Alaska ferry system to stop winter service to nearby island

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KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska ferry system has released a new schedule that stops service to and from Kodiak Island in the winter.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Thursday that the Alaska Marine Highway System announced there are no scheduled ferry operations between Jan. 11 to April 24.

Officials say ferry service has routinely stopped for maintenance, but this year the vessels are in overhaul simultaneously because of a $43 million reduction in marine highway budget.

Multiple industries say extending the closure period could hinder business because of a lack of import and export efforts.

Residents say the ferry was an affordable way to access the state's mainland including for grocery shopping and hospital visits.

Officials say residents can use planes or boats, which can be unreliable and dangerous in winter conditions.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com

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