Wrangell Sentinel -

Articles written by Brian Varela

Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 57

 By Brian Varela    News    June 10, 2021

Petersburg offers cash-prize drawings for vaccinations

The Petersburg borough is offering $10,000 in prizes during June to encourage residents who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 to get the shot. The Sleeves Up Petersburg drawing is sponsored by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services,...

 By Brian Varela    News    February 25, 2021

Petersburg goes to high-risk COVID status

With a growing number of COVID-19 cases in the community - 36 between Thursday and Wednesday morning - Petersburg officials have elevated the community risk level to red. The number of active cases...

 By Brian Varela    News    December 24, 2020

Dr. Zink "cautiously optimistic" in COVID update

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska's chief medical officer, called in to a special meeting of the Wrangell Borough Assembly last Friday afternoon, Dec. 18, to give a brief update on the COVID-19 situation across...

 By Brian Varela    News    December 24, 2020

Erosion causes landslide at Public Works in Petersburg

PETERSBURG - Water from this month's heavy rainfall ripped at deformities in a culvert that runs underneath the Public Works yard, opening up a portion of the pipe and causing a landslide near Hammer...

 By Brian Varela    News    December 17, 2020

Petersburg bow hunter sets world record

PETERSBURG – After an anxious three months, the rocky mountain goat Kaleb Baird shot with a bow and arrow on the Cleveland Peninsula has been certified by Pope and Young, a conservation club, as...

 By Brian Varela    News    December 3, 2020

Petersburg officer accused of sexual misconduct

Two Petersburg residents are facing charges after accusing a Petersburg Police Department officer of sexual misconduct. James R. Vick and Julie C. Ruhle claimed that Officer Louis Waechter allegedly t...

 By Brian Varela    News    October 29, 2020

Positive COVID-19 case shuts down schools in Petersburg

PETERSBURG – A positive case of COVID-19 was identified this morning in Mrs. Potrzuski’s fifth grade classroom at Rae C. Stedman Elementary School, resulting in a district-wide school closure, according to a statement on Petersburg School...

 By Brian Varela    News    October 1, 2020

Wet summer overflows Swan Lake

During Southeast Alaska's record breaking rainfall this summer, the Swan Lake hydroelectric facility reached its full capacity for the first time since the project was upgraded three years ago, accord...

 By Brian Varela    News    August 13, 2020

Alaska behind in 2020 United States Census response

Alaska is ranked last among the 50 states in its response to the 2020 United States Census, as of Tuesday, Aug. 11. Only Puerto Rico is behind Alaska in its response to the census, according to...

 By Brian Varela    News    August 6, 2020

State Troopers say driver may have lost control of vehicle

Alaska State Troopers continue to investigate a fatal accident that claimed the lives of four seine boat crewmembers sometime after 10 P.M. on Monday, July 27. A Ford Excursion driven by Siguard...

 By Brian Varela    News    July 30, 2020

Four dead in car crash

Four individuals died in a car crash that occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning on Mitkof Island when their SUV drove off the roadway near the 27 mile marker of Mitkof Highway at a high...

 By Brian Varela    News    July 30, 2020

Power outages in two cities may be linked

At 12:27 P.M. on Saturday, power went out in parts of Petersburg. Three minutes later, downtown Wrangell was also left in the dark, leaving Petersburg and Wrangell officials to think that the two...

 By Brian Varela    News    July 23, 2020

WPSD town hall answers SMART Start questions

The Wrangell Public School District held a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, July 16, where school officials answered submitted questions from families regarding the SMART Start reopening plan fo...

 By Brian Varela    News    July 23, 2020

Four dead in car crash

PETERSBURG- Four individuals died in a car crash that occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning on Mitkof Island when their SUV drove off the roadway near the 27 mile marker of Mitkof... Full story

 By Brian Varela    News    July 9, 2020

AMHS limiting spread of virus on board ferries

The M/V Matanuska arrived in Wrangell Sunday evening during its first voyage of the season out of Bellingham, but that same day a passenger onboard the M/V Kennicott, which left Bellingham on June...

 By Brian Varela    News    May 14, 2020

Hospital construction continues with COVID protections in place

Construction of Wrangell's new hospital is continuing, despite some impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an update supplied by Sondra Forrester, with SEARHC, the project has suffered from...

 By Brian Varela    News    May 7, 2020

Replacement date for SEAPA line unknown

PETERSBURG – Southeast Alaska Power Agency is still in the process of trying to replace a damaged submarine cable that provides Petersburg with power, as complications increase due to the COVID-19 p...

 By Brian Varela    News    April 16, 2020

Petersburg's Little Norway Festival cancelled

PETERSBURG – The Petersburg Chamber of Commerce has officially cancelled this year's Little Norway Festival due to uncertainties over how long state health mandates to shelter in place and...

 By Brian Varela    News    April 9, 2020

Senators explain CARES Act

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan held an electronic town hall meeting last week to talk about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and what kind of aid it provides to small...

 By Brian Varela    News    March 12, 2020

SEACAD intercepts package containing meth

PETERSBURG ­– Lloyd Bennett, 51, was indicted by a Grand Jury on Tuesday on one count of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree, which is a class B felony. On Monday,...

 By Brian Varela    News    March 12, 2020

Second Alaska Wildlife Trooper comes to Petersburg

PETERSBURG ­- The local Alaska Wildlife Trooper post held an open house on Saturday to welcome the community to their new location on Haugen Dr. and to introduce Petersburg's new wildlife trooper....

 By Brian Varela    News    March 5, 2020

Petersburg resident breaks into post office

PETERSBURG - Christopher Manske was arrested on Feb. 26, and is now being held in federal custody in Juneau facing charges of burglary of a post office and mail theft. According to the United States D...

 By Brian Varela    News    March 5, 2020

Stedman speaks on AMHS at Petersburg chamber banquet

PETERSBURG – Sen. Bert Stedman told the community while attending the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce banquet on Saturday that the future of the Alaska Marine Highway System depends on how negotiatio...


How ferry shutdown impacts school districts

The shutdown of ferry service in Southeast Alaska has impacted many aspects of day-to-day life in communities across the region. In previous reporting by the Wrangell Sentinel and Petersburg Pilot,...

 By Brian Varela    News    February 20, 2020

Elizabeth Peratrovich Day, Sunday February 16, 2020 - The face of Alaska Native civil rights

PETERSBURG ­– The Petersburg Indian Association, Petersburg Arts Council and Petersburg ANB/ANS hosted the first annual Elizabeth Peratrovich Day celebration on Sunday to honor the woman who spearh...


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