News / Wrangell

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 By Sentinel staff    News    May 4, 2022

Assembly requires owners pay for disposing of derelict boats

The borough assembly at its April 26 meeting approved an ordinance to hold boat owners liable for disposing of derelict vessels, after the port commission passed a resolution at its April 7 meeting requesting the change. The change to municipal code...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 27, 2022

Unfilled positions, lack of substitutes could push schools to distance learning

In a two-page letter to the community, Schools Superintendent Bill Burr on Friday cautioned that ongoing staffing shortages, particularly aides and substitute teachers, could push the schools into considering a move to distance learning in lieu of in...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 27, 2022

Price, service, location all factor into fishermen's processor choice

Some commercial fishermen prefer to sell their hauls in Wrangell. Some look for the best price, even if it's a few cents higher. Some decide where to sell based on services offered. No matter what...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 27, 2022

COVID cases on the rise; Alaska fourth-highest rate in nation

Just as other communities, Wrangell is enduring a springtime bloom of COVID-19 cases. As of April 20, the state health department reported 79 new cases in the community in the past 30 days. Most of those were reported to the state in late March and...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    April 27, 2022

Borough may auction off former hospital building

The borough assembly may put the old hospital building up for online auction next month, at a starting bid of $830,000, the value deemed by a recent commercial appraisal. A Florida-based substance abuse treatment center that had expressed interest...

 

State Senate could vote on new dividend formula

The Alaska Senate could vote this week on a new formula to calculate the annual Permanent Fund dividend, though proposed amendments and lengthy debate are expected and passage of the bill is uncertain. The bill that passed the Senate Finance Committe...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 27, 2022

Borough assembly starts review of next year's budget

The borough assembly has started work on its budget for the fiscal year that will start July 1 and will need to decide on a school district request for more funding in addition to paying higher fuel and property insurance costs and spending on...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    April 27, 2022

SEARHC plans nursing assistant class for June

SEARHC plans to offer a paid, six-week, on-the-job training program in Wrangell in June for certified nursing assistants (CNAs). After successful completion of the program, a student is eligible to sit for the state certification exam. As of last...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 27, 2022

Drill readies emergency responders for real events

Bodies were strewn throughout the rocks north of the Wrangell Airport, the site of a grisly airplane wreck. Cries for help could be heard here and there. Bloodied victims wandered aimlessly. Every...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 27, 2022

Schools hope for additional funds from borough and state

School board members voted unanimously on April 18 to adopt the district’s budget for the 2022-23 school year, which is balanced on the assumption of $432,000 in additional state and borough funding. The school district submitted a letter along...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 27, 2022

Senate committee proposes restoring full school debt repayment

The borough could receive about $300,000 under a Senate Finance Committee plan to pay back municipalities across Alaska for years of short-funding of the state’s share of local school construction bond debt. The committee version of the state...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 27, 2022

District chooses new principal for high school, middle school

The school board on April 18 voted to hire a former Alaskan as the new principal for Wrangell High School and Stikine Middle school. Robert Burkhart will begin as principal for the secondary schools on Aug. 8. He applied for the position after...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    April 27, 2022

Gillnetters 'do the best they can' amid restrictions

“Right now, we’re in a low-productivity era,” said Bill Auger, a fifth-generation commercial fisherman with 35 years of experience. Salmon fishing in District 8, in front of the Stikine River, has been closed for several years, and the gillnet...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    April 27, 2022

State forecasts weak returns for Southeast pinks

After a strong return of pink salmon to Southeast last year, state fisheries managers are forecasting a commercial harvest of just over 16 million fish this summer, one-third the level of last year’s catch of 48.5 million pinks. “During recent...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 27, 2022

Kennicott delayed out of shipyard; parts part of the problem

Global supply chain shortages and delays have extended past grocery stores, car dealers and electronics to the Alaska Marine Highway System. The state ferry Kennicott was delayed coming out of winter overhaul. Instead of returning to service last wee...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 27, 2022

Senate passes bill to tax e-cigarettes, vaping liquids

The Alaska Senate by a wide margin last week approved legislation to tax e-cigarette products just as the state taxes cigarettes and tobacco products. The legislation, which is scheduled for hearings this week in two House committees, also would...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 27, 2022

Kids learn water safety in two-day course

An average of 3,960 people die from drowning each year in the U.S. Roughly 35 of those are in Alaska, according to federal statistics. The Alaska Office of Boating Safety is looking to decrease those...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    April 20, 2022

Assembly postpones 21% water rate increase, mulls 30%

The borough assembly has postponed for the second time a decision on a proposed increase in water rates, and is now considering a 30% boost instead of the 21% rate hike originally suggested by staff. The assembly last month delayed a decision on the...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    April 20, 2022

Sitka boatyard closure leads to more work in Wrangell

Wrangell’s Marine Service Center has seen a 20% to 30% increase in haul-out requests after Sitka’s boatyard closed April 1. “We’ve been getting overflow from Sitka since February,” Port Director Steve Miller said April 13. Normally the...

 

Alaska joins airlines in dropping face mask requirement

Just hours after a federal court judge voided the federal face mask mandate for air travel and other public transportation, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines on Monday afternoon said masks would be optional on their flights....

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 20, 2022

Middle school spelling bee crowns first C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N in three years

With energy usually reserved for sports competitions, middle school students cheered and clapped for their classmates embroiled in a battle of words. That is, how to spell them correctly. Stikine...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 20, 2022

Extra ferry sailing will pick up waitlist travelers in Bellingham

With more than 260 would-be ferry passengers stuck on a waitlist for travel out of Bellingham, Washington, and sailings full until late July, the Alaska Marine Highway System has scheduled an extra...

 
 By Sarah Aslam    News    April 20, 2022

Assembly rejects proposal to remove cap on taxable sales

The borough assembly has rejected a staff proposal to remove the cap on sales taxes payable on individual purchases. Dropping the limitation, which shuts off Wrangell’s 7% sales tax on the purchase price above $3,000, could have generated an estima...

 

Borough and tour operators get ready for visitor season

The community is short of public restrooms near the City Dock and could be short port security staff this summer if people don’t apply for the jobs soon. One is an immediate concern, while the restroom shortage requires a longer-term solution....

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    April 20, 2022

Senior project addresses need to make homes easier to find

Finding a home or business in the modern age is made easier with apps like Google Maps, but what happens when an address doesn't appear in those digital location services? The problem can be made...

 

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