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  • Names added to mariners' memorial at blessing of the fleet

    Sentinel staff|May 22, 2024

    The community gathered at the Wrangell Mariners' Memorial on Sunday, May 19, for the annual blessing of the fleet and to add 14 names to the waterfront memorial at Heritage Harbor. Added to the memorial this year were Kenneth Olson, Curly Rathbone, Mickey Prescott, Wes Allen, Helen Allen, Cappy Bakke, Randall Churchill Jr., Sam Privett, Dave Hartung, Marion Goodrich, Otto Florschutz III, James Smith, Doyle Sarff and Harold Snoddy. Jenn Miller-Yancey, Jeff Jabusch, Gig Decker, John Yeager and...

  • Stikine closed to subsistence king fishing again this year

    Sentinel staff|May 15, 2024

    The Stikine River is closed to subsistence fishing for king salmon May 15 through June 20 to help preserve weak returns of the highly prized fish. It’s the eighth year in a row for the federal closure. “The preseason forecast for the Stikine River is 12,900 large chinook salmon (greater than 28 inches in total length), which is below the escapement (spawning) goal range of 14,000 to 28,000,” the U.S. Forest Service reported in its closure announcement May 8. The closure was ordered under the authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board...

  • First cruise ship calls on Klawock; community promotes destination

    Ketchikan Daily News and Sentinel staff|May 15, 2024

    The 649-foot Seabourn Odyssey dropped anchor just off Klawock on May 6, marking a new era of cruise ship tourism on Prince of Wales Island. About 3,700 people could visit Klawock and Craig this summer by way of three different cruise ships making a total of six stops. The Seabourn Cruise Lines ship was the first to ever visit the Port of Klawock and brought about 300 passengers to Prince of Wales near the end of a 43-day, one-way voyage from Hong Kong to Vancouver, British Columbia, that included stops in Korea and Japan, as well as Alaska...

  • Annual Birding Festival comes to town this week

    Sentinel staff|Apr 24, 2024

    The 2024 Stikine River Birding Festival will take flight Wednesday, April 24. Minor changes have been made to the schedule of events, which no longer includes a golf tournament at Muskeg Meadows on Saturday April 27. However, there are still plenty of family-friendly events over the five days. The festival will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, with a Birding 101 presentation led by Bonnie Demerjian at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. Demerjian will share tips and hints for bird identification. Other events and activities during on t...

  • Registration opens May 1 for library's summer reading program

    Sentinel staff|Apr 24, 2024

    Registration opens May 1 for the library’s summer reading program for kids, with some big numbers from last year to match. More than 90 kids signed up for last year’s program sponsored by the Irene Ingle Public Library, reading almost 2,000 books. It’s open to children who will be going into kindergarten through ninth grade in the next school year that starts in August. The program starts May 28 and will run through Aug. 3, with a party on Aug. 10, said Sarah Scambler, library director. “Each book is worth a certain number of points. For eve...

  • Little League opener Saturday; volunteers still needed

    Sentinel staff|Apr 24, 2024

    It’s almost time for more than 100 Little Leaguers to start their session, with the opening ceremony set for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at Volunteer Park. And while the kids are getting ready, league officials still need volunteers for the twice-a-week games. The season will run through the second week of June, and volunteers can sign on for as few or as many games as they want, said Briana Schilling, who is in her eighth year as league president. It takes at least three people each night to run the concession stand, with volunteers also n...

  • Chamber hands out annual volunteer, business, educator and citizen awards

    Sentinel staff|Apr 17, 2024

    The chamber of commerce at its annual awards dinner last weekend honored several members of the community for their service, including the fire department and emergency medical services crew, municipal electric line crew and borough employees for their response to the deadly Nov. 20 landslide that hit Wrangell. “Nowhere was the ‘I can help’ spirit more evident than in November of last year when a tragic landslide befell our community. For weeks, volunteers and first responders showed just what an amazing place Wrangell is,” said Carolin...

  • Alaskans invited to make ornaments for U.S. Capitol Christmas tree

    Sentinel staff|Apr 10, 2024

    The U.S. Forest Service is calling on Alaskans to create handmade ornaments to decorate the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and the smaller companion trees that will represent Alaska in Washington, D.C. The trees will come from the Tongass National Forest; it’s only the second time ever that an Alaska tree has been chosen to serve as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree. The tree will require 3,500 large ornaments made from lightweight, durable materials that should be colorful, reflective, weatherproofed for outdoor display and 12 inches in height a...

  • Chamber still working on plans for salmon derby

    Sentinel staff|Apr 10, 2024

    The chamber of commerce would like to put on the community’s 69th king salmon derby this year but hasn’t figured out the details, as it takes into consideration the state’s efforts to limit fishing in the area to help preserve and rebuild returns to the Stikine River system. “We’d love to have one,” chamber executive director Tommy Wells said of a king derby. The chamber is working on plans and hopes to have details soon, he said. Catch numbers in the past two king derbies confirm the weak runs and sportfishing restrictions. District 8...

  • Wrangell receives $2.5 million federal grant for water treatment plant

    Sentinel staff|Mar 20, 2024

    The federal appropriations bill signed into law earlier this month includes a $2.5 million grant for Wrangell's new water treatment plant, which is under construction and scheduled for completion in June 2025. The latest federal grant, added to the budget bill by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, will reduce the amount of borrowed money the borough will need to repay, Interim Borough Manager Mason Villarma confirmed Friday, March 15. President Joe Biden signed the appropriations bill on March 9, after the measure won approval by wide margins in the...

  • Trident strikes deals to sell Ketchikan and Petersburg plants

    Sentinel staff|Mar 20, 2024

    Trident Seafoods has announced the sale of its Ketchikan processing facilities to Silver Bay Seafoods, and the sale of its Petersburg operation to E.C. Phillips & Son. Trident has not announced buyers for two other Alaska plants it has put on the market in Kodiak, the company’s largest operation in the state, and False Pass, in the Aleutian Islands. Seattle-based Trident is scaling back its Alaska operations amid weak seafood markets, low prices and changing consumer buying habits. The company has called it “a comprehensive, strategic res...

  • Ferries needed elsewhere leave Wrangell with 2-week gap

    Sentinel staff|Mar 13, 2024

    Wrangell will go without state ferry service for the last week of March and first week of April as the ships are scheduled to meet other needs across coastal communities. There will be no northbound service to Wrangell between March 22 and April 10, and no southbound stops in town between March 25 and April 12. The schedule will return to normal later in April, with a weekly northbound sailing on Fridays and a weekly southbound stop on Mondays. That will switch to southbound on Wednesdays and northbound on Sundays with the start of the summer s...

  • Trident close to deals for selling Petersburg and Ketchikan plants

    Sentinel staff|Mar 13, 2024

    Trident Seafoods reported last week it was “entering the final stages of closing deals for three of its Alaska shoreside plants,” including its operations in Ketchikan and Petersburg. The Seattle-based company — the largest seafood harvesting and processing company in the United States — announced in December it planned to sell four of its Alaska plants as it restructures its operations amid weak markets. In addition to Petersburg and Ketchikan, Trident said it wanted to sell its processing operations in Kodiak and at False Pass in the Aleutia...

  • Parks and Rec moves from one challenge to the next

    Sentinel staff|Mar 13, 2024

    Just as soon as its indoor Winter Workout Challenge ended, the Parks and Recreation Department moved outdoors - literally. The Outdoor Challenge, which started March 1, is similar to the indoor event. Participants keep track of their activities, and the runners, walkers, bikers - or whatever their exercise - with the most points win prizes. "We are just encouraging people to get outside and move their bodies," said Devyn Johnson, recreation coordinator for the department. The goal is completing...

  • Fines take effect for illegal harbor trash

    Sentinel staff|Mar 6, 2024

    As of last week, anyone caught throwing trash into a harbor dumpster, other than household garbage by a boat owner, could face a $150 fine. The borough assembly on Feb. 27 adopted two ordinances: One which specifies in municipal code that the port and harbor dumpsters are for use by vessel owners only, and a second ordinance that imposes the $150 fine. Assembly members voted unanimously to adopt the new rules. No one from the public testified on either ordinance. The port commission had recommended the new provisions in borough code in hopes...

  • WCA tribal citizens elect four council members

    Sentinel staff|Feb 28, 2024

    Wrangell Cooperative Association tribal citizens last week reelected two members and voted in two other members for the tribal council. Tribal citizens on Feb. 20 reelected Frank Churchill and Edward Rilatos to two-year terms on the council, said Esther Aaltséen Reese, tribal administrator. They also elected Thomas Gillen Sr. and Richard Oliver, who had previously served on the council, she said. The members were sworn in Feb. 22, and the eight-member council selected Rilatos to serve as president, Jason Clark to serve as vice president and...

  • Clan advisory group will help tribe select totems for restoration

    Sentinel staff|Feb 28, 2024

    The Wrangell Cooperative Association has established an advisory council of clan leaders and representatives, in particular to help the tribe with a totem restoration and replacement project. Feedback from the advisory group will help WCA determine which totems to select for the project, said Esther Aaltséen Reese, tribal administrator. The tribal council received a $20,000 donation last year from the Wrangell Tlingit and Haida Community Council to pay for carving two replacement totem poles while also repairing older poles in town. “It’s look...

  • Proposed fine for illegal use of harbor dumpsters set for public hearing

    Sentinel staff|Feb 21, 2024

    The public will have a chance to voice their opinions Feb. 27 on a pair of proposed municipal ordinances that would limit the use of harbor dumpsters to boat owners only and for their household trash only — with a $150 fine for violations. The public hearing will be part of the evening’s borough assembly meeting, which will start at 6 p.m. at City Hall. Assembly members voted Feb. 13 to advance the ordinances to the Feb. 27 hearing. The assembly could take action on the measures after the hearing — either approve, reject or amend. The first...

  • State offers grants for locally grown food efforts

    Sentinel staff|Feb 21, 2024

    The state is offering an additional $2.2 million in small grants this year for individuals and groups around Alaska to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food. The grants of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations can go toward greenhouses and small-scale gardening projects, efforts to promote and provide subsistence foods and even livestock. The Alaska Division of Agriculture is distributing the federal money through its Micro-Grants for Food Security Program. Priority for the competitive grants will be...

  • Hospice Hearts awards event set for Feb. 19 luncheon

    Sentinel staff|Feb 14, 2024

    Hospice of Wrangell will give out 16 “Hospice Hearts” next week to people who have helped the nonprofit organization in the past year. The hospice group started providing services in Wrangell in 2002, and each year honors volunteers for their services. This year’s event is planned for noon Monday, Feb. 19, at the Father Jerry Hall at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, starting with a light lunch. The community is invited. This year’s Hospice Hearts will go to Kathie Angerman, Michael Bania, Jim Bailey, Cathy Carson, Artha DeRuyter, John DeRuyte...

  • First baby of year born to Jason and Michelle Clark

    Sentinel staff|Jan 24, 2024

    Zoey Grace Clark has the honor of being the first baby born this year to a Wrangell couple. She was born Jan. 7 at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, weighing in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 21.5 inches for the happy parents, Jason and Michelle Clark. The dad works as a station agent at Alaska Airlines. Mom is a kindergarten teacher and has been with the school district about 10 years. The family returned to Wrangell on Jan. 12, Jason Clark said. "We just beat the weather,"...

  • Assembly adopts $300 fine for illegal tree cutting

    Sentinel staff|Jan 17, 2024

    The borough assembly on Jan. 9 unanimously adopted an ordinance to institute a $300 fine for illegally cutting down trees on borough land. No one from the public spoke on the ordinance at the public hearing held before the assembly vote. In addition to the ordinance setting the amount of the fine, the assembly also unanimously approved an ordinance adding trespass to the borough code, which prohibits “cutting down, injury or removal of trees or timber from borough property without written permission.” Borough officials drafted the ord...

  • Home holiday decorating contest judging Dec. 21

    Sentinel staff|Dec 20, 2023

    ’Twas the week before Christmas and in the inky black night, Wrangell’s houses all shone with twinkly lights. But whose halls are the best-decked? It’s deadline time to register for the annual home decorating contest sponsored by the chamber of commerce. ’Twas the week before Christmas and it’s deadline time to register for the annual home decorating contest sponsored by the chamber of commerce. Judging is set for Thursday, Dec. 21. The winners will be announced the next day. Residents who want to enter the contest need to call the chamber a...

  • Governor's budget includes no increase in school funding

    Sentinel staff|Dec 20, 2023

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy said education is among his top priorities in the coming fiscal year but did not include an increase to the state’s per-student funding formula, known as the base student allocation, in his proposed budget. The budget includes about $1.11 billion to fund the formula that distributes money to school districts statewide, down almost 3% from this year due to declining enrollment. Dunleavy has proposed spending almost twice as much on next year’s Permanent Fund dividend. Lawmakers this past spring approved a one-time appropriatio...

  • Borough suspends search for Derek Heller

    Sentinel staff|Dec 13, 2023

    The borough on Dec. 6 announced the suspension of the search for Derek Heller, 12, missing since a Nov. 20 landslide took out his family’s home at 11-Mile Zimovia Highway. “The decision to end the active search comes after 15 days of tireless and exhaustive efforts by the Wrangell Volunteer Fire Department Search and Rescue teams,” the borough’s announcement said. “The untiring efforts to locate 12-year-old Derek Heller extended to all accessible areas above and into the intertidal zone,” the borough’s statement said. Wrangell Volunteer Fir...

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