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 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...

 

From the publisher: We've made it easier to put calendar items in the Sentinel

Sure, the Sentinel's main job is to report the news. But we also want to serve as the community bulletin board. Think of the newspaper as a weekly posting, delivered for everyone to see - even...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 11, 2021

Cable ship moves GCI fiber optic line this week

A ship built especially for laying fiber optic cable on the ocean floor was in front of Wrangell this week, moving GCI's Seafast communications cable into a safer position away from underwater power...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 4, 2021

Dogs passed near Wrangell on their way south 10,000 years ago

It was an international effort that started on a long journey about 10,000 years ago through what is now a cave on the mainland, across Blake Channel from Wrangell Island. A bone chip smaller than a...

 

From the publisher: Why tell everyone what you think all the time

Though it's a little far afield from life in Wrangell, there is a life lesson in the controversy over President Joe Biden's choice to run the federal Office of Management and Budget. A lesson to keep...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 4, 2021

Legislature looks at size of PFDs and new revenues

The state is not going to fill its billion-dollar fiscal pothole with additional deep budget cuts, said two veteran legislative finance committee members. The hole is too deep, and years of cuts to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    March 4, 2021

Petersburg hit by 85 COVID cases in 13 days

Petersburg remained in its red high-risk level as of Tuesday after 85 COVID-19 cases were reported in the community over the past 13 days. As of Tuesday evening, 65 coronavirus cases were still...

 

New group wants to improve school and students' lives

A self-organized group of Wrangell high school and middle school students decided someone had to step up and try to make life better in the schools, and it might as well be them. "We want students to...

 

Legislature will consider boost to 1970 motor fuel tax rate

Alaska's motor fuel tax rate is the lowest in the nation; less than one-third the average of the other 49 states. The 8-cent-a-gallon tax has not budged since 1970. Lawmakers again this year will...

 

From the Publisher: These students set a better example than I did

The 18 or so Wrangell middle school and high school students who belong to BASE - Building a Supportive Environment - are the role models I never paid attention to when I was their age long ago...

 

Fourth of July needs royalty candidates

The Fourth of July is a little more than four months away but it's not too soon to begin planning for the event and start recruiting royalty candidates to help with fundraising. "We're planning a...

 

Tourism to focus on independent travelers and the small cruise ships

Independent travelers and passengers aboard small cruise ships are vital to Wrangell's tourism season, and they're exactly what the community is focusing on - regardless of Canada's decision to keep...

 

Statewide rental assistance program opens this week

Up to $200 million in federal funding is available to help Alaskans who are having trouble paying their rent due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alaska Housing Finance Corp., a...

 

From the publisher: Sen. Murkowski did her job

Maybe you did not like her vote to convict former President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Maybe you wanted her to stick with most Republicans who cast their ballot to acquit because...

 

State disaster declaration ends, airport COVID testing now optional

Testing for COVID-19 will continue at the Wrangell airport, and at other airports throughout Alaska, even though the state pandemic disaster declaration expired Sunday. However, the testing will be...

 

Legislators will want a say in spending additional federal pandemic aid

More than $6.5 billion in federal funding for pandemic relief has already been authorized for individuals, communities, school districts, businesses, health-safety programs, government agencies, the...

 

Loss of cruise travelers 'another year of hardship'

A month ago, the draft cruise ship schedule for Wrangell showed 50 stops in town, with the two largest vessels able to accommodate 1,100 and 1,300 passengers and crew. But now, there's not much the...

 

Federal relief equals half of school-year budget deficit

It helps, but it doesn't solve the problem. The latest round of federal relief aid is equal to about half of this year's school budget deficit. The $900 billion relief bill passed by Congress and sign...

 

Legislators more willing to talk about taxes this year

Maybe Alaskans just needed more time to get used to the idea of paying taxes, or maybe the risk of losing their Permanent Fund dividend woke them up to the state's dire fiscal situation. Whatever the...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Sentinel cuts prices for ads in visitors guide

It is going to be another rough year for Southeast Alaska communities. The closure of Canadian waters to cruise ships on their way to and from Alaska is going to mean a lot fewer visitors to towns up...

 

Wrangell not listed in governor's proposed bond issue

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking lawmakers to put before voters this summer a $356 million bond issue for projects across the state. The governor wants a special election - rather than waiting until the n...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 4, 2021

Governor wants summer advisory vote on PFD

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking legislators for $2 million in state funds to hold a special election this summer, to ask voters their opinion of a Permanent Fund dividend that would average $2,400 a...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Tell us what you're doing

Just because I don't use Facebook doesn't mean I don't see its value in spreading the word about community events online. Even better, people like it because it's free. But the Sentinel also does that...

 

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