Wrangell Sentinel -

Articles from the January 4, 2023 edition

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 By Larry Persily    News    January 4, 2023

Borough commits $2.2 million to develop residential subdivision

The borough’s target date is 2024 for the sale of the first 22 residential lots in the proposed subdivision of the former Wrangell Institute property upland from Shoemaker Bay. The assembly last month approved $2.2 million for installing utilities...

 

Borough sells tidelands for development as marine service business

The borough assembly unanimously approved the sale of a parcel of tideland property on Peninsula Street to Ketchikan-based Micony for the development of a marine service business. The sale, which was finalized at the Dec. 20 assembly meeting, will tr...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 4, 2023

Small group braves chilly temps on New Year's Day

For the 24th New Year's Day in a row, a group of intrepid people celebrated the new year by taking the plunge. Fifteen souls went bravely or insanely into the chilly waters of Shoemaker Bay, depending...

 

Kate Thomas to become borough economic development director

For the past eight years, Parks and Recreation Director Kate Thomas has kept Wrangell in peak physical and mental form by fostering a welcoming gym environment where the community can swim, sweat and sustain each other through the long winter...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    January 4, 2023

Sealaska Heritage releases hour-long film highlighting 40 years of Celebration

Sealaska Heritage Institute has released an hour-long film on the history and origin of Celebration since the first gathering in 1982. The film, titled “40 Years of Celebration - A Biennial Festival of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Cultures,...

 

The Way We Were

Jan. 4, 1923 A record crowd witnessed the opening game of the basketball tournament Thursday afternoon between Wrangell and Ketchikan and got their money’s worth of thrills without a doubt. Kayhi played a fast game from the beginning and drew...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 4, 2023

Family wakes to find boat sunk on Christmas Day

Christmas morning is supposed to be a time of warmth, cheer and uplifted spirits. Unfortunately, for one Wrangell family, it was a morning where their spirits sank. Along with their boat. Benn...

 

Borough to list hospital property with a realtor pending investor interest

The assembly has approved an ordinance allowing the borough to list the former hospital property with a realtor for the value of the land, half the price of the previous minimum bid. However, Borough Manager Jeff Good told the assembly at its Dec....

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    January 4, 2023

State says it will take months to clear backlogged food stamp applications

A months-long backlog of food stamp applications has denied aid to thousands of Alaskans. And although the state plans to add additional employees during the next few weeks to process the applications, the director of the statewide program said Dec....

 

Taxing e-cigarettes is a healthy idea

Governments levy taxes to pay for community services, such as schools, police and road repairs. And to help pay the public treasury costs of what can be unhealthy personal choices, such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. The state and...

 

It's true, liars don't belong in public office

No doubt liars have served in public office ever since the first candidate printed a handbill and later evolved to taping a radio or TV commercial or clicking on social media. It’s as American as apple pie, and as dishonest as the pie stuffed with...

 
 By Marc Lutz    Opinion    January 4, 2023

Unflattering photo leads to resolution for better judgment

I like to think I'm my own worst critic. Every word choice and every photo I run in print are reviewed, critiqued and deemed passable. For example, I rewrote this paragraph three times. When it comes...

 

Health care providers watching for flu and other viral infections

Though the combined impacts of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza have burdened medical facilities nationwide, seasonal flu cases appear to be plateauing in Alaska, though activity remains high. Wrangell has largely managed to...

 

Borough starts cost review of new wastewater permit requirements

The borough is about to begin the five-year, state-mandated process of updating its wastewater treatment plant. Borough officials are currently searching for sources of funding for what will likely be a multimillion-dollar project. The U.S....

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 4, 2023

Senior project taking flight to serve community

Everything Nikolai Bardin-Siekawitch has learned about piloting a drone since 2021 will help launch his senior project. Not surprising, he is abuzz with excitement to use the flying technology any...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 4, 2023

Dave Rak retires after 45 years with Forest Service

It's been 45 years since Dave Rak and his wife Paula came to Alaska. It's been 45 years since he accepted a job as a soils scientist with the U.S. Forest Service. And now, 45 years later, he's...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 4, 2023

Tory Houser takes temporary helm of Forest Service Wrangell district

After 20 years of working in the U.S. Forest Service, Tory Houser is taking on a new role, albeit a temporary one. While Ranger Clint Kolarich is away on another assignment for four months, Houser is...

 

High school players take on alumni in annual matchups

Alumni Sam Armstrong, left, Riley Blatchley, Sean Gillen and Tyson Messmer pursue senior Ethan Blatchley as he drives the ball during the annual alumni game on Dec. 27. The game started at a fast...

 
 By Riley Rogerson    News    January 4, 2023

Federal spending bill includes multiple provisions for Alaska

WASHINGTON — The $1.7 trillion federal spending package includes hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriations for projects specific to Alaska and enacts legislation that will directly affect the state. “There is literally no part of our stat...

 
 By James Brooks    News    January 4, 2023

Judge says right to free speech protects legislator who belongs to Oath Keepers

An Anchorage Superior Court Judge has ruled that Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman’s membership in the Oath Keepers does not violate the Alaska Constitution’s disloyalty clause because of First Amendment protections for free speech. The... Full story

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    January 4, 2023

Alaska teens increasingly substitute vaping for cigarettes

Alaska teens have largely ditched cigarettes over the past two decades, but they have substituted that unhealthy habit with another: vaping. About 25% of surveyed high schoolers reported using electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to... Full story

 

Ketchikan police chief charged with assaulting man at restaurant

Ketchikan’s police chief pleaded not guilty last Friday to charges that he assaulted an intoxicated man while he was off-duty at a resort restaurant, including allegedly shoving the man head-first into a wall and putting him in a chokehold. A...

 
 By Clarise Larson    News    January 4, 2023

Federal funding will pay for commercial driver's license training program in Southeast

Snowplow and bus drivers are exceptionally critical occupations this time of year — but they’re in short supply statewide. A new Juneau-based program may change that. The $1.7 trillion federal spending bill recently passed by Congress includes $7...

 
 By Clarise Larson    News    January 4, 2023

Congress drops funding to purchase used icebreaker for Coast Guard

A late change in the Senate to the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package passed by Congress last month deleted funding to purchase a privately owned icebreaker that the U.S. Coast Guard said could be homeported in Juneau. A $150 million...

 

Senate Finance co-chair criticizes governor's proposal for larger PFD

Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, says Gov. Dunleavy’s proposed $3,800 Permanent Fund dividend in 2023 would mean “starting the year underwater.” “It’s not a prudent way to administer the state’s financial...

 

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