Articles from the September 20, 2023 edition

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School board discusses potential cost savings with borough assembly

During the budget process next year, the school district will need to cut about $500,000 from its current $5.1 million operating budget to maintain financial sustainability as it prepares for the end of federal pandemic relief funding. This could mea...

 

Bigger cruise ships plan Wrangell stops for 2024-2025

Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line — among the biggest names in Alaska summer cruises — have added Wrangell to some of their longer itineraries. The traditional seven-day Southeast Alaska cruises from Seattle or Vancouver, B.C...

 

Borough moves closer to allowing more apartments in town

In an effort to make more housing available in the community, the planning and zoning commission has accepted a draft set of rules to allow the addition of a detached rental unit on the same lot as a single-family home. Such rentals currently are...

 

State will notify tour operators of Petroglyph Beach fees

A state parks official said staff shortages and lack of information about commercial tour operations led to the situation where the state didn’t realize until this summer that businesses were failing to register or pay the required permit fees to b...

 

The Way We Were

Sept. 13, 1923 Wrangell’s first clown and the first clown for the majority of youngsters here paraded down Front Street Saturday afternoon, leading his “Company” of the youngsters of town who took part in the pet parade. The parade was part of the Ch...

 

Borough seeks federal grant to cover shortfall on water plant project

The borough needs to fill a funding gap of almost $10 million before it can upgrade its water treatment plant. The new design would increase the plant’s water output and storage capacity to accommodate future growth. The low bid for construction c...

 

Forest Service will work to lower cost of viewing platform for historic boat

The borough hopes to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to give the Chugach - a wooden Forest Service boat built in 1925 - an improved permanent home outside the Nolan Center, complete with a...

 

Accessory rentals could help ease housing shortage

There is no single answer to Wrangell’s housing shortage. There is no magic 2-by-4 that borough officials can wave over the community to create new apartments and homes. Which means trying multiple small steps, such as accessory dwelling units. T...

 

Elected officials need to quit playacting

Close to 50 years ago, I was on the union contract negotiating team at the Chicago newspaper where I worked. The negotiating sessions with management were contentious, even nasty at times. I recall we wanted a new three-year contract, with raises at...

 

Scheib revs up new car detailing business

No matter how many muddy boots soil your car's seat or how many lattes you spill driving over the Case Avenue potholes, a new car detailing business in town can return your vehicle to mint condition....

 

Parks and Rec expands offerings with sign language classes

The Parks and Recreation Department will offer American Sign Language classes next month for youth and adults. “We want to expand” what the department offers the community, said Devyn Johnson. “My goal is to offer something for everyone,” she sai...

 
 By Sage Smiley    News    September 20, 2023

Wrangell walkers cover 5,500 miles and win Southeast trophy

Wrangell won a regional Parks and Recreation competition as local participants walked more than others in Southeast this summer. On average, Wrangell’s 22 participants in the challenge tallied 252 miles each — enough to walk from Juneau to Wra...

 

Wolves raced in Sitka against largest field yet

The Wrangell Wolves competed in the Sitka Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 16 - their largest cross-country meet before regional and state championships, with more than 240 competitors from 16 high...

 

School district looks for new activities director

The school district hopes to sign up a new activities director this week after the person handling the work moved on to another job in town. The activities director is a contract position — not a full-time or even part-time staff job — and handles tr...

 

School board race attracts two candidates for one seat

Voters on Oct. 3 will choose between incumbent Esther Aaltséen Reese and challenger John DeRuyter for a three-year term on the school board. It is the only one of five school board seats on this...

 

Michael Ottesen and Anne Morrison run for assembly unopposed

Two candidates will be running for two seats on the borough assembly in the municipal election Oct. 3 - Michael J. Ottesen and incumbent Anne Morrison. Barring a successful write-in campaign, both...

 

Gary Morrison unopposed for fourth port commission term

Gary Morrison is running unopposed for his fourth term on the port commission. He is seeking reelection so that he can support ongoing harbor projects and, he admits, "because no one else is doing...

 

Rep. Peltola's husband dies in plane crash in Southwest Alaska

Alaska U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola’s husband, Eugene “Buzzy” Peltola Jr., died after a plane he was flying crashed Sept. 12 in Southwest Alaska. Peltola, 57, was the former regional director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Alaska, serving from 2018...

 

Marijuana industry says Alaska's high tax gives advantage to illegal sales

In an unusual offseason hearing, a committee of the Alaska Legislature considered a proposal on Friday, Sept. 15, that could lower the state tax on marijuana sold in the state. House Bill 119, considered by the House Labor and Commerce Committee,... Full story

 

State caught up on old food stamp applications but behind on new requests

Officials from the state Division of Public Assistance said its staff has worked through the backlog of applications for food stamps that stressed Alaska families for more than a year. But that success came at the cost of what officials are calling... Full story

 

Police report

Monday, Sept. 11 Lost property. Agency assist: School. Agency assist: Hoonah Police Department. Tuesday, Sept. 12 Traffic stop. Summons service. Wednesday, Sept. 13 Agency assist: Department of Transportation. Civil paperwork. Suspicious activity....

 

Classified ads

RUMMAGE SALE First Presbyterian Church will hold a garage rummage sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the church. Accepting donations now. Call 907-874-3534 or text 907-660-7112 to... Full story

 

Alaska saw big increase in flu cases last fall and winter

After a period when COVID-19 restrictions halted the spread of other respiratory diseases, Alaska had a big increase in influenza cases last fall and winter, state data shows. The overall influenza case load during the 2022-23 season was much higher... Full story

 

Over half of Alaska-born residents leave the state

More than half of Alaskans born within the state have moved away, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. A state’s ability to retain Alaska-born residents is an indicator of its e... Full story

 

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