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Articles from the September 9, 2021 edition

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Legislators, governor at odds on fiscal math

With less than a week to go before the deadline to finish this year’s third special session of the Legislature, not only are the governor and most legislators unable to agree on the amount of the Permanent Fund dividend, they also don’t agree on...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 9, 2021

Pastor credits strong spiritual walk for running after being quadriplegic

Brad Traxler is a walking miracle. One could go a step further and say he's a running miracle, literally. Ten years ago, at age 51, Traxler was in an auto collision near Belle Fourche, South Dakota,...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 9, 2021

Employers have trouble hiring; new programs respond to help

It's a familiar storefront sight throughout Wrangell: "Help Wanted" signs placed in business windows. For various reasons, employers are having trouble filling positions. "We couldn't find someone to...

 

Schools end first week at 262 students

Wrangell school enrollment numbers are a lot better than a year ago. As of last week, 262 students were enrolled in the elementary, middle and high schools. That’s far ahead of the enrollment low of the pandemic in fall 2020, when the student...

 

The Way We Were

Sept. 15, 1921 Fires invariably come in groups in Wrangell and three occurred within a short time during the past week. On Friday night, the McCulla house on Church Street had a small blaze on the roof; on Saturday forenoon, the house occupied by...

 

COVID hospitalizations 20% above last winter

The state reported 186 people hospitalized around Alaska on Monday, 20% more than at the worst of COVID-19 admissions last December. Almost two dozen patients were on ventilators, the state health website reported Tuesday. However, in perhaps a...

 

From the Publisher

Assembling a long-term fiscal plan for Alaska has been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with some key pieces missing from the box. It's frustrating and you can't win, no matter how much you try...

 

Editorial: The odds of winning are pretty healthy

At this point, anything is worth a try. If a healthy life, caring about family and neighbors, and wanting to dream about perhaps someday flying without a face mask isn’t enough of an incentive, maybe a chance at winning the Alaska vaccination...

 
 By Marc Lutz    Opinion    September 9, 2021

From the Editor

I grew up in a small rural town in California where we played in the streets, kept our doors unlocked, built treehouses, and stayed out late until our parents called us in. That all changed over the years. Sure, I left the state here and there, but...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 9, 2021

Southeast pink salmon catch far exceeds forecast

It’s looking to be a very good summer for pink salmon commercial fishing, much better than last year’s dismal catch. The pink harvest in Southeast was just over 44 million fish as of Sept. 3, over 50% more than the 28 million forecast issued...

 

State works toward restoring children's services position

The state is talking with the borough about restoring the Alaska Office of Children’s Services staff position in Wrangell, working through the details after the Legislature added funding for the job in this year’s budget. Legislators...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 9, 2021

Borough seeks bids to start repair work at skeet range

It's been quite a while since the Wrangell skeet range has had any improvements. That's about to change. The borough recently issued a request for bids to surface the parking area, a job it estimates...

 

State starting up second round of rental assistance

The state is opening a second round of federally funded pandemic financial assistance for renters who are not currently receiving help from the program that started this spring. The Alaska Housing Finance Corp., which is managing the aid program,...

 

State rotates in staff to help during hunting season

The Department of Fish and Game decided that money appropriated to partially restore a commercial fisheries job in Wrangell would be better spent this year to provide in-town assistance for moose and elk hunters who need to register their harvest....

 
 By Marc Lutz    Sports    September 9, 2021

Wrangell swim team competes in first meet of season

The Wrangell High School swim team traveled to Ketchikan this past weekend to compete in its first in-person meet in a year, as COVID-19 restrictions had relegated the team to virtual swim meets. In the two-day Ketchikan Invitational Swim Meet, the...

 

Wilma Elizabeth Stokes

Wilma, 92, passed away peacefully on August 28, 2021, surrounded by her family. Wilma was born to David and Rebecca Churchill on June 25, 1928, in Craig, Alaska, Prince of Whales Island. She was the... Full story

 

Alaska Airlines says new workers must be vaccinated

Alaska Airlines, and its subsidiary Horizon Air, have joined the list of U.S. airlines taking steps to boost the COVID-19 vaccination rate among employees. Alaska announced last week that all new employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 before...

 

Text-to-911 service comes to Wrangell and Petersburg

It didn’t cost much, but adding text-to-911 service could be a big help in certain situations, said Wrangell Police Chief Tom Radke. The new text service could be particularly useful for boaters in trouble who may not have a strong enough cell...

 

Tlingit & Haida offers grants to small business owners

Small business owners of the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska who have been economically hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for grants of up to $5,000 each. The grant program is funded under the tribal...

 

Fish Factor: Entries due Oct. 4 in statewide seafood competition

The Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition is back and the call is out for entries. The contest has showcased new products since 1994 but was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It encourages value-added seafood production and...

 

Alaskans can win $49,000 weekly prize for new vaccinations

ANCHORAGE (AP) — State officials are hoping that a weekly lottery prize will encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Alaska Chamber and state officials announced Sept. 2 that they are offering $49,000 each to one newly...

 

Cleanup costs for sunken boat reach $3 million

JUNEAU (AP) — Costs to contain pollution from a ship that sank near Kodiak Island more than 30 years ago have reached about $3 million in the weeks since authorities were notified of an oily sheen from the wreckage, according to the U.S. Coast...

 

River advocates want pause to new mining projects in B.C.

Southeast Alaskans and officials in British Columbia say they're getting closer to meeting on transboundary mining issues. Until that happens, advocates on the Alaska side of the border want to see a...

 

Hubbard could be in shipyard by November to add crew quarters

Design plans have been finalized to add crew quarters to the state ferry Hubbard, which hasn’t been in service since it was built a few years ago because its intended routes would go beyond limits for employee working hours. The Alaska Marine Highw...

 

Former Alaska state ferries arrive in Spain

The two unused Alaska fast ferries — which the state sold earlier this year as surplus — have been delivered to the Spanish Island of Ibiza, according to the Diario de Ibiza news website. Diario de Ibiza on Aug. 30 posted several photographs of...

 

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