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 By Larry Persily    News    January 13, 2022 

SEARHC closes Crossings in Wrangell, expands operation in Sitka

Posted Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 12 Alaska Crossings, a program that helps at-risk teens and takes them on guided wilderness expeditions throughout Southeast, is closing its Wrangell base of operations and moving to Sitka. Crossings has been based... Full story


Wrangell now at 103 reported COVID infections since the holidays

Posted Sunday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2022 With seven more cases reported Friday evening and one more on Sunday, Wrangell has now recorded 103 COVID-19 infections since Dec. 30. The surge in cases represents almost one-third of all the infections... Full story

 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...

 By Marc Lutz    News    January 13, 2022 

School district hires new business manager to work remotely

After about 10 candidates applied for the position of business manager with Wrangell Public Schools, a hiring committee chose Tammy Stromberg, of Anchorage, to fill the job. Citing the scarcity of...

 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 13, 2022 

Wrangell works to obtain state aid for windstorm expenses

The governor has issued a disaster declaration for Wrangell after a windstorm took down power poles and disrupted services on Nov. 30, though it appears most of what the borough has requested is not eligible for state aid. The borough estimated its...

 By Marc Lutz    News    January 13, 2022 

Art program seeks to raise confidence, bolster curriculum through creativity

A schoolwide art program at Evergreen Elementary began at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year by drawing out confidence in the student body. Developed over the summer by Tawney Crowley, the soc...

 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 13, 2022 

Wrangell now has enough money for Mt. Dewey trail extension

A second federal grant of $450,000 has given the borough enough money to start work and complete the long-planned extension of the popular Mt. Dewey Trail. Construction likely will begin this year, according to Parks and Recreation Director Kate Thom...


Ed Rasmuson's banking career took him through Wrangell

Ed Rasmuson, a banker and philanthropist who led Alaska's largest philanthropic organization, died Jan. 4 at age 81. He managed the Wrangell branch of the National Bank of Alaska in the late 1960s.... Full story

 By Marc Lutz    News    January 13, 2022 

Garbage baler could take time to show savings

In order to stay compliant with shipping requirements, Wrangell Public Works began using a trash baler last October. The machine also could save money for the borough. Because open-top trash containers with lose garbage are being phased out by...

 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 13, 2022 

Magnolia raises the bar on Wrangell's beauty needs

Darian Burley's Magnolia Beauty Bar serves comfort and grooming care with a lush pedicure massage chair, salon chair and mirror, a nail care table, and hair care items for sale. Burley offers...

 By Marc Lutz    News    January 6, 2022

Annual icy dip draws brave crowd to Shoemaker Harbor

For about 20 years on New Year's Day, some of the bravest in the community gather to prove their mettle by wading into the frigid water of Shoemaker Harbor for the aptly named Polar Plunge. This year...

 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 6, 2022

Assembly will consider increase in electricity rates

Ratepayers will have a chance to weigh in next Tuesday on the borough’s proposed increase in electricity rates for residential and commercial customers. If approved, the rate hike would increase the kilowatt-hour charge by 7.5% to 9% for most resid...

 By Larry Persily    News    January 6, 2022

State advertises for fill-in private ferry service; gives bidders 7 days to respond

With the Matanuska out of service longer than expected for more repair work, and the state uncertain whether it can bring an idled ferry out of a cost-saving lay-up, the Alaska Marine Highway System is seeking bids from private vessel operators to...


Tlingit & Haida will start wireless internet pilot project in Wrangell

Wrangell has been selected for the initial start-up of Tidal Network, a newly formed enterprise of the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska that will bring wireless broadband internet service to underserved areas. The new se...

 By Larry Persily    News    January 6, 2022

State will stop paying for walk-up COVID testing at end of month

The state has decided to stop offering walk-up COVID-19 testing at Alaska’s larger airports, and to stop paying for similar free testing operations in communities statewide, including Wrangell, effective Jan. 31. The SouthEast Alaska Regional Healt...

 By Larry Persily    News    January 6, 2022

Matanuska delayed again; no ferry service to Wrangell for 23 days

The 58-year-old state ferry Matanuska needs additional time in a Ketchikan shipyard for steel decking replacement and other repairs, forcing cancellation of more sailings to Southeast communities and leaving Wrangell without any service between Jan....

 By Marc Lutz    News    January 6, 2022

GCI internet service spotty since Nov. 30 windstorm

Internet service provided by GCI was knocked out when Wrangell was pummeled by a gusty storm on Nov. 30, and three weeks later residents were still reporting outages. Technicians were able to restore service to customers by Dec. 3, but there were...

 By Marc Lutz    News    January 6, 2022

A look back at 2021's top news stories in Wrangell

There were about 1,000 stories in the Wrangell Sentinel last year, covering state and local budgets, the ailing state ferry system, ongoing pandemic and more — including a new owner for the Sentinel. On Jan. 1, Larry Persily bought the newspaper...

 By Sarah Aslam    News    January 6, 2022

Borough will apply for rec center improvements grant

The borough assembly has selected an almost quarter-million-dollar recreation center project for Wrangell’s application to a competitive, federally funded COVID-19 aid grant program, while it has also adopted its projects wish list for...


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