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 The National Transportation Safety Board performs a difficult, vital job in responding to accidents involving civil aviation in the United States.

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A colorful graph paints a pretty picture— the Alaska Permanent Fund did well in fiscal 2015. Not so much this year to date.

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Kenneth Ray Book, 92, died Jan. 30, 2016, in Beaverton, Oregon.
Lawrence Harris Milton, 79, died Jan. 5, 2016, in Ketchikan.
MaryEllen Haseltine, 91, died Jan. 239, 2016, in Ketchikan.
7/11/2014
Must-have for hiking

Another item has been added to the list of "don't leave home without it."

Or, in this case, "don't leave the cruise ship." Or "don't hike."

A 16-year-old cruise ship tourist got lost hiking on Deer Mountain this week.

But never fear. He had a cellphone, and called 911.

Not only did the phone call alert authorities to his predicament, but they instructed him to turn on the GPS on the phone and read off his longitude and latitude. Then all he had to do — besides hope no hungry bear showed up before he could be rescued — is wait for the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.

A two- or three-day search turned into an immediate rescue and a happy ending because of technology.

It just goes to show how important a phone can be in the life of a teenager. Or anyone.