Articles from the July 15, 2021 edition

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  • Industrial subdivision in the works for 6-Mile mill site

    Larry Persily|Jul 15, 2021

    The owner of the former sawmill property at 6-Mile Zimovia Highway has been working with the borough since last year on an application to develop the site into an industrial subdivision, offering more than 32 acres for sale as individual lots. The property would include 24 lots, ranging in size from 0.36 to 2.36 acres, with 60-foot-wide roads and utilities serving the subdivision, which is zoned for waterfront development. “The preliminary (subdivision) plat has been conditionally approved,” said Carol Rushmore, borough zoning adm...

  • COVID cases climb back up in Alaska

    Larry Persily|Jul 15, 2021

    State officials say the highly contagious delta variant is likely driving the increase in COVID-19 cases reported in Alaska, plus the fact that more than 40% of Alaskans over the age of 12 still had not received at least their first vaccination shot as of last week. Sitka has reported its worst outbreak in seven months, with 20 new cases reported Tuesday. There were 51 active cases in the community and at least 15 people hospitalized as of Monday evening. Almost all of the recent cases in the community were among unvaccinated people. Sitka...

  • Volunteers give Jason Gadd his own special 'Cars' room

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 15, 2021

    The community came together last week to help make a wish come true for Jason Gadd, 16, with a parade in his honor and a bedroom makeover thanks to community volunteers and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "I don't even have words to describe how thankful I am to everybody who came out to help," Dacee Gustafson, Jason's mother, said. "He's shown emotions and things we haven't seen in years that day." Jason has Dravet Syndrome, Gustafson said, which causes unpredictable seizures. This has limited him...

  • New superintendent works to boost enrollment

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 15, 2021

    Even while Bill Burr, Wrangell's new schools superintendent, is still unpacking, he already is looking toward challenges the district will face in the coming school year. One area of improvement he is optimistic about is bringing enrollment numbers back to previous levels. Last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, enrollment in Wrangell schools dropped to about 200 from their typical number around 300 - the largest percentage decrease in any school district in Alaska. Many families chose to...

  • The Way We Were

    Jul 15, 2021

    July 14, 1921 The movement which began here late in May to ask for an open season on beaver and marten for Southeast Alaska is gaining momentum, and the city council is asking other cities and towns of Southeast to help in the matter. At a meeting held by the citizens of Wrangell, resolutions set forth the fact that beaver and marten have become so plentiful that there is no longer any need for their protection, and that the damage they cause to the fishing industry is going to work a hardship on the area’s residents. An open season on these a...

  • Borough will check soil for fuel leaks at power plant building

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 15, 2021

    The borough assembly on Tuesday approved spending about $42,000 to find out how much diesel and other contaminants may have leaked into the soil around Wrangell Municipal Light and Power’s generator building on Case Avenue. The site assessment will drill down and take samples from 14 different points around the facility and the property next door to help determine if any environmental cleanup will be necessary. The power plant houses the city’s diesel generators, which serve as backup to electricity from the Tyee Lake hydropower station. The...

  • Correction

    Jul 15, 2021

    The Sentinel incorrectly identified Sean Gillen as Sean Thomas in the July 8 report on the men’s champions in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament held July 2....

  • COVID cases send cruise ship into quarantine

    Larry Persily|Jul 15, 2021

    The first cruise ship to cancel runs through Southeast Alaska this summer due to COVID-19 cases on board is tied up in Juneau, waiting for the 10-day quarantine for the crew to end. The 267-foot American Constellation, which was carrying 162 passengers and a crew of 52, docked in Juneau last Saturday after a day earlier letting off several people in Petersburg for medical care and quarantine. Uninfected passengers flew home from Juneau, while the crew remains on board. “The three individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, along with their cl...

  • From the publisher

    Larry Persily Publisher|Jul 15, 2021

    Could anything be more difficult than getting the Alaska Legislature to settle on a workable, affordable, sustainable fiscal plan for the state? Yes. Getting a clear majority of Alaskans to accept the reality and the need for a workable, affordable, sustainable fiscal plan for the state probably is more difficult - and yet it has to come first. Most legislators understand the numbers, even if they disagree or dislike the math and the choices. Many just need a permission slip from their...

  • Editorial

    The Wrangell Sentinel|Jul 15, 2021

    Life is returning toward normal, but it isn't normal yet. COVID-19 is still infecting people, putting some in the hospital and killing Alaskans. The state reported four more deaths Thursday through Sunday last week, bringing the number of Alaskans killed by the virus to at least 374. Last Friday, Sitka reported its worst COVID-19 outbreak since December, with five new infections, making a dozen new cases in just two days. And then 11 more were reported on Monday. Nearly all of Sitka's recent cas...

  • Former student says Institute was positive

    Mickey Allen|Jul 15, 2021

    Many things were said of Wrangell Institute - many bad words, but not in my storied experience. In 1950, I was sent to the Wrangell Institute when I was 8 years old. Prior to Wrangell, I had gone to first grade in the villages of Kokrines, Galena and Nenana, but never completed a full year of school due to the family trapline and seasonal moving about as part of a nomadic lifestyle. Finally, my first year at the Wrangell Institute, I got through first grade. Lately, I have been seeing a lot of...

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jul 15, 2021

    Stikine Stitchers say thanks Thank you to the businesses that participated in the Stikine Stitchers 4th of July quilt show. Joan Benjamin Island of Faith grateful for camp support The Island of Faith Lutheran Church would like to thank everyone who so generously supported our fundraising bake sales for youth headed to Glacier Bible Camp. Thanks also to City Market for providing space for our table. Because of all of you, our young people will have a rich and faith-filled camp experience this...

  • Scoping underway for Mt. Dewey trail extension

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 15, 2021

    With over $450,000 in promised federal funding, the city will spend the next few months scoping out a possible extension of the Mt. Dewey trail. “There are so many conditions or issues at play that affect our timeline,” Amber Al-Haddad, Wrangell capital facilities director, said. “Assuming we got that money in short order we would move forward and pursue the full engineering design of the project. … Our best case would be to see this project constructed in the summer of 2022.” The proposed extension would connect to the trail somewhere...

  • Baha'i summer camp starts Monday

    Jul 15, 2021

    The Baha’is of Wrangell are offering a summer “virtues camp” for children ages 5 to 10, covering moderation, unity, beauty, speech, love and wonder. The six sessions will be held 11 a.m. to noon Mondays and Tuesdays, July 19 through Aug. 3, at the community center, with music, art and games planned for noon to 1:30 p.m. after each session. Participants may select one or some or all of the sessions. The summer camp is free, with a light lunch provided, and is open to everyone. Campers are advised to bring a water bottle. To register, or for m...

  • Easterlys take first place in 4th of July boat races

    Sentinel staff|Jul 15, 2021

    Randy Easterly took the top spot in the unlimited-horsepower competition in the Fourth of July boat races over the 1,800-foot-long course in front of the City Dock, with Wayne Easterly winning first place in the limited competition for 115-horsepower and under. The limited and unlimited races were double-elimination, head-to-head competition. Brandon Kenfield won the jet slalom race, a timed event. This year's winners were: Jet slalom 1st, Bandon Kenfield, 20.94 seconds; $500 2nd, Britni...

  • Rob Cross wins Tongass ToughMan

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 15, 2021

    The third annual Tongass ToughMan triathlon drew 22 competitors to swim, bike and run through Wrangell, with Rob Cross logging the best solo time of 7 hours, 54 minutes and 40 seconds. After sparse turnout last year, the July 3 event this year attracted almost as many competitors as 2019. The triathlon results: Solo Rob Cross, 7:54:50 Patrick Howell, 9:11:00 Robbie Rooney, 12:45:00 Senoe Harris (completed swim and bike but not the run) Team Jackie McMahon, Ceona Koch and Jason Rooney, 8:39:30 Jimmy Nelson and Chadd Yoder, 8:42:35 Sage Smiley,...

  • Big turnout for target competition

    Sentinel staff|Jul 15, 2021

    The Fourth of July target competition, held July 3 at the gun range, saw a big turnout. According to organizer Allen Rooney, 69 people came out to shoot and test their skills. The results of the competition are: Boys Gavin Dabrowski, 34 points Jace Felix, 32 points Gavin Hunt, 30 points Girls Braidyn Young, 23 points Kiara Harrison, 17 points Peyton Paulo-Sambito, 15 points Men John Buness, 45 points Jean-Luc Lewis, 44 points John Felix, 42 points Women Jeanie Littlejohn, 27 points Leslie...

  • Library turns the page back toward normal

    Sentinel staff|Jul 15, 2021

    Though the library is not completely closing the book on pandemic protocols, the numbers are up and “the kids are coming in,” with 153 registered for the summer reading program, said Margaret Villarma, director at the Irene Ingle Public Library. That’s just a small drop from the roughly 170 summer readers of 2019, pre-pandemic. “It feels like we’re pretty much back,” she said. The summer reading program will end July 31, with an in-person pool party planned for Aug. 7. “We’ve always had this pool pizza party,” Villarma said. Always, that is, ex...

  • Lawmakers work on fiscal plan, but PFD is the deadline question

    Larry Persily|Jul 15, 2021

    Alaska lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene in another special session in just over two weeks to consider a long-term fiscal plan for the state — and to set the amount of this fall’s Permanent Fund dividend. The Aug. 2 start date for the special session could be delayed by legislative agreement with the governor, or the session could drag on all month. The dominating deadline will come sometime in September, when the Department of Revenue will need to know the amount of the PFD payment, which usually is issued the first week of October. Gov...

  • Police report

    Jul 15, 2021

    Monday, July 5 Citizen assist. Theft. Burglary. Found property. Dog complaint. Search and rescue. Harassment: Fireworks. Motor vehicle accident. Found property. Attempted theft. Fireworks compliant. Agency assist: Ambulance. Agency assist: Ambulance. Tuesday, July 6 Traffic stop. Abandoned truck. Traffic complaint. Traffic complaint. Agency assist: Alaska State Troopers for traffic stop. Harassment. Disturbance. Wednesday, July 7 Agency assist: EMTs, to assist a person who had fallen in their home; no injuries. Parking complaint. Agency...

  • Service for Frank Teague on July 27

    Jul 15, 2021

    "It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Edward Franklin Teague, beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather who passed away in Bend, Oregon, surrounded by family, on June 6, 2021," his family wrote. "Anyone who ever met Frank knew he was a master storyteller. Frank was never happier than when he was holding court over morning coffee or during happy hour on the back of the boat entertaining everyone with his stories. Like all great storytellers the stories had a little... Full story

  • Bill Churchill dies at 88

    Jul 15, 2021

    William I. “Bill” Churchill Sr. died July 8 at the Wrangell Medical Center. The lifelong Wrangell resident was 88 years old. He had worked as a tugboat captain, and was well known for his carving and Native artwork. A memorial service is planned for Aug. 14 in Wrangell. A full obituary will follow in the July 22 Sentinel.... Full story

  • No new numbers from Dunleavy recall effort

    Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press|Jul 15, 2021

    A group seeking Gov. Mike Dunleavy's ouster has yet to gather enough signatures to force a recall election, nearly two years after getting started and with just over a year before the 2022 primary election. Recall Dunleavy Chair Meda DeWitt said the organization was slowed by the pandemic last year but still continues to gather signatures. She said its leaders are expected to meet soon, though she declined to say when. The last update on the recall group's website is dated April 26 and showed 57,897 signatures collected. DeWitt said the group...

  • Strong start to sockeye at Bristol Bay; Norton Sound chums a bust

    Laine Welch|Jul 15, 2021

    “Unprecedented” is how fishery managers are describing sockeye catches at Bristol Bay, which topped one million fish for seven days straight at the Nushagak district last week and neared the two million mark on several days. By July 9, Alaska’s statewide sockeye salmon catch was approaching 32 million, of which more than 25 million came from Bristol Bay. The only other region getting good sockeye catches was the Alaska Peninsula, where nearly 4.6 million reds were landed so far. Statewide, the big numbers will be pinks, which run in distinct tw...

  • Tribes disagree on benefits versus harm of oil production

    Matthew Brown and Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press|Jul 15, 2021

    NEW TOWN, N.D. - On oil well pads carved from the wheat fields around Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, hundreds of pump jacks slowly bob to extract 100 million barrels of crude annually from a reservation shared by three Native American tribes. About half their 16,000 members live on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation atop one of the biggest U.S. oil discoveries in decades: The Bakken shale formation. The drilling rush has brought the tribes unimagined wealth - more than $1.5 billion and...

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