Articles written by Sarah Aslam


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 191

  • Borough lists old hospital for auction

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 8, 2022

    The borough has listed the former Wrangell Medical Center for sale to the highest bidder until June 30, at a minimum bid of $830,000, the value assigned by an April appraisal. The hospital has been vacant since health care provider SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium moved into its new building in February 2021. The borough has been spending close to $100,000 a year to heat and insure the empty structure, and the assembly has decided to sell the surplus property. The lot is 1.95 acres, o...

  • Borough purchase of old mill property delayed by lien against owner

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 8, 2022

    Closing on the borough’s $2.6 million purchase of the 39-acre former sawmill property at 6 Mile has been delayed until June 20, Borough Manager Jeff Good said June 1, the day the sale was supposed to close. The sale is delayed until the seller can resolve a contractor lien on the property. William “Shorty” Tonsgard Jr., owner of Channel Construction, a scrap metal collection company that runs a barge south for disposal or recycling, on March 18 filed a $701,654 lien against Kelso, Washington-based DB AK Enterprises, owned by Betty Buhle...

  • Forest Service Chief Shakes hot tub project delayed to next year

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 8, 2022

    Work on an outdoor deck at Chief Shakes Hot Springs up the Stikine River has been delayed until next spring, after federal funds the Forest Service expected for the project have yet to arrive. The site, which consists of two hot tubs — one indoor and one outdoor — was supposed to get a facelift this month, favoring a higher river and tide levels for easier access at this time of the year. The project, which had been estimated at $190,000, received $81,200 from the Great American Outdoors Act — or so the Forest Service had been told, Distr...

  • Author's book characters are composites of real people in Southeast

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 8, 2022

    When Christi Slaven's kids were tiny, she set her typewriter down on the breakfast bar in her parents' house and wrote a novel. She burned all 300 pages when she was done. "It was terrible," Slaven said. But she felt better afterward, because she was "going nuts" taking care of her two young daughters. Writing gave her a creative outlet. Her daughter, Kelly Ellis, who lives and works in Wrangell, remembers that time. "I was little, 2, 3, 4?" Ellis recalled. "She had a typewriter, and she had a k...

  • Wrangell dancers will lead at Celebration next week

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    For the first time in four years, Celebration, one of the largest gatherings of Southeast Alaska Native peoples to celebrate their culture, will be held in person in Juneau from June 8-11. The gathering, sponsored by Sealaska Heritage, drew about 5,000 people pre-COVID, including more than 2,000 dancers. The Wrangell tribe will lead the way next week. Every Celebration features a lead dance group and this year it will be Shx'at Kwáan (People Near the Mainland) of Wrangell, Sealaska Heritage...

  • Borough approves higher rates for trash collection, landfill fees

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Residents will see higher fees for trash pickup on their June bill. The rate for a typical 48-gallon trash can will go up from $28.60 to $43.20 a month, with rate increases for trash containers of all sizes. Landfill fees also increased. The borough assembly approved the higher rates May 24, which took effect immediately. Public Works Director Tom Wetor last Wednesday said the rate increase has been long overdue. “Our sanitation department has broken even for the last number of years,” Wetor said. “We’re not putting any money in the bank fo...

  • Borough will auction former Byford junkyard for residential development

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    About 1.75 acres of a former junkyard will be put up for auction for residential development by the borough this summer. The borough-owned lots at Mile 4 Zimovia Highway will be listed on publicsurplus.com, a privately owned online auction service that handles government property sales nationwide. The entire 2.5-acre property was valued at $205,000, according to an April 27 appraisal report from Roger Ramsey at Ramsey Appraisal Resource, of Juneau. However, a portion was carved out to be sold to an adjoining property owner. The appraised value...

  • Cruise ship workers with COVID quarantined at Stikine Inn

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    Three crew members aboard the 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird operated by Lindblad Expeditions were quarantined with COVID-19 at the Stikine Inn. The three were brought to Wrangell from Petersburg after the ship docked there on May 15, due to a lack of accommodations in Petersburg during the Little Norway Festival May 19-22. “Three asymptomatic crew members tested positive for COVID-19 during routine screening,” spokesperson Patty Disken‐Cahill at Lindblad Expeditions, said Sunday via email. “Due to space constraints onboard, they we...

  • Work to begin this month on Roosevelt Harbor parking area project

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday awarded a parking area restoration project at Roosevelt Harbor on Zarembo Island to Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry, with work expected to begin in early June. About 70 vehicles in various stages of decay going back a couple of decades at the site about 12 miles southwest of the Wrangell City Dock has made Roosevelt Harbor vulnerable to pollutants and sediment from runoff. District Ranger Clint Kolarich of the Wrangell Ranger District on Friday said work will begin by June 8 — and it’s now the last call for peo...

  • Property tax rate unchanged from last year

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    At the assembly’s May 24 meeting, members unanimously approved a resolution setting the property tax levy for this year at 12.75 mills, which is $1,275 on every $100,000 in assessed value, the same rate as last year. The tax rate is 4 mills for property outside the borough’s service area, such as Thoms Place toward the southern end of Wrangell Island and Meyers Chuck. Property tax payments are due by Oct. 15. The borough estimates it will collect almost $1.8 million in property taxes in the fiscal year that starts July 1, with more than 96%...

  • Arrival of credit card readers for dock hoists delayed

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 1, 2022

    An order for cashless machines for the public to pay for use of the four dock hoists at the Port and Harbors Department is delayed — the manufacturer is still waiting on parts. Port Director Steve Miller said they ordered four credit card readers for $11,000 from El Dorado, Arkansas-based manufacturer IDX this winter and were going to work with electricians in Wrangell for installation before the start of the summer season, but it’s looking like the order won’t arrive until June. And there could be further delays because local electricians are...

  • SEARHC, borough settle on 10 years of annual $45,000 payments

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 25, 2022

    The borough assembly and SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium have come to an agreement of voluntary payments by SEARHC of $45,000 per year for 10 years on property owned by the nonprofit health care provider in town. In negotiations that began in November, the borough had been asking for $225,000 a year, and SEARHC had asked for a refund on a $331,287 property tax bill it paid in full on the new Wrangell Medical Center in 2021. As a nonprofit, SEARHC is exempt under state law from property taxes. In the agreement approved by the...

  • SEARHC to add four rooms at long-term care facility

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 25, 2022

    The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium plans to break ground in June on a four-room expansion to the 14-bed long-term care facility at Wrangell Medical Center. The 1,800-square-foot expansion was prompted by the community’s need for long-term care rooms “that are typically hard to come by,” SEARHC spokesperson Lyndsey Y. Schaefer said via email on Friday. SEARHC is adding to the building for the extension, she said Monday, but declined to provide a cost of the construction. “As it’s a pure estimate at this point, I’d rather not...

  • Assembly looks again at options to repair or replace Public Safety Building

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 25, 2022

    The borough assembly is looking at updated cost estimates and options to repair or replace the ailing Public Safety Building. If the assembly settles on a plan, it could go to voters this fall to seek approval to issue bonds to pay for the work. Assembly members were scheduled Tuesday evening to review three options presented by the Capital Facilities Department on what to do with the beleaguered, 34-year-old structure that houses the borough’s police department, jail, fire department, indoor shooting range and motor vehicle department, the fed...

  • Cleanup of abandoned float debris needs high tides in October

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 25, 2022

    A cleanup of abandoned pieces of old harbor floats the tribe was trying to get done this spring may be delayed until October. Project lead Kim Wickman said the high tides they need during daytime hours won't occur until then. Though the full effort will have to wait, Wickman, the Indian General Assistance Program technician at Wrangell Cooperative Association, and Valerie Massie, IGAP coordinator, tied off three large chunks of the old floats at Shoemaker Bay beach on May 18. The pieces are 40-...

  • Borough will need to compensate for wetlands loss in Dewey trail project

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 25, 2022

    The borough will be required to pay an estimated $30,000 to $40,000 to fulfill a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mitigation stipulation in order to obtain authorization to fill wetlands for the Mount Dewey trail extension project. The nearly $1 million trail project will hinge on what is called compensatory mitigation, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in March found the project will affect 0.55 acres, 0.05 more acres of wetlands than the borough anticipated, Capital Facilities Director Amber Al-Haddad said last Thursday. Compensation is not...

  • Assembly approves $1.6 million for schools; max allowed under state law

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 18, 2022

    The assembly on May 10 unanimously approved $1.617 million as the borough contribution to the school budget for the 2022-2023 academic year, more than $300,000 higher than this year's local funding level and at the maximum allowed under state law. Everyone who spoke at the assembly meeting called on the assembly to appropriate more money for schools. Schools Superintendent Bill Burr, School Board President David Wilson, teacher Tasha Morse, parent Kaelene Harrison and first grade teacher and...

  • Borough will auction off former hospital

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 18, 2022

    The borough assembly on May 10 approved a resolution to put the former hospital building up for auction, with the borough running the sale rather than turning it over to an online surplus property vendor and paying a 5% commission. Assemblymember Jim DeBord voted no; everyone else voted yes. The borough has been spending almost $100,000 a year on insurance and heat since SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium moved out of the 30,596-square-foot building and into a new facility on Wood Street more than a year ago. The property reverted...

  • Wrangell receives $1 million toward domestic violence prevention

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 18, 2022

    A Ketchikan nonprofit has helped the Wrangell tribal council secure a $1 million federal grant toward domestic violence and sexual abuse prevention, and advocacy for survivors. Agnes Moran, executive director at Women in Safe Homes in Ketchikan, helped Wrangell Cooperative Association apply for the grant from Indian Health Services. The entirety of the $1 million is for Wrangell, tribal and non-tribal, at $200,000 a year over the next five years, she said May 10. The goal is to create two job...

  • SEARHC negotiated payments in lieu of property taxes back on assembly agenda

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 18, 2022

    The borough assembly was scheduled to hold a special meeting Tuesday evening to consider an agreement for the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium to make voluntary payments on tax-exempt property it owns in town. A draft agreement had been on the agenda at the assembly’s May 10 meeting but discussion was postponed. Mayor Steve Prysunka is leading the negotiations on the borough’s side, Borough Manager Jeff Good said last Thursday. The borough had started negotiations by asking for $225,000 a year, and SEARHC offered $45,000 per year for...

  • Borough, SEARHC negotiating payment in lieu of property taxes

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 11, 2022

    The borough assembly on Tuesday was to consider a draft agreement for the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium to make voluntary payments of $45,000 per year for 10 years on property owned by the nonprofit health care provider in town. The borough had initially asked for $225,000 a year. SEARHC is not legally required to pay taxes — state law exempts nonprofit religious, charitable, hospital or educational organizations from municipal property taxes — and it has been in negotiations with the borough for several months for a vol...

  • Wrangell readies for arrival of Ocean Victory cruise ship

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 11, 2022

    The chamber of commerce is planning a welcome ceremony for the first ship on Wrangell's official cruise calendar, which also happens to be a brand new vessel making its inaugural sailing to Southeast. The 186-passenger Ocean Victory, chartered by American Queen Voyages, is scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. Thursday at the City Dock. Chamber Executive Director Brittani Robbins on Monday said the ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. Thursday and will feature Tlingit dancers, a presentation of a key to the...

  • Woodstove fire destroys fabric-covered hut at Svendsen Marine

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 11, 2022

    A workshop at a Wrangell boat-building company on Case Avenue caught fire and was destroyed in the early morning hours of May 3. A firefighter was hurt in the response to Svendsen Marine at 3:18 a.m. after falling but is OK, Fire Chief Tim Buness said May 3. The firefighter was taken to the hospital and released. An occupant inside the Quonset hut workspace - a half-moon, fabric-covered "tinker shop" - was also unharmed, he said. It took 30 minutes for 18 firefighters to put out the blaze,...

  • Tidal Network internet tower delivery delayed

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 11, 2022

    A pair of mobile towers on wheels that were anticipated to arrive this month in Wrangell for a pilot broadband network have been delayed until around September. Chris Cropley, network architect at Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, said delivery is 16 to 18 weeks out. One of the components for the towers got “kicked out” of the global supply chain, Cropley said May 4. The delayed order which Cropley placed in early February for the two mobile cell towers on wheels come from Pierson Wireless in Omaha, Neb...

  • New thrift store moving into bigger space

    Sarah Aslam, Wrangell Sentinel|May 11, 2022

    After less than a month in operation, the River's Mouth Resale thrift store is moving into a new space twice as large. They need more room "due to overwhelming support," owner Kelly Ellis said Thursday. Ellis, who opened the store April 4, said they plan to accept their last donations at the current spot on Lynch Street next to Groundswell on Saturday - the same day River's Mouth plans to open in the Churchill Building, behind Baked for Breakfast. It's the storefront where Silver Liningz Boutiqu...

Page Down

Rendered 07/24/2024 11:19