI would have posted a loss of $1.8 million in the first quarter on revenue of $77.4 million, said Ron Duncan, GCI's president. That is still an improvement over last year. "We're feeling great about how we're doing," Duncan said.

About two-thirds of GCI's revenue comes from its long-distance phone service.

Letter carriers collect food for needy

ANCHORAGE - Letter carriers will handle more than mail Saturday. They'll also collect food for needy Alaskans.

It's part of a yearly national food drive by carriers. Local organizers said Alaska workers have collected more than 440,000 pounds since the effort began in 1991. Last year, carriers collected more than 56,000 pounds.

Organizers said people can leave nonperishable foods in bags or boxes near their mailboxes for letter carriers to pick up Saturday. The food will be distributed to food banks throughout the state.

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