Articles from the March 29, 2023 edition


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  • Borough signs up contractor to take on long awaited pool concrete repairs

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    What was slated to be a month-long pool shutdown stretched to two months, then three, as the borough and Parks and Recreation struggled to find a contractor to make necessary repairs. But after a long winter with no relaxing lap swims or rejuvenating water aerobics sessions, the pool’s dry spell may finally have an end in sight. The pool has been closed since the last week of November. The week of March 13, local contractor White Enterprises committed to take on the project which includes concrete repairs. Parks and Recreation Director Lucy Rob...

  • Report says Wrangell needs more tours for growing visitor economy

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Almost 33,000 visitors are expected to step off a ship or a plane this summer in Wrangell — more than in any year since 2005. But continuing that growth and building up the town’s tourism economy will require more side excursions and other attractions for cruise ship passengers and more overnight accommodations for independent travelers. The community makes its money — jobs and taxes — when tourists find goods or services to buy in town. “The visitor sector will need to make sure it has the capacity to provide sufficient tours to visiting...

  • Student interest in spring sports goes deep; coaches hope it's enough to play ball

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    For the first time in more than a decade, it's possible that Wrangell High School could have not only a baseball team but a softball team as well. But the question remains as to whether umps will call "Play ball!" or "Foul!" Last week, about 10 boys and 10 girls turned out for unsanctioned practice at Volunteer Park, where clumps of snow still clung for life to the diamonds, making better conditions for mud pies than pop flies. As of last Friday, softball head coach Marsha Ballou said there...

  • SEARHC to hold first health fair since 2019

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Busy lifestyles, reluctance and just old-fashion stubbornness can sometimes get in the way of addressing health care needs. The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has the remedy for all the excuses. From 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Nolan Center, SEARHC will hold its first health fair since 2019. The free event will provide information and services on everything from cancer prevention to lab services. There will even be drawings and prizes, including 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles and a children’s bicycle giveaway. “Sometimes it...

  • The Way We Were

    Amber Armstrong-Hillberry, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    March 29, 1923 Miss Durkee and Miss Elmer, both of whom have visited Wrangell before, left on the Mary after a short stay here. The visit was made in the interest of the garnet ledge property which has been leased again, it is reported, to a company that makes abrasive paper. A considerable quantity of garnets were shipped from here for the same purpose two years ago. March 26, 1948 On April 7, Mrs. Emma Case, one of Wrangell’s best known pioneer Wrangell women, will celebrate the golden anniversary of her arrival in Wrangell with an open h...

  • Borough invests in spare parts for water plant to better handle Trident's needs

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Trident’s decision to reopen its Wrangell seafood processing plant after a three-year closure was welcome news for residents, thanks to the economic boost it will bring to town. However, since Trident is one of the community’s major water consumers, the Public Works Department must prepare the aging water treatment plant to handle increased demand this summer before the new water plant, which will have a much larger capacity, is ready to go. The assembly unanimously approved $116,151 worth of spare parts for the current water treatment pla...

  • Borough receives wetlands fill permit for Alder Top subdivision

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    The Alder Top Village subdivision is slated to bring 20 new residential lots to the community in its first phase, hopefully by 2024. Borough officials are optimistic that the additional lots will alleviate the community’s housing shortage. But the borough must tread carefully as it develops a portion of the 134-acre parcel because of its environmental and historical significance. Last month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to fill wetlands at the site and approved the borough’s wetlands mitigation plan. This plan is int...

  • Cheer squad places 7th at state competition in Anchorage

    Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    The Wrangell High School cheer squad has finished their season of drills and RAH, RAH, RAH-ing with the conclusion of state competition last week. The squad of Brodie Gardner, Cassady Cowan, Alisha Armstrong, Lily Younce and Nate Rooney placed seventh out of 12 teams in Division II. “Their execution of game-day cheers and their routine was, in my opinion, the best I’ve seen all year,” said coach Stephanie Cartwright. “They had one mess-up in their performance section but recovered wonderfully.” At the regional competition in Juneau from March 8...

  • Alaska should stay with nationwide voter list accuracy effort

    Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Keeping voter rolls accurate is a good thing. Even more so in recent years as far too many candidates question election results for their own political gains and far too many citizens have climbed on the bandwagon of doubt and suspicion. Why then would the new director of the Alaska Division of Elections hesitate to support a decade-old nationwide cooperative effort among states to keep voter registration lists accurate and up to date? Alaska has been a member of ERIC, which stands for Electronic Registration Information Center, since 2016....

  • Losing billions gets Legislature's attention

    Larry Persily Publisher|Mar 29, 2023

    It’s embarrassing that it took billions of dollars in losses for some legislators to acknowledge that the state’s fiscal house is leaking worse than a broken downspout on a Southeast Alaska roof. It’s too bad Gov. Mike Dunleavy acts like he has barely noticed the growing pool of mud at his feet. Start with the Permanent Fund, which generates investment earnings that have become the largest single source of revenue in the state budget. Last year was painful for most every investor, and Alaska was not immune to the downturn. The fund dropp...

  • U.S. needs Alaska oil as world transitions to new energy sources

    Mar 29, 2023

    Kudos to all who got behind ConocoPhillips’ effort to open up the Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope. The effort by our congressional delegation to present directly to President Joe Biden, and our record of responsible resource development over the past 40 years in Alaska’s Arctic, is a reflection on the bipartisan effectiveness of our Alaska delegation. But we are not over the goal line yet. We must be wary of the coming onslaught of outraged extreme environmental groups that will go to any means to delay and block the project. These...

  • Community fun free-for-all

    Mar 29, 2023

    Players had fun testing their skills at a free fun day sponsored by The Salvation Army and Harbor Light Church - it's like four-square volleyball, but with nine squares above your head. The event last Friday at the community gym included hot dogs, bounce houses, games of cornhole and nine-square in the air. Lt. Jon Tollerud of The Salvation Army estimated between 80 and 100 children and adults attended during the four hours. "This is just a free event to show people you can engage with your...

  • David K. Hartung: July 3, 1951, to March 5, 2023

    Mar 29, 2023

    Dave Hartung, 71, of Wrangell, passed away March 5, 2023, in Portland, Oregon. He was surrounded by his family and loved ones. A celebration of life was held in Portland on March 26. Dave was born and raised in Portland. He demonstrated his mechanical abilities at a very young age, and was even known to help the nuns in grade school with some basic car maintenance. (It wouldn't surprise anyone to hear that he was known to let the air out of the tires at recess, so he could get called out of...

  • Nolan Center plans a full day of anime art, movies, workshops

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Breathtaking visuals, gripping plot twists, fascinating history and fun collectibles - all this and more will be available at the Nolan Center's first ever anime fair next month, which aims to bring this popular Japanese artform to Wrangell. The fair, which will take place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 15 at the Nolan Center, is open to all ages and interest levels, from diehard anime fans to genre newcomers. The event is "new for Wrangell," said Nolan Center Director Cyni Crary, who was involved in...

  • Students and others could benefit from drill conductor boating safety course

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Any commercial fisherman knows the risks that come with the job, and it’s an added benefit to have deckhands with safety course certification. To that end, the Wrangell School District migrant education program is covering the cost of an upcoming drill conductor safety course for students who are at least 14 years old and their families work in commercial fishing and the student may miss part of the school year to help with the family business. The class is open to everyone, though the school district will pay the fee only for such migrant s...

  • New baby boutique will nestle into Wrangell this summer

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    A berry pink jumpsuit with pleated sleeves and a whimsical coral reef pattern; a sea-green onesie covered in cartoon octopuses, each of them unique; organic oils, teas and lotions for postpartum moms -all this and more will be available at Hannah Miethe's new online baby shop, Little Nestlings Boutique, which is slated to open early this summer. "I grew up here in Wrangell my whole life and I saw a need for children to have clothing," Miethe said. "I don't see a lot of postpartum things in town...

  • Legislature moving toward school funding increase, but amount uncertain

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Similar pieces of legislation to increase state funding for public schools are awaiting hearings in the House and Senate finance committees as lawmakers face a mid-May adjournment deadline and school districts make spending plans for the 2023-2024 school year. The House bill, which was amended and moved out of the Education Committee on March 22, would increase the funding formula by a little over 11% in the first year and 2% in the second year, about half of the bill sponsor’s original proposal. The Senate version, which moved out of its E...

  • Senior passes along basketball knowledge to next generation

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    In her childhood years, Trinity Faulkner benefited from the game of basketball and developed a lifelong appreciation of the sport. To help fulfill her high school graduation requirement and celebrate a passion for making passes and baskets, Faulkner used her knowledge and skills to assist Parks and Recreation's youth basketball program last October. The 17-year-old worked with 5- to 7-year-old kids on dribbling, throwing and other game basics for about six weeks. Even though she didn't play the...

  • State charges 2 Klawock men for beating death prompted by Facebook post

    The Associated Press|Mar 29, 2023

    JUNEAU (AP) — Two Southeast Alaska men face charges in the beating death of a man who was attacked because of a social media post, according to an investigator’s affidavit. Moses S. Blanchard, 22, and Blaise A. Dilts, 21, of Klawock, face charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter and burglary in the death of 80-year-old Lincoln Peratrovich, according to state court records. The two men made their first appearance in court in Klawock on March 22. The investigation is being conducted by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, which falls und...

  • House approves funding for more food stamp workers to clear applications backlog

    Sean Maguire, Anchorage Daily News|Mar 29, 2023

    The Alaska House advanced a targeted spending bill March 22, intended to address the state’s unprecedented backlog of unanswered applications for food stamp benefits and a shortage of public defenders in criminal cases. The budget bill is being fast-tracked through the Legislature so that the money can be made available quickly. It contains provisions to draw from the $2.3 billion Constitutional Budget Reserve — the state’s main savings account — to spend a maximum of $115 million for unanticipated spending needs for the fiscal year that en...

  • Legislators introduce tax bills amid forecasts of long-term budget deficits

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Mar 29, 2023

    The Alaska Legislature is preparing to examine two new tax proposals after a state revenue forecast showed significant long-term budget deficits even with a sharply reduced Permanent Fund dividend. One proposal, introduced Friday by Anchorage Democrat Sen. Bill Wielechowski, would cut a popular oil production tax credit and expand the applicability of the state’s corporate income tax to privately owned oil and gas producers. The second proposal, filed Monday by Nikiski Republican Rep. Ben Carpenter, would impose a 2% state sales tax. The s...

  • Lower oil prices cut deep hole into state revenues

    Sean Maguire, Anchorage Daily News|Mar 29, 2023

    JUNEAU — Falling oil prices are projected to slice $925 million from state revenues this year and next, bolstering the argument of legislators who support a smaller Permanent Fund dividend this fall and the years beyond. More immediately, lower oil prices have torn big holes in the state budget. The Department of Revenue on March 21 released new estimates showing a deficit of about $220 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Legislators have agreed to use savings to fill this year’s deficit by spending from the state’s Const...

  • Legislators will get 67% pay raise next year; 20% boost for governor

    Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 29, 2023

    Alaska legislators will get a 67% pay raise next January — from $50,000 to $84,000 a year — and the governor and state department heads will receive a 20% boost effective July 1. The wage hikes come after Gov. Mike Dunleavy replaced an independent salary commission that was unable to agree on a pay hike for lawmakers, with the new members convening on short notice to recommend the raises. An entirely new five-member commission met March 15 and added the legislators’ pay increase to an earlier recommendation that the governor, lieutenant governo...

  • Police report

    Mar 29, 2023

    Monday, March 20 Theft. Agency assist: Ambulance. Tuesday, March 21 Agency assist: Ambulance. Suspicious circumstance. Unattended death. Dangerous play. Wednesday, March 22 Abandoned vehicle. Dog at large. Hazardous play. Animal bite: Dog. Thursday, March 23 Dog complaint. Agency assist: Petersburg Police Department. Agency assist: Ambulance requested. Dog at large. Vehicle unlock. Friday, March 24 Fraudulent check. Agency assist: Petersburg Police Department. Welfare check. Welfare check. Intoxicated person. Saturday, March 25 Found property....

  • Classified ads

    Mar 29, 2023

    HELP WANTED Johnson’s Building Supply is hiring for a yardman/customer service position. Responsibilities include retail sales, computer knowledge, receiving freight, stocking inventory, truck loading/unloading, deliveries and friendly customer service. Work schedule is Tuesday-Saturday. Must have a valid Alaska driver’s license, forklift experience is beneficial (will train), some heavy lifting, prior construction knowledge is favorable, pay doe. Pick up an application at Johnson’s Building Supply....

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