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COVID cases continue at record pace in Wrangell and statewide

Updated Friday evening, Jan. 21, 2022 As of early Friday evening, Wrangell was up to 145 new COVID-19 infections reported since Dec. 30, more than double the community's highest monthly count of the pandemic. The community is not alone in a record-se... Full story

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 20, 2022 

School enrollment shows decline; COVID-19, other factors to blame

The number of students enrolled in Wrangell Public Schools has dropped by nearly half in the past 30 years. According to data from the Alaska Department of Education, enrollment for the 1991-92 school year totaled 527. The 2021-22 school year...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 20, 2022 

Closure of outdoor program for at-risk teens hits Wrangell

SEARHC's announcement last week that it was shuttering the 21-year-old Alaska Crossings program in Wrangell, a wilderness therapy program for at-risk children that the health care provider took over...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 20, 2022 

Increased COVID-19 affects school, business and government operations

The uptick in COVID-19 cases after the holiday season has caused businesses to alter hours or close for days at a time, borough government to reinstate safety protocols, and schools to postpone sporti...

 
 By Elwood Brehmer    News    January 20, 2022 

Alaska ferry system in line for multi-year windfall of federal dollars

The state appears to be in prime position to capture well more than $1 billion in federal funding for its ferries that many Alaskans hope is the catalyst for long-sought change in the Alaska Marine Highway System. The $1 trillion Infrastructure Inves...

 

State awards contract for crew quarters aboard Hubbard

The Alaska Department of Transportation on Jan. 14 announced it had awarded a $15 million contract to Vigor’s Ketchikan shipyard for installation of living quarters aboard the state ferry Hubbard, which will enable the ship to carry a change of...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 20, 2022 

State contracts for private ferry operator 'as needed'

The Alaska Department of Transportation is contracting with Allen Marine to run one of its vessels “as needed” between Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg this winter, though no runs are scheduled and any operations likely would depend on whether...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 20, 2022 

Assembly drops 'interim' from borough manager's title; hires Jeff Good

After nearly three months, Jeff Good can drop "interim" from his title. On Friday, the assembly announced it had selected Good as borough manager. A committee took two days in executive session to...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 20, 2022 

Marine Service Center may need to raise rates in the future

Based on the current rate structure, Wrangell’s Marine Service Center could operate at a loss over the next five, 15 and 30 years. That’s according to a newly finished Marine Service Center business plan the port and harbors department will...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 20, 2022 

Schools adopt shorter isolation requirements in COVID plan

The school board on Monday approved changes to the district’s COVID-19 mitigation plan that would allow staff and students to return to school sooner after close contact with infected individuals or positive test results. Changes reflect the...

 
 By James Brooks    News    January 20, 2022 

Permanent Fund board chair defends firing of executive director

Under questioning from a bipartisan legislative committee on Monday, the chairman of the Alaska Permanent Fund defended the board’s decision to fire former executive director Angela Rodell but declined to answer substantive questions about the...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 20, 2022 

Utility needs to boost line capacity out of power plant for future needs

Wrangell's generating plant has an eight-megawatt line out the door but needs to go up to 12 megawatts if it wants to fully serve the power needs of the community during shortages, according to the...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 20, 2022 

Borough continues to gain in online sales tax revenues

Since first beginning to collect sales tax on online orders sold by out-of-town merchants such as Amazon in 2020, the borough continues to see an increase in revenues. In fiscal year 2021, which ended last June 30, the borough collected $180,000 in...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 20, 2022 

Libraries working to put decades of Sentinels online

It’s taken a while to turn decades of Sentinel pages into digital images, easily accessible for online searches, but the state and Wrangell libraries are about halfway there. Issues of the Wrangell Sentinel from its founding in 1902 through 1956 ar...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 20, 2022 

Forest service gets ready to hire for slew of positions

The U.S. Forest Service is hiring. Tory Houser, acting district ranger, is looking to hire for four positions at the Wrangell Ranger District. A recreation manager, a wilderness and recreation technician, an Anan Wildlife Observatory crew manager,...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 20, 2022 

Library extends hours, hires assistant with help of grant

Patrons of the Irene Ingle Public Library will now have more time to peruse the aisles, take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and checkout their favorite books. Thanks to a grant through the American...

 
 By Nathaniel Herz    News    January 20, 2022 

Sealaska's investment in kelp foods part of its focus on ocean health

Bull kelp is found up and down the Pacific Coast, can grow as long as 100 feet, and is edible in products like salsa and hot sauce. It's also part of the future for Sealaska Corp., which in 2020...

 

Disaster declaration will help Southeast towns buried by snow

JUNEAU (AP) — Parts of Southeast Alaska are receiving assistance from the state after getting up to six feet of snow. Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Jan. 13 issued a disaster declaration for the Yakutat, Juneau, Haines and Skagway areas, his office said in...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 13, 2022

First baby of new year born to Crowleys

Issabella and Tawney Crowley welcomed their first child - and the first baby born to a Wrangell family in 2022 - last week. Ryleigh Rowan Crowley was born at 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 4 at the PeaceHealth...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 13, 2022

Siekawitch becomes U.S. citizen after 18 years in Wrangell

It took nearly two decades, but Larissa Siekawitch is now an American citizen. On Jan. 4, Siekawitch took a test in Anchorage that lasted an hour and included an interview, reading, writing and answer...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 13, 2022

Assembly raises electricity rates; first in eight years

The borough assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an electricity rate hike that will increase the kilowatt-hour charge by 7.5% to 9% for most residential and business customers in Wrangell. The rate increase comes after the Southeast Alaska...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 13, 2022

Wrangell nears record with surge in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases in Wrangell are surging at their fastest rate of the nearly 2-year-old pandemic, with 67 new infections since Christmas weekend, as of Tuesday evening’s borough report. Of those, 37 cases were recorded between Friday and Tuesday....

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    January 13, 2022

Warmer, wetter weather creates its own set of problems

With this week's warmer weather, the snow shovels may get set aside but the higher temperatures and rain can create their own set of winter problems. Last week's single-digit temperatures gave way to...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 13, 2022

Assembly could make borough manager decision this week

The assembly could decide this week on a new borough manager. The three finalists were scheduled for interviews at a special assembly meeting Wednesday afternoon, and assembly members could take action in public after talking with the candidates in p...

 

Alaska Airlines says reductions will not affect Wrangell flights

Alaska Airlines said last week it would trim its flight schedule by about 10% for the rest of January as it deals with “unprecedented” numbers of employees calling in sick during the COVID-19 surge. Service to Wrangell — Flight 65 northbound in...

 

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