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The Latest: Dunleavy inauguration pulled off on short notice

December 3, 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2018 file photo, Alaska Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy stands with his wife, Rose, on stage during a GOP rally in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy takes office Monday, Dec. 3, days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked heavily-populated south-central Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the inauguration of Gov. Mike Dunleavy (all times local):

2:52 p.m.

The principal of the western Alaska school where Gov. Mike Dunleavy was sworn in says school district staff and students were among those who helped pull off the event.

Mark Jenkins joked they had 90 minutes but could have done it in 60.

Dunleavy planned to be sworn in in Noorvik but his plane was diverted to Kotzebue because of weather. So Kotzebue Middle High School hosted the event.

Jenkins is the principal of the school, which includes grades six through 12.

He says physical education students who would have been in the gym for class helped set up chairs. He says the school hosts many events but not always on such short notice.

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12:30 p.m.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy says his spur-of-the-moment inauguration in the western Alaska city of Kotzebue showed how rural Alaska residents make things work amid sudden changes.

Dunleavy planned to fly from Anchorage into the village of Noorvik for his swearing-in Monday. Dunleavy’s wife, Rose, is from Noorvik. But limited visibility forced him to be diverted to Kotzebue, which is about 40 air miles (64 kilometers) away.

Dunleavy lived in Kotzebue for years. Flight delays due to weather aren’t unheard of.

But he says his swearing in, at a school in Kotzebue, was pulled together within 90 minutes amid the change in weather and plans.

He says rural Alaska would not be an afterthought in his administration.

He says he hoped to still get to Noorvik for a community celebration.

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11:40 am.

Republican Mike Dunleavy has been sworn in as Alaska’s new governor.

Dunleavy took the oath of office shortly before noon on Monday in the western Alaska city Kotzebue, after a topsy-turvy day that saw poor visibility derail Dunleavy’s plans to fly into the tiny village of Noorvik for his swearing in. Dunleavy’s wife, Rose, is from Noorvik.

He had initially planned to ride to Noorvik from Kotzebue by snowmobile but those plans were changed so Dunleavy could focus time on earthquake recovery efforts. A magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Anchorage and other parts of south-central Alaska on Friday.

Dunleavy succeeds Gov. Bill Walker, an independent who dropped his re-election bid in October. Dunleavy defeated Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich in last month’s election.

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11 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Alaska Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy says he’ll be sworn in at a school in the western Alaska city of Kotzebue.

Dunleavy had planned to take the oath of office Monday in the tiny village of Noorvik, where his wife, Rose, is from.

But spokeswoman Sarah Erkmann Ward says some flights headed to Noorvik were canceled Monday morning because of visibility. Dunleavy flew on a private charter from Anchorage Monday.

Ward says Dunleavy was diverted to Kotzebue. She says he’ll be sworn in at the Kotzebue Middle High School.

Under the state constitution, a governor’s term starts at noon on the first Monday in December following his or her election.

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10:10 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Alaska Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy says he’ll be sworn in in the western Alaska city of Kotzebue.

Dunleavy had planned to take the oath of office Monday in the tiny village of Noorvik, where his wife is from.

But spokeswoman Sarah Erkmann Ward says some flights headed to Noorvik were canceled Monday morning because of visibility. Dunleavy was flying on a private charter from Anchorage Monday.

Ward says Dunleavy will be diverted to Kotzebue. She says Lt. Gov.-elect Kevin Meyer is there. She says officials are determining where the swearing in will occur.

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9:20 a.m.

Alaska Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy has a backup plan should his flight to the tiny village of Noorvik not be able to land for his swearing-in ceremony.

Transition spokeswoman Sarah Erkmann Ward says some flights headed to Noorvik from the western Alaska city of Kotzebue were canceled Monday morning because of visibility.

She says others are awaiting word on their flights.

Dunleavy was scheduled to fly from Anchorage to Noorvik Monday on a private charter. Ward says the judge scheduled to swear Dunleavy in is on the flight with him, along with his swearing-in paperwork.

She says the hope is that Dunleavy can land in Noorvik or, as a fall back, in Kotzebue, where some supporters are waiting for flights.

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12 a.m.

Alaska Gov.-elect Mike Dunleavy takes office Monday, days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked heavily-populated south-central Alaska.

Dunleavy initially planned to make a 65-mile (105-kilometer) trek by snowmobile from the western Alaska hub city of Kotzebue to Noorvik for the swearing in. Noorvik is a tiny Inupiat Eskimo village above the Arctic Circle that is his wife’s hometown.

But transition spokeswoman Sarah Erkmann Ward says that would have required an overnight stay in Kotzebue. She says given the earthquake response, Dunleavy decided to abbreviate his trip.

He plans to fly to Noorvik from Anchorage Monday.

It is unusual, but not unprecedented, for an Alaska governor to be sworn in outside the capital city of Juneau.

Dunleavy says he’s been in close contact with Gov. Bill Walker about the emergency response.

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