Articles from the May 17, 2023 edition


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  • New law will exempt low-power e-bikes from regulation

    Alaska Beacon|May 17, 2023

    Low-power electric bicycles would be exempt from state regulation under a bill passed by the Alaska Legislature and on its way to the governor for signature into law. The state Senate and House each approved the measure by wide margins, with only two no votes among the 60 legislators. Final legislative approval came May 11 for House Bill 8, sponsored by Fairbanks first-term Rep. Ashley Carrick. If the governor signs the measure, the new law will clarify that bicycles with electric motors generating less than 750 watts of power are not... Full story

  • High school graduation marks new beginnings for senior class

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|May 17, 2023

    After 12 years of studying, paying attention, taking notes, playing sports and, in some cases, goofing off, Wrangell High School's senior class will receive their diplomas on Friday night. The final two weeks of school for the graduates have been filled with finishing their senior projects, making sure other work is complete and taking time out for a sanctioned skip day up the Stikine River. Nineteen students will walk to the pomp and circumstance at 7 p.m. Friday at the high school gym, make...

  • Wrangell grad Stacey Wayne named to state high school hall of fame

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|May 17, 2023

    Stacey Wayne, Wrangell High School class of 1982, said it was an honor and a blessing to work as drama and debate coach with Sitka students for a quarter-century. The Alaska School Activities Association added to the honor this month when it inducted Wayne into the Alaska High School Hall of Fame. "Wayne started coaching and teaching drama at Sitka High in 1987 and took two students to the state championship event in that inaugural year," the May 7 awards ceremony program said. "The next year...

  • Wrangell High and Montana State grad Kayla Hay earns Fulbright to teach in Germany

    Montana State University News Service|May 17, 2023

    Wrangell High School graduate Kayla Hay was always interested in learning German. Her great-grandparents emigrated from Austria to Alaska in the 1920s, she said, and she was intrigued by different cultures and wanted to be able to communicate with her relatives who remained in Austria. Hay didn't have the opportunity to take German as a student in Wrangell (class of 2018), but when she enrolled at Montana State University in Bozeman that fall, she signed up for a basic German language class her...

  • Wyoming visit, competition welds senior's decision to pursue trade school

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|May 17, 2023

    One thing Ethan Blatchley did not want to do for another four years was sit at a desk to earn a degree. A recent trip to Western Welding Academy in Gillette, Wyoming, reaffirmed the graduating high school senior’s choice to pursue a welding certificate, finishing up in six months. Since he started learning how to weld in shop class last year, Blatchley has been following the academy’s social media posts. He shared them with shop teacher Winston Davies, who was inspired to pursue his own certificate. “(The academy has) a huge social media prese...

  • Legislation that would require high school civics course held to next year

    Clarise Larson, Juneau Empire|May 17, 2023

    Alaska high school students would be required to complete a civics education course or receive a passing score on a civics assessment exam to graduate if the state House next year accepts legislation approved by the Senate. Senators unanimously approved the bill on May 5, and the House could take up the measure next year. The legislation comes as recent national data shows the first-ever decline in U.S. eighth grade students’ history and civics test scores, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which released the data Ma...

  • Federal agencies want to help develop outdoor recreation economies

    Adam Goldstein, Alaska Beacon|May 17, 2023

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to develop outdoor recreation opportunities near national forests and grasslands, part of a broader Biden administration push to help communities reap economic rewards from the growing recreation sector. Three USDA agencies — the Forest Service, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Office of Rural Development — signed a memorandum of understanding last fall pledging to collaborate on plans to develop outdoor recreation economies in “gateway communities” near nati... Full story

  • Metlakatla leading Alaska's efforts against invasive green crabs

    Anna Laffrey, Ketchikan Daily News|May 17, 2023

    Forty people spread across the estuarine beach of northwest Tamgas Harbor to study the invasive European green crab that's been moving into the large bight on the southern shore of Annette Island since at least July 2022. For two days the last week of April, a cohort of scientists, resource managers and community members who want to quash the spread of the insidious green crab gathered in Ketchikan and visited Annette Island Reserve to share information about the crab's recent invasion in...

  • Alaska's chief medical officer points to unmet health care needs

    Garland Kennedy, Sitka Sentinel|May 17, 2023

    Alaska's top health official discussed the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons learned and the need for Alaska to be ready for future public health emergencies. Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the Alaska Department of Health, was the speaker at the Beyond COVID: Pandemic Preparedness in the Circumpolar North conference on April 27 at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi community house in Sitka. Zink, an emergency health physician in Palmer, became the state's chief medical offi...

  • Alaska-Canada officials willing to talk about salmon hatcheries on Yukon River

    Nathaniel Herz, The Northern Journal|May 17, 2023

    The salmon crisis in Western Alaska is prompting new discussions in the U.S. and Canada about an idea that would have been a non-starter a decade ago: Maybe it’s time to build hatcheries to stem the steep fish declines on the Yukon River. Indigenous culture along the Yukon, in both the U.S. and Canada, is centered on wild salmon runs. Historically, those runs supported both commercial fisheries that rural residents depended on for cash income, and subsistence fisheries that kept freezers and dinner plates full through the winter in a r... Full story

  • Woman charged in hit-and-run that killed 2 in Metlakatla

    Scott Bowlen, Ketchikan Daily News|May 17, 2023

    A Palmer woman has been indicted on murder, manslaughter and assault charges for an alleged hit-and-run in Metlakatla that resulted in the deaths of her 3-year-old son and her brother, as well as injuring the child’s father. Alecia A. Henderson, 27, was taken into custody on a court-ordered warrant May 2; the indictments were issued May 4. Ketchikan District Court Judge Kristian Pickrell set Henderson's bail at a $500,000 appearance bond, with 10% cash requirement. Pickrell also stipulated that Henderson could not be released from custody u...

  • Alaska senators among those urging museums to return Indigenous remains

    Riley Rogerson, Anchorage Daily News|May 17, 2023

    WASHINGTON — Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan were among a bipartisan group of 13 senators who jointly signed letters to five U.S. museums and universities, urging them to repatriate Indigenous remains in their collections. The letters call on the University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, Illinois State Museum, Indiana University and the Ohio History Connection to comply with the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act. The 1990 federal law mandates that museums receiving federal money must return human remains, f...

  • Southeast seafood seller makes national Top 10 list

    Jonson Kuhn, Juneau Empire|May 17, 2023

    Shoreline Wild Salmon co-founder Marie Rose is feeling like a small fish in a big pond after the Southeast Alaska-based company was recently listed in Good Housekeeping magazine’s 10 Best Seafood Delivery Services & Subscriptions of 2023. “A lot of the companies on the Top 10 list are really big companies, we’re quite small in comparison, so to know that our products are making the ranks with theirs is really exciting,” Rose said. “It feels really great to have been included, we’ve worked really hard over the years to try to establish t...

  • Disease-decimated sunflower sea star could be listed as threatened species

    Yereth Rosen, Alaska Beacon|May 17, 2023

    One of the world’s largest sea stars is on track to receive Endangered Species Act protections. Federal regulators are proposing a threatened listing for the sunflower sea star, a creature that has been killed off in much of its Pacific habitat by disease. While the effect of a listing on Alaska and its fisheries is not certain, scientists say they don’t expect significant changes in the state in the near term. The public comment period has ended on the proposal for the threatened listing published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adm... Full story

  • Malaspina Glacier more susceptible to melting, adding to rising sea level

    Yereth Rosen, Alaska Beacon|May 17, 2023

    Alaska is the home of the world's biggest piedmont glacier - meaning it falls from a mountain into a flat plain. But a new study has revealed that the Malaspina Glacier is not quite as big as previously believed, and that its low elevation makes it more highly susceptible to melting that would affect the rise in global sea levels. The glacier spills out of the St. Elias Mountains into a wide circular lobe atop a broad plain that stops short of the sea. At its widest, the glacier spans 40 miles... Full story

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