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Articles from the September 30, 2021 edition

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Voters will decide on contested school board, borough assembly races

Wrangell voters in Tuesday’s election will decide on three borough assembly seats, three school board members and three port commission members. Of the nine races, five are uncontested — unless a write-in candidate declares by Friday — and the...

 

Sentinel adds new reporter to staff

Sarah Aslam is the newest addition to the Sentinel staff, starting work as a reporter in Wrangell on Sept. 20 after almost eight years in news in Orlando, Florida, with a stint in 2016 in Seward and...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 30, 2021

Composting helps sustain local soil, cut down on landfill volume

To some it may look like a pile of dirt; to others it's a way to sustain agriculture and nurture the land. The popularity of composting is catching on, giving growers a way to keep operations...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    September 30, 2021

Oyster farm part of a growth industry

Aquatic farming in Alaska could be a big industry, and completely sustainable. That's according to Wrangell's Julie Decker, executive director of Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, a nonprofit...

 

Alaska starts assigning first 100 out-of-state health care workers

The first 100 out-of-state health care workers have started arriving in Alaska to help at medical facilities overwhelmed with record patient counts due to surging COVID-19 infections. The state health department has contracted to bring on 470 health...

 

COVID testing moves from airport to hospital

The free testing station for individuals without COVID-19 symptoms but who what to get tested because they had recently traveled or just for peace of mind has moved from the airport to the hospital. “It’s more efficient here, we’re able to...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    September 30, 2021

New finance director will help borough better manage accounts

Mayor Steve Prysunka says it’s a priority to better understand all of the borough’s financial accounts, a job that will be easier now that Wrangell has a full-time finance director for the first time since February. Mason Villarma presented to...

 

Wrangell business outlook ranks about in the middle

Wrangell business owners and managers who responded this past spring to an economic outlook survey were about in the middle among Southeast communities. While about half of those in Wrangell who answered the survey said they expected business would...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    September 30, 2021

Mass casualty drill postponed to spring

A mass casualty exercise planned for the Wrangell Medical Center has been postponed. The volunteers needed to play victims, friends, family members and news reporters in the drill originally planned for Oct. 5 have been notified that the drill has...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    September 30, 2021

Volunteers help bring subsistence foods to elders

When the tide is low, the table is set. Sandy Churchill, a teacher at Tlingit & Haida Head Start in Wrangell, was referring to the ocean's banquet of sea cucumbers - known as yein in Tlingit -...

 

'Smart buoys' help track fishing gear so it doesn't get lost

Lost fishing gear — be it nets, lines or pots — continues “ghost fishing” forever, causing a slow death to countless marine creatures and financial losses to fishermen. Now, new “smart buoys” can track and monitor all types of deployed...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 30, 2021

Professional jet skier churns up Dangerous Waters through Southeast

It's one thing to experience Alaska's waterways from a ferry, cruise ship or even a fishing boat, but what about a Jet Ski, sitting atop a couple hundred horsepower of a thousand-pound jet pump with h...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 30, 2021

Waterfall Foundation donates $10,000 to Wrangell-based cancer care group

Ever since Nancy Murkowski’s friend had a cancer scare in the early 1970s, Murkowski has made it a mission to raise funds to help fight the disease. On Aug. 20, the Waterfall Foundation, a nonprofit organization Murkowski founded more than 20 years...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 30, 2021

Schools in desperate need of paraprofessionals, substitutes

The district is in dire need of paraprofessionals at each school. Not only has it been difficult to fill the positions, retaining staff has added to the problem since people can often make more in other jobs. “Paraprofessionals are – sometimes...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    September 30, 2021

Schools will administer COVID tests for student-athletes

A plan to start testing student-athletes for COVID-19 will produce faster results and make it possible to continue scheduled home and away games while keeping kids safe, school officials said. Athletes have to test twice a week, before and after...

 

Former resident Cita Laws dies at age 76

Former Wrangell resident Pacita "Cita" Laws, 76, passed away peacefully at home on Aug. 29, in Hemet, California, surrounded by her family. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother,... Full story

 

Dividend payments will start week of Oct. 11

JUNEAU (AP) — Officials are aiming to send out the first wave of Permanent Fund dividend payments to Alaska residents the week of Oct. 11, a Department of Revenue spokesperson said. The department’s Genevieve Wojtusik said in an email Sept. 22...

 

School bus-tracking app suspended

Tracking software that was going to be used this year for the school bus has been nixed. Zach Taylor, of Taylor Transportation, said the app, which would allow parents to track the school bus location in real-time, didn’t live up to the...

 

River otters attack people and pets in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Residents of Alaska’s largest city often contend with bears and moose, but state officials are warning of another wild animal that has been causing problems: river otters. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says river otters...

 
 By Mead Gruver    News    September 30, 2021

Drought hard on trout fishing in western states

SARATOGA, Wyo. (AP) - The North Platte River in southern Wyoming has been so low in places lately that a toddler could easily wade across and thick mats of olive-green algae grow in the lazy current....

 

Dalrymple wants to continue public service

Bob Dalrymple currently serves on the borough assembly, the second time he has been appointed to temporarily fill a vacant seat. He is running for a three-year term in Tuesday's municipal election....

 

Martin says marine service facility a big draw for Wrangell

John Martin's first watercraft "would have been the canoe I got when I was 13." Now 72 years old, he has had "a number of boats" and a number of years on boards and councils in the community. Martin...

 

Roppel running first time for port commission

Frank Roppel has served the past year on the port commission, but this is the first time he is running for elected office. He was appointed last year to fill a vacant seat, and has decided to seek a...

 

Buness wants to see more boats using Wrangell's services

Chris Buness describes herself as a "self-propelled boater" - a kayaker and canoer - but that does not diminish her interest in providing services for motorized boaters and working to attract more of...

 

Police report

Monday, Sept. 20 Civil paper service. Office of Children’s Services referral. Domestic violence order; violation unfounded. Vacation check. Agency assist: Hoonah Police Department. Tuesday, Sept. 21 Noise complaint. Wednesday, Sept. 22 Agency...

 

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