The Anchorage Daily News is reporting this morning that Ted Stevens, Alaska's senior senator until 2009, is presumed to have been aboard a plane that crashed near Dillingham, Alaska. Stevens represented the state for seven terms in the U.S. Senate and was revered as a patriarch of Alaska politics; he nearly won reelection in 2008 despite a federal corruption trial that unfolded during the campaign but was defeated by Democrat Mark Begich. The downed plane was owned by IT corporation CGI. From the Anchorage Daily News:


Severe weather has hampered the rescue operation for eight people believed to be on board a GCI-owned aircraft that crashed near Dillingham on Monday night with possible fatalities, according to state and federal officials.

The Alaska Air National Guard was called to the area about 20 miles north of Dillingham at about 7 p.m. after a passing aircraft saw the wreckage, spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes said. Eight people were reported to be on board the aircraft, though their status wasn't immediately known, he said. There were possible fatalities, he said...

Friends of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens said he was traveling Monday to the GCI-owned Agulowak Lodge near Lake Aleknagik, and they were concerned for him.

A woman who answered the phone at the Anchorage home of retired Air Force Gen. Joe Ralston, a good friend of Stevens, said Ralston was with Stevens' wife, Catherine, comforting her and trying to find out what was going on.

No one answered the phone at the homes of Stevens' daughter, Susan Covich, in Kenai, or his son, Ben, in Anchorage.

Read the full story at the Anchorage Daily News.