Articles written by The Wrangell Sentinel & The Associated Press

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COVID testing company will shut down its last sites in Alaska

One of Alaska’s largest private COVID-19 testing providers plans to close its public testing sites in the state by the end of June. The decision by the private company will not affect SEARHC’s continuation of testing services in Wrangell. The dec...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

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...

 

Governor's budget relies on high oil prices, federal aid

Gov. Mike Dunleavy last week outlined what he called a responsible budget proposal that doesn’t dip into savings, bolsters law enforcement and calls for direct payments of about $3,700 to residents amid an unsettled dispute with lawmakers over the...

 

Dunleavy appointees fire Permanent Fund director

The board that oversees Alaska’s multibillion-dollar investment portfolio has fired Angela Rodell as chief executive officer of the Permanent Fund Corp. Legislative leaders and Finance Committee members are upset at the surprise decision and plan t...

 

Infrastructure bill includes funds for Alaska village water and sewer projects

Tribes nationwide will receive an infusion of federal money from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to expand broadband coverage, fix roads and address water and sanitation needs. The measure does not allocate funds to individual tribes on a...

 

Accusation of partisanship in legislative redistricting

A divided Alaska Redistricting Board voted last week on a final map that could give one of the more conservative areas of the state, Eagle River, a second seat in the state Senate. All three board members appointed by Republican elected officials...

 

State activates emergency order allowing hospitals to ration care

The state has activated emergency crisis protocols that allow 20 hospitals to ration care if needed as Alaska reports among the nation’s worst COVID-19 infection rates of recent weeks, straining the state’s limited health care system. The declara...

 

Alaska starts assigning first 100 out-of-state health care workers

The first 100 out-of-state health care workers have started arriving in Alaska to help at medical facilities overwhelmed with record patient counts due to surging COVID-19 infections. The state health department has contracted to bring on 470 health...

 

Alaska COVID-19 case count highest per capita in the nation

While Wrangell did not report a single COVID-19 infection between Sept. 10 and 21, the state tracking website reported almost 8,000 new cases over that period. Alaska’s numbers are so bad lately that the state’s average rate of daily new...

 

Governor wants national marketing campaign for Alaska tourism

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he wants to use federal pandemic relief dollars for a national advertising campaign to support Alaska's tourism industry, though he provided no details or budget for the...

 

U.S. cruises could resume in July, but Canadian waters still closed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new operating guidance for cruise lines, with at least one company just three days later submitting its plan to possibly resume sailings in Ju...

 

State says sinking Malaspina could save money long term

Alaska state transportation officials are contemplating sinking a ferry to save money. The Department of Transportation has considered turning the Malaspina into an artificial reef. The ship is one...

 

State, British Columbia end transboundary river data collection

Alaska officials and authorities in British Columbia announced they have completed and will not continue data collection on three transboundary watersheds, including the Stikine River, despite concerns from fishing and tribal interests that the...

 

State closer to handing out federal pandemic aid for fisheries

The federal government has approved Alaska’s plan to distribute almost $50 million in pandemic relief payments to the state’s fishing industry. The decision came after two major revisions to the plan and more than 200 public comments from every i...

 

Governor says senator's pandemic accusations 'not based on fact'

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said his administration will no longer respond to or participate in hearings led by Sen. Lora Reinbold, telling the fellow Republican in a withering letter Feb. 18 that she has used her position to “misrepresent” the state’s...

 

State proposes federal funding for gas pipeline project

JUNEAU - A state corporation is seeking almost $4.5 billion in federal funding to help build a $5.9 billion pipeline to move North Slope natural gas to Fairbanks. The project is being promoted as the first phase of the state-sponsored $38 billion...

 

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