Articles from the November 19, 2020 edition


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  • Assembly holds workshop on meter upgrades

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Last week, on Nov. 10, the borough assembly met for a work session on the topic of electric meter upgrades. According to a memo from Electrical Superintendent Rod Rhoades, Wrangell Municipal Light & Power's metering system has been deemed obsolete by their software and hardware provider, ITRON. Their current metering system was developed in 1994, according to the memo, and ITRON has decided the continued use of this system, MV-RS, is no longer smart or cost effective. This means, Rhoades wrote,...

  • City adopts mask mandate

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Last Thursday morning, Nov. 12, many Alaskans received an emergency alert on their phones from Governor Mike Dunleavy. The message contained a link to a video of Dunleavy, in which he addressed the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the state. Effective immediately, he said, all state employees were to work from home if possible, and face masks and social distancing were mandatory at state work sites. On Nov. 16 he also issued a new 30-day COVID-19 disaster declaration. In his address, the governor...

  • Veterans Day

    Nov 19, 2020

  • WCA election results

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Results are in for the Wrangell Cooperative Association's recent election. The WCA is Wrangell's local tribal organization, and last Tuesday, Nov. 10, they held elections for their tribal council. There were six names on the ballot this year, and voters got to choose among four candidates. According to the WCA, a total of 90 valid ballots were received this election. There were 83 ballots cast, six absentee ballots, three questioned ballots and two invalidated ballots. The new members of the...

  • Port Commission discusses harbor ladders, other topics

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Wrangell's port commission met last Thursday, Nov. 12. A large portion of their discussion that night surrounded the installation of ladders between slip spaces at Shoemaker Harbor. Shoemaker has recently undergone extensive renovations, replacing old docking and making the harbor more accessible for vessels. The commission was looking at installing ladders in between each slip space in the harbor. This would cost about $84,000, according to the discussion. Brian Merritt, with the Port...

  • The Way We Were

    Nov 19, 2020

    November 18, 1920 Wrangell young people enjoyed excellent skating early in the week as a result of the clear cold weather which prevailed for several days. The little folks made good use of the frosty walks and coasting was a favorite pastime with the grown-ups until the skating began. November 16, 1945 Report on Wrangell’s water supply and condition was received this week by the City Council from Amos J. Alter, U.S. Public Health Service sanitary engineer and is as follows: “The water to 357 private premises in the City of Wrangell was mea...

  • School Board discusses new doors, superintendent search

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    The Wrangell School Board met Monday night, Nov. 16, for a regularly scheduled meeting. During the meeting, the board approved expenses to the City and Borough of Wrangell for new doors for Evergreen Elementary School. According to attachments to the meeting's agenda, the new doors and hardware procurement will cost $32,250. Additionally, there is another $10,125 for key scanning software. This money will come from an NRA School Shield grant, according to Board Member David Wilson. The motion...

  • Harvest Fest contest winner

    Nov 19, 2020

    The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce hosted a contest this past weekend, Harvest Fest, to promote local businesses. Shoppers were given the opportunity to get cards stamped at participating businesses, and having those cards entered into a raffle for a $500 prize. Pictured here is Apryl Hutchinson, with the chamber, spinning the raffle wheel at the Stikine Inn on Nov. 16. The Harvest Fest winner was Devyn Johnson....

  • Police report

    Nov 19, 2020

    November 9 Citizen Assist: Vehicle Unlock. November 10 Dog Complaint. Citizen Assist. Civil Matter. Disturbance. Gunshots. November 11 Citizen Assist. Paper Service. Agency Assist: Ambulance. Citizen Report Driving Under Influence: Unfounded. November 12 Found Property. November 13 Agency Assist: U.S. Forest Service. Agency Assist: U.S. Forest Service. November 14 Agency Assist: Hoonah P.D. Paper Service. Agency Assist: Hoonah P.D. Gunshots. November 15 Welfare Check. Motor Vehicle Accident: Hit and Run. Dog at Large....

  • Obituary: Margaret Jane ("Tiny") Hall

    Nov 19, 2020

    Margaret Jane ("Tiny") Hall, 101, died in her home in Kodiak, Alaska on October 30, 2020. She was born on June 15, 1919, in Minneapolis Minnesota, to Phyllis and Raymond Gray, and had two older sisters – Mary (Bamby) and Ann. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1941, and taught school until 1945, when she married Hugh F. Hall, an Episcopal priest. In 1948, the couple moved to Wrangell, Alaska. They continued to reside in Alaska, living first in Wrangell (1948-1958), followed by Sew... Full story

  • Obituary: Vera Mae Harto, 90

    Nov 19, 2020

    Vera Mae Harto, 90, died October 31, 2020 in Ritzville, Washington. She was born March 10, 1930 in Central City, Kentucky to Gladys and James Cobb, the eldest of nine children. The family moved to Indiana and then to Chicago, Illinois when Vera was a teen. There, Vera met and married Charles Spoto. The couple moved to Vancouver, Washington with their daughter and their son was born there. Vera was widowed when the children were young. She worked as a nanny in Tigard, Oregon for Claude Wren, and... Full story

  • Obituary: Lena Marshall Gillman, 70

    Nov 19, 2020

    Lena Marshall Gillman, 70, passed away November 1, 2020 in Kalispell, Montana where she lived the last 26 years. She was born September 17, 1950 in Wrangell, Alaska, where she spent her years growing up, graduating from Wrangell High in 1970. She was preceded in death by parents Jerry and Sonja Marshall; and sister Nellie Marshall. She is survived by: husband Walt Gillman; sons Robert Burrill, Cy Burrill; daughter Debbie Burrill; sister Jerrie Sullivan; grandchildren, great grandchildren, and...

  • Turkey trot supporting middle school runners and food pantry

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Southeast Beasts will be hosting the 9th annual Turkey Trot next Thursday, Nov. 26. Lucy Moline-Robinson, with the running group, said that participants should arrive at the covered basketball court by Evergreen Elementary School at 8:45 a.m. The run will begin around 9 a.m. This year, the turkey trot is in support of both the Stikine Middle School Running Club and the Salvation Army food pantry. Participants are asked to make a donation of money and nonperishable food. The money will go towards headlamps for the running club, Robinson said, to...

  • SEARHC rolling back free asymptomatic tests

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    In a Nov. 17 press release, the Southeast Alaska Health Consortium announced that they would soon be discontinuing their free asymptomatic COVID-19 testing program. This program has offered free COVID-19 tests for members of the public not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, freely across many Southeast Alaskan communities. According to their press release, this decision to roll back the tests is in response to the surge of COVID cases across Alaska, and the need to prioritize symptomatic...

  • Fishing communities should expect lower tax revenues due to toppled markets due to COVID and low salmon returns

    Laine Welch|Nov 19, 2020

    Tamped down prices due to toppled markets caused by the Covid virus combined with low salmon returns to many Alaska regions added up to reduced paychecks for fishermen and will mean lower tax revenues for fishing communities. A summary of the preliminary harvests and values by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game shows that Alaska’s total 2020 salmon catch came in at just under 117 million fish, a 44% decrease from last season’s haul of 208.3 million fish, and the 13th lowest on record. The statewide salmon value of $295.2 million is a who...

  • Lady Wolves beaten in senior games

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Last Saturday morning, The Wrangell Lady Wolves hosted the Petersburg Lady Vikings for their annual senior games. Two Wrangell seniors were recognized prior to the games: Robyn Booker (No. 7) and Jade Balansag (No. 1). Coach Alyssa Allen praised the seniors for their hard work over the season, and said that she and the team would miss them after they graduated. While the Lady Wolves played hard, they were not able to overcome Petersburg's team. The first game started with the Lady Vikings...

  • Planning and Zoning Commission approve plat reviews

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    The Wrangell Planning and Zoning Commission met last Thursday evening, Nov. 12, to cover several items. There were three plat reviews on the agenda that night, two preliminary and one final. A final plat review of the Alaska Trust Land Survey 2020-2. According to the agenda packet, Johnson Construction and Victor and Kaelene Harrison are seeking to purchase lands behind their existing lots from the Alaska Mental Health Trust. A preliminary plat was approved with conditions back in September....

  • School board holds workshop with APEI

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    The Wrangell School Board held a workshop Monday evening, Nov. 16, with Alaska Public Entity Insurance. APEI is the nonprofit administrator of a joint insurance arrangement between a pool of Alaskan entities that self-insure each other. They provide property, liability, and other forms of coverage for 38 school districts and charter school members, as well as 33 municipalities and other related organizations. The City and Borough of Wrangell also receives coverage from APEI. The workshop was...

  • Election update

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    The following are unofficial results for how Wrangell voted in the 2020 election, as of 3 p.m. on Nov. 4. 732 ballots were cast on election day. As of Friday afternoon, Nov. 6, these numbers have remained unchanged. For President, Wrangell cast 171 ballots for Joe Biden, and 526 votes for Donald Trump. For U.S. Senator, Wrangell cast 167 votes for Al Gross, and 504 votes for Dan Sullivan. For U.S. Representative, Wrangell cast 196 votes for Alyse Galvin, and 519 votes for Don Young. For State... Full story

  • City announces new COVID-19 cases

    Caleb Vierkant|Nov 19, 2020

    Friday Nov. 20, the City and Borough of Wrangell announced several confirmed cases of COVID-19. One case is within the community, according to the city’s press release. That individual is in isolation. This is Wrangell’s 22nd case. The press release goes on to state that the city has been informed of two other Wrangell residents who were tested outside of Wrangell. “Those two individuals are Wrangell residents, tested outside of Wrangell and remain outside of Wrangell,” the press release reads. “Those two cases are considered recovered... Full story

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