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Articles written by Larry Persily

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 By Larry Persily    News    July 22, 2021 

Rising count of infections moves Alaska into high alert

As visitor travel to Alaska picks up strength, as residents participate in summer events, and as the pace of vaccinations slows down, the state’s COVID-19 case count is rising, prompting a return to high-alert status and warnings by health...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 22, 2021 

Wrangell scheduled for reduced ferry service October-November

Wrangell would see one northbound ferry every other week during October and November, and one southbound ferry the other weeks in October and November under the draft winter schedule released by the Alaska Marine Highway System. That’s down signifi...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 22, 2021 

Cruise ship COVID case count climbs to 16

The COVID-19 case count among the 214 passengers and crew who were aboard the American Constellation’s Southeast Alaska cruise the second week of July has risen to 16, as the ship prepared this week to end its 10-day quarantine in Juneau and...

 

From the publisher

Newspapers report what happened. Sure, we also report some of what will or may happen in the days ahead, but most of the Sentinel tells you what occurred last week in the community that may affect or...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 22, 2021 

Wrangell short of foster homes for kids in need

Wrangell needs more foster homes for children. “A lot of people are afraid to even take that first step,” said Vena Talea Stough, a tribal family and youth services case worker in Wrangell with the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 15, 2021

Industrial subdivision in the works for 6-Mile mill site

The owner of the former sawmill property at 6-Mile Zimovia Highway has been working with the borough since last year on an application to develop the site into an industrial subdivision, offering more than 32 acres for sale as individual lots. The...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 15, 2021

COVID cases climb back up in Alaska

State officials say the highly contagious delta variant is likely driving the increase in COVID-19 cases reported in Alaska, plus the fact that more than 40% of Alaskans over the age of 12 still had not received at least their first vaccination shot...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 15, 2021

COVID cases send cruise ship into quarantine

The first cruise ship to cancel runs through Southeast Alaska this summer due to COVID-19 cases on board is tied up in Juneau, waiting for the 10-day quarantine for the crew to end. The 267-foot American Constellation, which was carrying 162 passenge...

 

From the publisher

Could anything be more difficult than getting the Alaska Legislature to settle on a workable, affordable, sustainable fiscal plan for the state? Yes. Getting a clear majority of Alaskans to accept...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 15, 2021

Lawmakers work on fiscal plan, but PFD is the deadline question

Alaska lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene in another special session in just over two weeks to consider a long-term fiscal plan for the state — and to set the amount of this fall’s Permanent Fund dividend. The Aug. 2 start date for the special...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

Governor vetoes legislative attempt to boost ferry budget

Gov. Mike Dunleavy used his veto power to thwart a legislative effort to boost the state ferry system budget. The governor cut almost $8.5 million from an overall appropriation of $190.7 million intended to cover the next 18 months of Alaska Marine...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

Dunleavy vetoes small PFD, tells legislators to try again

Legislators are scheduled to return to Juneau next month and will try again to settle on an amount for this fall's Permanent Fund dividend after the governor vetoed the $525 PFD appropriated by...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

SEARHC requires vaccinations of all employees

As of last week, employees, contractors and volunteers with the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, which operates in Wrangell and 18 other communities, must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs or access to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

Bearfest back with full agenda starting July 28

“Last year, we went Bearfest Lite,” said Sylvia Ettefagh, organizer of Wrangell’s annual summer festival. “It is back to Bearfest Full,” she said of this year’s event, which is less three weeks away. Bearfest 2021 opens July 28 and runs...

 

From the publisher

The governor’s office got it wrong when it referred to $400,000 in state funding for the Alaska Legal Services Corp. as a subsidy. Guess they had to come up with a catchy explanation of why Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed the long-standing state help...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

Wrangell positions survive budget veto

Legislative efforts to restore an Office of Children’s Services caseworker in Wrangell and fund a commercial fisheries staffer in town survived the governor’s budget vetoes. Wrangell lost its Department of Fish and Game position last year due to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

Park restroom vandalism gets worse in the summer

Though vandalism of park facilities is all too frequent, it doesn’t mean staff shrugs off the damage. “Part of this is what we expect, although our hope is not to be dealing with vandalism,” said Kate Thomas, director of the borough’s parks...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 8, 2021

First large cruise ship due in Ketchikan on trial voyage

It’s not like old times of 1.3 million cruise ship visitors to Southeast Alaska, but it’s the start of the best it’s going to be this summer. The first large cruise ship to stop at an Alaska port since 2019 is scheduled to tie up in Ketchikan...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 1, 2021

Businesses report heavy loss of revenue during pandemic

Wrangell businesses did better than those in Skagway but worse than their counterparts in the larger and more diversified economies of Juneau and Sitka during the economic shutdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an online survey of...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 1, 2021

Legislature finishes budget but dividend fight will resume Aug. 2

The Alaska House avoided a government shutdown when it voted Monday for the state budget to take effect with the start of the new fiscal year today, though the political battles over state spending and the Permanent Fund dividend are far from over. G...

 

From the publisher: News, opinion, advertising are all different

This week seems like a good time to explain to readers the different roles of a newspaper. In particular, this newspaper. Actually, any week would be a good time, as I am often reminded that many readers are confused at the different parts of a...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 1, 2021

The triathlon is real, even if it is 'unofficial'

Try telling the competitors who swim 1.2 miles in open water, bike for 56 miles and run for 15 miles that they are “unofficial.” Nicholas Howell organized the inaugural Tongass ToughMan Triathlon in 2019 as an official event, but the COVID-19...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    July 1, 2021

Effort underway to bring back Coast Guard Auxiliary

It’s been about 25 years since Wrangell had a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary detachment — and Liz Buness wants to bring it back. She thought about the need while she was working aboard the state ferries for 16 years, vowing “when I retire, maybe...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 24, 2021

Legislature, governor in dispute over budget

A budget debate has brought the state to within a week of the start of the new fiscal year and the risk that state agencies could close on July 1 if the governor and legislators cannot settle the dispute. The battle between the governor and...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    June 24, 2021

Forest Service looks toward several projects

Most of a half-mile of slippery boardwalk trail at the Anan Wildlife Observatory is being replaced with gravel this summer, but that's just one of several U.S. Forest Service projects planned and...

 

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