Articles from the November 23, 2022 edition


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  • School districts hope for more state funding next year

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    School districts statewide, including Wrangell, will be looking to the Legislature next year for an increase in state funding, but any boost in the state’s per-pupil formula likely will depend in large part on oil revenues and also Permanent Fund earnings. And neither looks good this month, less than eight weeks before lawmakers are scheduled to convene in Juneau. The state funding formula for K-12 education hadn’t moved in about five years before this year’s 0.5% mini-nudge upward. Meanwhile, districts statewide are facing budget defic...

  • Girls volleyball team wins first at regionals, will head to state

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    From the first-place seed going into regionals to a first-place finish, the Wrangell High School girls volleyball team saw their winning streak interrupted only once in Klawock. The Lady Wolves faced the Craig Panthers twice in the second day of play last Friday after beating host team Klawock the day before in three sets. Craig bested Wrangell in the first match-up after four sets, dashing their hopes of a clean sweep on Friday, but Wrangell rallied and came howling back to win the second...

  • Borough will install additional public restrooms downtown next spring

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    Next year, Wrangell will be home to a hot new tourist attraction — public restrooms. Portable facilities will appear downtown in the late spring to meet tourist demand and to reduce the strain on area businesses. “We’re looking at doing some sort of mobile trailer type of restroom,” said Tom Wetor, director of the Public Works Department. The trailers will sit at the intersection of Campbell Drive and Front Street, near 56º North and Angerman’s. Facilities will include four private stalls, complete with sinks. Two of the stalls will be wheelch...

  • Alaska at or near bottom in measures of economic health nationally

    Alex DeMarban, Anchorage Daily News|Nov 23, 2022

    For the past seven years, the Alaska economy has performed “at or near the bottom” nationally in four key measures of economic health, according to a report released Nov. 17 by the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development. Taken together, the state’s poor performance between 2015 and 2021 — in employment growth, unemployment, net migration and gross domestic product — place Alaska’s economic health at the bottom of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, said Nolan Klouda, the center’s executive director and lead author of the...

  • The Way We Were

    Amber Armstrong-Hillberry|Nov 23, 2022

    Nov. 23, 1922 J. Stockley Ligon, who was sent to Alaska by the U.S. Biological Survey to investigate wolf attacks, came to town this week, having caught six wolves – four on Kupreanof and two on Zarembo. Ligon is not so much concerned in actual trapping as in making an investigation and working out plans and developing methods that are applicable in Alaska. The $150 that has been raised locally could be spent in no better way than by sending out some reliable local man with Ligon to learn how wolves can be most successfully trapped. Nov. 21, 1...

  • Borough to seek community input on 6-Mile mill site development

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    In the Oct. 4 municipal election, Wrangell voters authorized the borough to sell or lease the 6-Mile mill site, a 39-acre parcel of land on Zimovia Highway. As they explore options for developing the land, borough officials will seek community feedback at an upcoming public forum. The forum represents an effort to “look at what the community would like to see out there,” said Economic Development Director Carol Rushmore. How does the community think the property can best be utilized for its benefit, she asked. At the Oct. 19 meeting of the bor...

  • Rushmore to retire as borough economic development director

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    Soon after Carol Rushmore stepped into her role as economic development director in 1993, Wrangell’s economic landscape changed forever. The sawmill, which had been the borough’s economic mainstay since the mid-1950s, shut down, setting off a chain reaction of job losses and business closures that affected the entire community. “We lost 20% of our workforce overnight,” Rushmore said. “It was extremely bad for a good 10 years.” But 29 years and countless grant applications, public forums and infrastructure projects later, Rushmore is planning...

  • Silver Liningz to close next month after nearly six years

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    On Dec. 17, a downtown shop will turn off the open sign for good. Silver Liningz Boutique is closing after nearly six years in business, leaving customers to find their sassy fashions somewhere else. A myriad of reasons led to the decision, said owner Terie Loomis, who will be entering her second retirement. "I've already retired once from corporate America back in 2012. Then we moved here and decided to open the boutique," Loomis said. "I've retired twice now and (my husband is) jealous." Her...

  • Borough smart to cut asking price for hospital

    Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    When you’re trying to sell an unlivable house that needs an awful lot of expensive work — a fixer-upper, as it’s politely called — you keep dropping the price until someone comes along who wants the property and can afford to completely rebuild or maybe tear down and build a new home on the lot. No matter what you think that worn-down house with all its problems and unusable floor plan is worth in memories, it’s only really worth what someone else can make of it. The unused former Wrangell hospital is that fixer-upper, which is costing t...

  • Palin can't win, that's why she lost

    Larry Persily Publisher|Nov 23, 2022

    Former governor, former vice presidential candidate and perpetual self-promoter Sarah Palin now believes the old ways are the best ways when it comes to elections. She was the first Alaskan to sign a petition last week to put a repeal of ranked-choice voting on the ballot. After losing her bid to serve in the U.S. House, Palin is attacking the election process rather than just admitting she isn’t that good of a candidate. It’s like a hockey player who can’t skate, blaming the ice for being too slippery. “Ranked choice voting is the weirdes...

  • Getting active in community makes a difference in everybody's life

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    Back in March, I wrote a column about being a converted sports junkie. It detailed my appreciation for high school sports, and I believe it’s what spurred me to get more involved in the community since people still remark on it nearly nine months later. On Nov. 15, the last session was held for the I Toowú Klatseen group. Before the final meeting, a make-up run took place for the kids who had missed the previous week’s 5-kilometer fun run. It was the culmination of around 10 weeks of meetings and practices — and I nearly missed all of it. So...

  • Legislature may hear two renewable energy proposals in upcoming session

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    Renewable energy advocates will try again at next year’s legislative session to win approval for extending the life of the state’s Renewable Energy Fund and creating a “green bank” to help finance clean-energy projects. The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) provides grants for renewable energy projects via a competitive process. The fund was established in 2008 with an initial investment of $100 million, plus additional deposits over the years. The program ends in 2023, unless extended by lawmakers. Legislators convene in Juneau on Jan. 17. Over 10...

  • Ongoing worker shortage drags down Alaska economy

    Yereth Rosen, Alaska Beacon|Nov 23, 2022

    Alaska’s economy shows signs of prosperity. But it’s also facing an emerging crisis. A veteran economist described these contradictory forces in a presentation Nov. 16 at an industry conference in Anchorage. “We have the strangest and weirdest economy that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been following the economy for a long, long time,” Neal Fried of the Alaska Department of Labor told the Resource Development Council for Alaska. By many measures, Alaska’s economy is in good shape, said Fried, whose economic presentations have become a staple at the...

  • Annual Audubon Christmas bird count scheduled for mid-December

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    Though you might not find four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree in the rainforest ecosystems of the Tongass, there can be no doubt that counting birds is a quintessential Christmas activity. On Dec. 17, Wrangell’s avian enthusiasts will participate in Audubon’s 123rd annual Christmas Bird Count. Over 20 countries and thousands of volunteers contribute to this early-winter bird census, which runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 yearly. Each community’s bird count is conducted on a single calendar day w...

  • Wrestlers take on their teammates in exhibition matches

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Nov 23, 2022

    A tournament that originally pitted the Wrangell High School wrestling squad against Petersburg and Sitka ended with the Wolves grappling the Wolves. Two rounds of wrestling, with a pause for senior appreciation and other accolades, was held last Saturday in the high school gym when competitors from the other schools decided against the trip due to scheduling, illness and other issues. "This is really just so people can see them wrestle," head coach Jack Carney said before the matches. Lucas...

  • Dunleavy, Murkowski, Peltola headed to victory today

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Nov 23, 2022

    All three incumbents likely clinched victory in Alaska’s statewide elections when the Alaska Division of Elections updated vote count results on Friday with thousands of additional absentee, questioned and early ballots from this fall’s general election. Final unofficial results will not be available until 4 p.m. Wednesday, when the division implements the state’s new ranked-choice sorting system, but voting trends have made the results clear in most races. With 264,994 votes counted, incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy had 50.3% of the v...

  • Palin first to sign petition to repeal ranked-choice voting

    Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News|Nov 23, 2022

    A new group has announced it will attempt to do away with ranked-choice voting in Alaska by ballot initiative, and former Gov. Sarah Palin was the first to sign the petition — before the outcome of her failed congressional bid ws final. Alaskans for Honest Government, a political action committee that formed last month, hosted an event Nov. 17 where group organizers launched their effort to collect signatures to put the question of reinstating the state’s former voting system to voters on the 2024 ballot. Ranked-choice voting was adopted in...

  • BIA accepts Juneau parcel to hold in trust for Tlingit and Haida

    Mark Sabbatini, Juneau Empire|Nov 23, 2022

    A tiny parking lot on a little-traveled downtown side street is now a landmark achievement for Alaska Natives in Juneau, with the federal government approving a “land-into-trust” application last Thursday that paves the way for a range of self-determination, economic and other benefits for the tribal owners. The application by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska is only the second approved in the state, following one in Craig five years ago. In addition to making Tlingit and Haida eligible for more federal ser...

  • Washington state orders closure of last fish-farming pens

    The Associated Press|Nov 23, 2022

    SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state Department of Natural Resources said Nov. 14 it will not renew a fish-farming company’s last remaining leases on net pens in Puget Sound. Department officials said Cooke Aquaculture has until Dec. 14 to finish steelhead farming and start deconstructing its equipment, The Seattle Times reported. Cooke’s pens are located in Rich Passage near Bainbridge Island and Hope Island in Skagit Bay. Letters sent from the Department of Natural Resources to the Canada-based company on Nov. 14 indicate Cooke had a histo...

  • State euthanizes black bear cub infected with avian flu

    The Associated Press|Nov 23, 2022

    JUNEAU (AP) — A black bear cub in Southeast Alaska was euthanized after it became ill with avian influenza, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said. It is believed that the cub, which was located in Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve west of Juneau, is the second bear diagnosed with the highly pathogenic bird flu, the Juneau Empire reported. Bird flu “passes really easily to poultry, but mammals aren’t really susceptible to it,” said Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian for the department. “It’s difficult t...

  • Supreme Court hears case against American Indian, Native adoption law

    Mark Sherman, Associated Press|Nov 23, 2022

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court appears likely to leave in place most of a federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings of Native children. The justices heard more than three hours of arguments on Nov. 9 in a broad challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, enacted in 1978 to address concerns that American Indian and Alaska Native children were being separated from their families and, too frequently, placed in non-Native homes. The...

  • Indian Health Service wants to 'reenergize' vaccination efforts

    The Associated Press|Nov 23, 2022

    PHOENIX (AP) - The Indian Health Service announced last Thursday that all tribal members covered by the federal agency will be offered a vaccine at every appointment when appropriate, under a new vaccine strategy. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, American Indians and Alaska Natives have had some of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country. But Indigenous people are especially vulnerable to vaccine-preventable illness, and IHS officials recently noticed fewer patients have be...

  • Police report

    Nov 23, 2022

    Monday, Nov. 14 Parental matter. Welfare check. Traffic stop. Traffic stop. Tuesday, Nov. 15 Dog at large. Wednesday, Nov. 16 Theft. Parking complaint. Welfare check. Thursday, Nov. 17 Citizen assist: Vehicle unlock. Violating conditions of release: Unfounded. Friday, Nov. 18 Agency assist: Petersburg Police Department. Agency assist: Petersburg Police Department. Letter served for removing a person from a licensed establishment. Driving complaint. Agency assist: Hoonah Police Department. Parking complaint. Noise complaint. Saturday, Nov. 19...

  • Longstanding problems led to banishment of village school principal

    Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News|Nov 23, 2022

    Leaders in the Western Alaska community of Kipnuk say the principal of nearly a decade bullied Native school staff members, put residents in jeopardy by ignoring COVID-19 restrictions and oversaw a decline in education quality. That’s why in October, according to documents obtained through a public records request, they voted to banish her from the community. School officials and tribal leaders involved in the banishment order and subsequent search by tribal police officers at the Chief Paul Memorial School at the end of last month have largely...

  • Classified ads

    Nov 23, 2022

    HELP WANTED Wrangell Elks is looking for a full-time bartender to work 30 to 40 hours per week. Applicants need to be flexible with shifts and willing to work with employees and volunteers as a team. Pay scale is between $14 to $16 an hour, plus tips. Inquire at the Elks Club or call Dawn at 907-305-0552. FREE PAPERS Stop by the Sentinel to pick some up. FREE ADS Do you have something to sell? Having a garage sale? Looking to buy something? Classified ads for individuals and community groups are free in the Sentinel. Contact Amber at...

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