Articles written by Ketchikan Daily News & Wrangell Sentinel


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  • Ortiz will not seek reelection; three candidates file for seat

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    Rep. Dan Ortiz, the Ketchikan independent who has represented southern Southeast communities since January 2015, including Wrangell, has decided to withdraw as a candidate for reelection, citing health and family considerations. Ortiz had filed in July as a candidate for reelection to House District 1, representing Ketchikan, Saxman, Metlakatla, Wrangell, Hyder, Coffman Cove and Whale Pass. However, a “more definitive” health concern caused him to reconsider, he told the Ketchikan Daily News on May 28. “It’s been within the last week that I...

  • More than 4 years after launch, state ferry Hubbard finally goes to work

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|May 24, 2023

    The Hubbard pulled away from the dock at the Ketchikan Shipyard on May 18, headed for its first passenger sailing — more than four years after it was built at a cost of about $60 million. Carrying a crew of 24 — with newly installed sleeping quarters for crew — the Hubbard headed to Juneau, where it was scheduled to start work Tuesday, running six days a week between the Capital City and the Lynn Canal communities of Haines and Skagway. The Hubbard is not scheduled to visit Wrangell this summer. With the Matanuska out of service for repai...

  • Southeast pink salmon forecast for 2023 comes in at significantly lower harvest

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 16, 2022

    State and federal fishery managers are forecasting a commercial harvest of about 19 million pink salmon in 2023 in Southeast Alaska, which would be a “significant drop” from the parent-year harvest of 48.5 million pinks in 2021, according to last week’s announcement from the federal NOAA Fisheries and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A 19-million fish harvest would be at the high end of the “weak” range (11 million to 19 million fish), according to the announcement, which added that a harvest of that size would be only about 39% of the avera...

  • Alaska ferry service returns to Prince Rupert this week

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 22, 2022

    Alaska state ferry service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, resumed on Monday afternoon. The last state ferry voyage to the Canadian port city was in late fall 2019. The Matanuska made a quick round trip Monday and is scheduled for another voyage on Friday. “(The) Matanuska made a test sailing to Prince Rupert about a week ago and all went to plan,” state Transportation Department spokesperson Sam Dapcevich wrote in a Friday email. This summer’s service is limited, with two round trips scheduled the third week of July,...

  • State awards contract for crew quarters aboard Hubbard

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Jan 20, 2022

    The Alaska Department of Transportation on Jan. 14 announced it had awarded a $15 million contract to Vigor’s Ketchikan shipyard for installation of living quarters aboard the state ferry Hubbard, which will enable the ship to carry a change of crew for longer runs. The 280-foot-long Hubbard and its sister ship Tazlina were built at state specifications at a cost of about $60 million each at the Ketchikan shipyard and launched a few years ago, but have seen limited service due to the ferry system’s tight budget, lack of crew quarters and oth...

  • First case of Omicron variant reported in Alaska

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 16, 2021

    The first known case of the Omicron variant in Alaska was reported on Monday, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The variant case was identified in an Anchorage resident. “The case was identified today through genomic sequencing performed at the Alaska State Public Health Laboratory from a person who recently tested positive in Anchorage following international travel in November,” the statement read. “Alaska now joins at least 30 other states and more than 60 countries that have already identified the varia...

  • Seats start to fill on new ferry advisory board

    Ketchikan Daily News and Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 2, 2021

    A new state advisory board intended to provide more public input over operations and investment decisions for the Alaska Marine Highway System is starting to gather up its members, with five of the nine positions filled. None of the board members named so far are from southern Southeast Alaska. The Legislature this year approved the new panel’s composition and advisory responsibilities to replace a board structure under an 18-year-old law that had been criticized as ineffective and often ignored by state officials. House Speaker Louise S...