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Alaska joins airlines in dropping face mask requirement

Just hours after a federal court judge voided the federal face mask mandate for air travel and other public transportation, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines on Monday afternoon said masks would be optional on their flights....

 

State House back at work after losing week to COVID dispute

The Alaska House went back to work on Monday after canceling floor sessions last week when several members refused to wear face masks amid an outbreak of COVID-19 among lawmakers and staff. At its worst last week, almost 10% of the 60 legislators...

 

Schools need more students and funding

Wrangell schools are not short of dedicated staff, engaged students or supportive parents. But what the district is short of — and getting shorter — are students and funding. That is a bad combination, putting stress on the schools as management...

 

State reports 54 COVID cases in Wrangell in past 14 days

Posted 2:30 p.m. Friday, April 1 The state health department website reported Friday that there have been 54 COVID-19 cases in Wrangell in the past 14 days, with 28 of those in the past seven days and nine in the past two days. The case counts... Full story

 

High oil prices fatten state treasury, drive spending decisions

High oil prices driven by the war in Ukraine, tight global oil supplies and OPEC’s decision not to pump more crude are adding tens of millions of dollars per month to the Alaska state treasury. The rush of oil revenues is boosting the governor’s...

 

State misses the boat keeping proposals secret

There really isn’t a strong reason for the state to keep the proposals confidential until it closes a deal to sell — or give away — the state ferry Malaspina. The Department of Transportation promised exactly that when it advertised for offers...

 

Students learn benefits of grant writing

Grant writing skills can be almost as useful to learn in school these days as reading and writing, and certainly are invaluable for the arithmetic of classroom and community programs. Funding is available from multiple foundations, government agencie...

 

Help yourself to tests

The fire department and SEARHC are helping residents to stay healthy — or at least know when they are not healthy and should stay home for the protection of others in the community. Both are handing out free at-home COVID-19 test kits, as long as...

 

State ferry Tazlina put into temporary service

The Alaska Marine Highway System has activated the dormant state ferry Tazlina for more than 30 sailings from Juneau to northern Southeast communities in February and March, filling in service gaps to Haines, Skagway, Hoonah, Angoon and Gustavus....

 

Wrangell adds 8 new COVID cases on Friday

Updated Friday evening, Feb. 11, 2022 Wrangell reported eight new COVID-19 infections Friday, raising the total to 21 cases since Jan. 31 -- a slower pace than the record-setting wave of 185 COVID-19 cases Dec. 30 to Jan. 30. The 206 cases reported... Full story

 

The Way We Were

Feb. 2, 1922 Cliff Wood, of the Veterans’ Bureau, will be arriving on Saturday. Many perplexing questions have arisen about ex-servicemen concerning their status or rights. Are you one of the Legion boys who is in doubt at some point relating to yo...

 

Ranked-choice voting rankles the right people

Those who don’t like Alaska’s new voting system have a couple of choices. They can go about their divisive path, appealing only to the far sides of issues, and hope that someday they can convince most voters that their way is the only way to...

 

The Way We Were

Jan. 26, 1922 The high school English I class had a first introduction to debating last Friday. The question was, “Resolved, that the Petersburg basketball team has a chance of winning over the Wrangell High School team next Saturday.” The...

 

No need to wait on this non-endorsement

The primary election for governor is less than seven months away, on Aug. 16, with the general election in November. And though it’s only the end of January, there is no need to delay this endorsement call: Wasilla Rep. Christopher Kurka is not who...

 

Ferry system expects no delays from Kennicott accident

The state ferry system reports that the Kennicott’s return to service in late April will not be delayed after it collided with the Hubbard while docking in Ketchikan a couple of weeks ago. “We’re still in the investigation phase, so I’m...

 

Alaska Airlines says reductions will not affect Wrangell flights

Alaska Airlines said last week it would trim its flight schedule by about 10% for the rest of January as it deals with “unprecedented” numbers of employees calling in sick during the COVID-19 surge. Service to Wrangell — Flight 65 northbound in...

 

Ed Rasmuson's banking career took him through Wrangell

Ed Rasmuson, a banker and philanthropist who led Alaska's largest philanthropic organization, died Jan. 4 at age 81. He managed the Wrangell branch of the National Bank of Alaska in the late 1960s.... Full story

 

College students sue to maintain designated Alaska scholarship fund

Four students have sued to force the state to maintain a designated fund that provides university scholarships, challenging a decision by the administration of Gov. Mike Dunleavy that emptied Alaska’s $410 million higher education trust fund last...

 

Petersburg Pilot sold to former employee

Former Petersburg Pilot employee Orin Pierson has purchased the newspaper from Ron and Anne Loesch, who have owned the operation since the mid-1970s. Pierson took over ownership on Jan. 1. The Loesches also owned the Wrangell Sentinel for 17 years...

 

It's been a wintery start to the new year statewide

High winds, deep snow, below-zero temperatures, frozen pipes, canceled flights and ice-covered everything - it was not a merry Christmas or a happy new year for many Alaskans. Ketchikan endured its...

 

Anchorage school board reverses decision to drop face mask requirement

Anchorage public schools opened the new year with face mask requirements still in place, after the school board reversed a decision by the superintendent that would have made masks optional. Schools Superintendent Deena Bishop decided in...

 

Borough employees receive 2% pay raise

Almost 60 borough employees, union and non-union, will receive a 2% raise retroactive to July 1, 2021. A second 2% raise is scheduled for July 1 of this year. The new wage scale is the result of a collective bargaining agreement between the borough...

 

Trump endorses Dunleavy, who pledges not to support Murkowski

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has accepted Donald Trump’s endorsement for his 2022 reelection campaign, telling the former president he will not support Lisa Murkowski in her reelection bid for the U.S. Senate — a condition of winning Trump’s...

 

New state ferry advisory board nears full membership

The nine-member Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board, a new advisory panel created by the Legislature last year, has moved closer to full membership. State Senate President Peter Micciche last month appointed Paul Johnsen, of Petersburg, and David...

 

The Way We Were

Dec. 22, 1921 A live Chamber of Commerce for Wrangell promises to be a reality. Last week, half a dozen citizens who styled themselves organizers sent out invitations to the business and professional men of the town to attend a meeting in the...

 

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