Articles from the December 21, 2022 edition


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  • Governor proposes largest dividend ever but no funding increase for schools

    James Brooks, Alaska Beacon|Dec 21, 2022

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a first-draft $7.3 billion state budget last week, meeting a legally required deadline but acknowledging that the spending plan is likely to change significantly as the administration negotiates with lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session. “This budget that we’re submitting, as always, is a talking point with the Legislature,” Dunleavy said. “It also reflects values, what our revenue picture looks like, and where we’re headed.” The biggest single expense in the entire proposed state budget is $2.5 billio...

  • Borough solicits community feedback on uses for mill property

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Participants in the 6-Mile mill property community forum shared their hopes for the site with borough officials last Thursday. Attendees weren't afraid to dream big as they crafted the headlines they'd like to see in the Sentinel 20 years from now: "Industrial complex a success - largest haul-out facility in Alaska." "Wrangell shows steady economic growth while maintaining small-town charm." "No more milling around - Wrangell's industrial diversification takes off." "Wrangell industrial complex...

  • Wrangell will go without ferry service Jan. 11 to Feb. 3

    Sentinel staff|Dec 21, 2022

    Wrangell will go without any state ferry service for three weeks this winter while the Alaska Marine Highway System cuts back on port calls as its ships head into winter overhaul. There will be nothing northbound out of Wrangell after the Kennicott’s scheduled Jan. 6 sailing to Petersburg and Juneau until the Matanuska comes back into service after its winter work and stops here northbound on Feb. 3. The Kennicott’s last southbound run before winter overhaul is scheduled for Jan. 11 in Wrangell, with the Matanuska set to stop here Feb. 6 on...

  • Blatchley, Churchill close out high school wrestling as state champs

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Two senior wrestlers went to Anchorage as regional title holders. They returned to Wrangell with another title to their names: State champions. Ethan Blatchley and Randy Churchill each took on four competitors in their respective weight classes from across Alaska to win the Division II state championship title on Saturday night. Blatchley won for the 171-pound weight class and Churchill won for the 160-pound weight class. Over the course of Friday and Saturday, Blatchley grappled with Memphis...

  • The Way We Were

    Amber Armstrong-Hillberry, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Dec. 21, 1922 Wrangell basketball fans had an opportunity to see the high school team in speedy action last Friday night when they met the Kake town players. The Kake boys were a stalwart bunch, but they were unaccustomed to the latest rules and had been practicing outdoors instead of in a hall, according to a statement by their coach prior to the game. They were distinctly outclassed. The speed of the Wrangell high team, their teamwork and their superior ability to connect with the baskets made it impossible for the visitors to get more than...

  • Cowan sentenced to seven years for online enticement of a minor

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Dusty Cowan, 41, of Wrangell, was sentenced to seven years in prison last week for online enticement of a minor and distribution of indecent materials to a minor. His crimes included “soliciting sexual photos from a minor as well as sending photos of his (genitals) to the minor,” according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Law. The victim was 14 years old when Cowan began initiating sexually explicit conversations and video chats with her via Facebook Messenger. He had known the victim since she was in kindergarten and was a “fa...

  • Planning and zoning explores options for accessory dwelling units

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    The planning and zoning commission is discussing changes to housing regulations that could allow landowners to build small accessory dwelling units on their properties, intended to help alleviate the community’s housing shortage. “We get a lot of requests of people who want to build a small unit behind their house for a mother-in-law or parent,” said borough Economic Development Director Carol Rushmore. “Because of our housing crush, this is a way for people who really want to do that to improve our housing situation.” The current code does...

  • Dow receives statewide award for behavioral health service

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Wrangell's Davis Dow of the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium received the Rising Star Award at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's Behavioral Health Aide forum last month. The award is given to a health aide who delivers exceptional client care and improves the behavioral health care delivery system in their community. Dow was honored for his collaboration with the Wrangell School District and for helping meet the needs of homeless community members. His efforts allowed...

  • Governor's proposed budget short on so many issues

    Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Newly reelected Gov. Mike Dunleavy last week unveiled his proposed state spending plan for the next budget year. By far, the largest single expense in the entire state budget is the Permanent Fund dividend. The governor’s budget proposes no increase in state funding for public schools and a reduction in funding for the university system. No significant increases for road repairs, snow removal, mental health services, or more staff to help the backlog of food stamp applications which has created hours-long hold times for callers needing help. L...

  • Nation needs to learn to work together, again

    Larry Persily Publisher|Dec 21, 2022

    It’s been almost 40 years since I read “The Good War,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning history as told by more than 120 participants in World War II. They remembered the fighting, the injuries and deaths, the personal sacrifices at home and even the moments of hope and kindness. They told the author, Chicago journalist Studs Terkel, of their lives and what the war did to them and what it meant to them. Though I was born after the war (1951), I’ve often thought about how strongly America came together to fight its enemies. Many volunteered for military...

  • American Legion wraps up another Christmas party

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    The halls of the American Legion were decked out for the Christmas party last Saturday - wreaths and lights covered the walls, wrapped presents hung from the ceiling and children walked through an inflatable candy cane archway to receive their gifts from Santa. Putting on this annual event takes months of careful planning and hard work, explained Jenny Mork of the American Legion. The Legion fundraises throughout the year and parents request specific gifts for their children when they sign up...

  • Early graduation has senior tabling project for now

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    One of the senior projects taken on last year was refurbishing benches in the high school and middle school courtyard. James Shilts and Rowen Wiederspohn cleaned, sanded and repainted the benches. Though it helped beautify the open space, it still needed something. This year, Nick Allen chose to add to the courtyard by building a table and attaching benches that students could sit at to eat lunch or do homework or just relax when the weather permits. Allen got the idea for a table and benches wh...

  • Federal investigation faults state treatment of children with mental health issues

    Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News|Dec 21, 2022

    A major U.S. Department of Justice investigation has concluded that children in Alaska with mental health issues are “forced to endure unnecessary and unduly long” institutionalization in locked psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment facilities because no alternatives exist. The state of Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide services that would allow kids to stay in their homes and communities, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division found in a report released last Friday. Alask...

  • Wolves win two, lose two in season openers in Sitka

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    The Wrangell Wolves had a preview of what's to come in this season's basketball tournaments, and the team has its work cut out for them. In competition that spanned three days, the Wrangell High School boys basketball team traveled to Sitka to take on three different teams. They won two games and lost two games in fierce opening play. On Thursday, the team was supposed to compete against Kodiak High School, but the Bears were canceled by foul weather. Instead, the Wolves took on the Sitka...

  • Creative endeavors flow to opening of new downtown shop

    Marc Lutz, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Word of River's Mouth is spreading, just like one of their locally made jams. It's only been a little over a month since River's Mouth Trading Co. opened in the former GCI storefront on Front Street, but customers have already taken advantage of the permanent space. The company has existed since 2017 and has found success through selling at the monthly community market, but as the product line increased, the once-a-month market became harder to sustain. "I started making too many things to pack...

  • UAS program prepares students for jobs in fishing industry

    Caroleine James, Wrangell Sentinel|Dec 21, 2022

    Everything you could possibly want to know about fish, from their biological characteristics to the commercial fisheries that harvest and sell them to the governmental entities that regulate them, is available through the University of Alaska Southeast applied fisheries program. Catering to high schoolers, recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike, the school’s online and in-person programs prepare students for jobs in the industry. Applied fisheries is a workforce development program housed in the UAS career education department in S...

  • Haines embezzlement suspect arrested in Utah

    Chilkat Valley News|Dec 21, 2022

    A man who allegedly stole $58,000 from a Haines tour operator earlier this fall was apprehended Dec. 6 in Riverton, Utah, according to Haines Police. As of Dec. 13, Charles was in a Utah jail pending extradition to Alaska. Haines Police Officer Maxwell Jusi said Riverton police arrested Charles after Haines police received a tip about his whereabouts. Two Riverton police officers made the arrest at a movie theater in a shopping mall, according to a Riverton police report. One of the officers worked with an acquaintance of Charles to coordinate...

  • Damages increase as warming Arctic threatens entire ecosystem

    Yereth Rosen, Alaska Beacon|Dec 21, 2022

    Disruptions in Alaska over the last year, some of them threatening health and safety of people, are part of the ongoing pattern of rapid warming and transformation of the Arctic, said an annual report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Last December’s record-wet weather in Fairbanks, marked by crushing snow loads and winter rain that left a thick, long-lasting layer of ice on the ground, was one of those disruptions. So were the August deluge that produced the rainiest day on record in Utqiagvik, the record-setting...

  • Warming seafloor could reduce food for Pacific walruses

    Yereth Rosen, Alaska Beacon|Dec 21, 2022

    There is danger lurking on the floor of the Bering and Chukchi seas for mussels, snails, clams, worms and other cold-water invertebrates, according to a new study led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists. If climate change continues its current trajectory, the Bering and Chukchi seafloor areas will be too warm for those creatures by the end of the century. In turn, that means trouble for walruses and other marine species. Snails and mussels are particularly important to commercially harvested fish like halibut and...

  • Villages will receive $50 million in federal aid toward relocation

    Riley Rogerson, Anchorage Daily News|Dec 21, 2022

    WASHINGTON — Two Alaska Native villages will receive $25 million each from the federal government to help fund their ongoing efforts to relocate to safer ground. The funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law will go to Newtok and Napakiak in Western Alaska, where, as permafrost thaws and erodes, encroaching rivers threaten the communities. The communities will use the money to move essential facilities to safer ground. Eight other tribes will receive $5 million to fund planning for potential relocation, including four in Alaska: Point L...

  • Musk ox kills court services officer in Nome

    Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News|Dec 21, 2022

    A procession of emergency vehicles traveled through Anchorage with the body of Court Services Officer Curtis Worland on Dec. 14, a day after the 36-year-old died in a rare attack by a musk ox in Nome, where Worland worked for the Department of Public Safety for 13 years. The fatal incident happened on Worland’s property during a paid break in the work day, and as such the state considers his death to have happened in the line of duty. According to the Department of Public Safety, Worland “is the 69th Alaska law enforcement officer to die in...

  • Police report

    Dec 21, 2022

    Monday, Dec. 12 Motor vehicle accident. Reckless driving. Agency assist: Petersburg Police Department. Tuesday, Dec. 13 Fire: Unfounded. Welfare check. Wednesday, Dec. 14 Agency assist: State Troopers. Parking complaint: Citation issued for parking in a red zone. Traffic: Two juveniles given warning for riding four-wheelers on roadway. Thursday, Dec. 15 Traffic stop: Citation issued for failure to provide proof of insurance and verbal warning for expired tags. Traffic stop: Citation issued for failure to provide proof of insurance and diving...

  • Fish-farm operator appeals Washington state shutdown order

    The Associated Press|Dec 21, 2022

    SEATTLE (AP) — Cooke Aquaculture has filed an appeal against Washington state’s decision to end its leases for fish-farming using net pens in state waters. In court documents filed Dec. 14, the New Brunswick, Canada-based seafood giant said that the decision was arbitrary, politically motivated and contrary to science, radio station KNKX reported. In a statement, Cooke said it has a state Supreme Court ruling and legislative mandate on its side that supports the farming of native species. It also said that the 30-day deadline to harvest fis...

  • Regulators approve removing Klamath River dams to open up salmon habitat

    Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press|Dec 21, 2022

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal regulators have approved a plan to demolish hydroelectric four dams on a California river and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s unanimous vote last month on the lower Klamath River dams is the last major regulatory hurdle and the biggest milestone for a $500 million demolition proposal championed by Native American tribes and environmentalists for years. The...

  • Classified ads

    Dec 21, 2022

    HELP WANTED Wrangell Public Schools is accepting applications for the following positions: Custodian: This is a full-time, year-round classified position with benefits, 7.5 hours per day. Salary placement is on Column B of the Classified Salary Schedule. Job duties include but are not limited to keeping our school complex clean and assisting with setting up rooms for classes, large presentations and business meetings as needed; and assisting with minor repairs. A High School Diploma or equivalent is desired. The successful applicant will begin...

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