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Articles written by Larry Persily

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 By Larry Persily    News    April 15, 2021 

Wrangell reports 16th COVID case

City officials reported another COVID-19 case Friday afternoon, bringing to 16 the number of positive cases since last Thursday. Though the city said it had no additional information on the latest case, infections reported Thursday and earlier in... Full story

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 15, 2021 

Wrangell back under face mask ordinance through April 30

Face masks are required in all indoor public spaces until 11:59 p.m. April 30 under an emergency ordinance approved unanimously by the borough assembly Saturday morning as the city responds to the COVID-19 breakout in town. The community tallied 16... Full story

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 15, 2021 

Summer cruise ship traveler numbers continue to slide

After no season last year, Wrangell started 2021 with hopes of as many as 20,000 tourists coming to town this summer aboard cruise ships of varying sizes, with capacity of between 40 and 700...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 15, 2021 

Wrangell reports 9 COVID cases in 6 days

Wrangell tallied nine COVID-19 cases between last Thursday and late Tuesday afternoon, as the community is dealing with a spike in infections. "Health officials have found evidence of community...

 

From the publisher: Alaska needs to market 2021 before it's too late

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan became law on March 11. Much of the federal money is directed to help states, cities, businesses and individuals recover from the economic damage of the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 15, 2021 

Legislators try again to tax e-cigarettes

Legislators are trying again this year to tax "electronic smoking products"- e-cigarettes and vaping devices - the same as tobacco products. Bills to extend the state's tobacco tax to electronic smoki...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 8, 2021

House tries again to bring back two Wrangell state jobs

State department operating budgets before the House Finance Committee this week for the fiscal year that starts July 1 include funding to restore the commercial fisheries position in Wrangell and...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 8, 2021

It will take time for Alaska economy to recover

The steep drop in visitors to Alaska last year because of pandemic travel restrictions showed up in air, sea and land numbers - and resulting job losses - across the state. Overall, the state lost...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 8, 2021

Legislature waits on federal rules for pandemic funds

While Alaska legislators await federal rules for how the state can spend the almost $1.2 billion in federal pandemic relief funds headed this way, communities are waiting to see their allocations...

 

From the publisher

The Canadian border has been closed for more than a year and, judging from last week's news, it's not likely to reopen in the late-spring future or even the early-summer future. British Columbia...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 8, 2021

'Big shift' from oil to investment state, lawmaker says

Back when the North Slope was pumping 2 million barrels of crude a day at its peak in 1988, and even for years after, oil provided upward of 90% of state general fund revenues in good years. But that...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 8, 2021

City reports 3 more COVID cases; calls it an 'outbreak'

City officials reported three more COVID-19 cases late Wednesday afternoon, bringing to 12 the total number of new cases in town in the past seven days. "Wrangell is experiencing a COVID outbreak," said the statement issued by Wrangell's emergency op... Full story

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 1, 2021

Legislators continue work on ferry system advisory board

State House and Senate committees continue to work on competing bills that would change the membership of the state ferry system advisory board. The Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday heard...

 

From the publisher

The federal money that will flow into our state from the American Rescue Plan - the latest round of pandemic aid from Washington, D.C. - is the proverbial once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Alaskans...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 1, 2021

Matanuska out of service third time in two months

The 58-year-old Matanuska, the oldest operating vessel in the state ferry fleet, has had troubles operating the past two months. The Alaska Marine Highway System took it out of service last week to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 1, 2021

State plans to reduce rockfall hazards along highway

The state Transportation Department is asking for public comments on its plan to reduce the hazards along a stretch of Wrangell's Zimovia Highway frequently hit by rocks coming down from the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 25, 2021

Federal aid, rising oil price ease Alaska's budget crunch

Legislators started the session in January amid a shortage of revenues and debate whether the state could even afford a dividend this fall unless it exceeded its annual limited draw from the Permanent...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 25, 2021

COVID case moves middle, high schools to remote learning

Students at Stikine Middle School and Wrangell High School will attend class remotely at least through Friday after a staff member at the secondary schools tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday....

 

From the publisher

Separate decisions affecting an effort to recall Wrangell's mayor and the Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team are similar, in that they disappointed some people, but they are not equal....

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 18, 2021

Legislators, governor differ on ferry system advisory board

Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants to create a new state ferry system advisory board with one state official and 10 public members to replace an existing advisory panel, similar to a separate proposal from...

 

From the publisher

Journalism schools teach reporters to quote accurately; to add "he said" or "she said" at the end of every statement; to fully report what people say at public events and in interviews. All of that wo...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 18, 2021

State sells fast ferries to Spanish operator

After spending almost $1.1 million to keep the vessels out of service to save money and safely tied up the past several years, the state last week sold its two fast ferries - built at a combined cost...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 18, 2021

Almost 100 Wrangell households apply for help paying rent, utilities

Almost 100 Wrangell households have applied for financial aid to help pay their rent and/or utilities under a state-managed program funded with federal pandemic-relief dollars. The program closed to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 11, 2021

'What if' budget scenario could add to winter ferry service

A state Senate subcommittee had asked the Department of Transportation what it could do if it had more money to cover some of the gaps in the Alaska Marine Highway schedule. Part of the answer would...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 11, 2021

State budget problem worse than it looks, legislative analyst says

Federal pandemic relief aid, one-time funding sources - some of doubtful legal authority - and other salves to ease the state budget pain in the fiscal year that starts July 1 only mask the underlying...

 

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