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District hires Alaskan as new elementary school principal

The Wrangell district has hired a new elementary school principal. Jamie Wollman, principal at the Hooper Bay Charter School in the western Alaska coastal community, is moving to Wrangell for the 2024...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 24, 2024

Assembly approves longer-term lease at former mill site

The borough assembly has approved a longer-term lease with Channel Construction at the former 6-Mile mill site where the company plans to build two 3,200-square-foot shop buildings. Under terms of the agreement approved April 9, Channel would store e...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 24, 2024

Borough receives federal reimbursement for landslide expenses

The borough will be reimbursed for roughly $900,000 it spent on debris removal, restoring downed power lines, overtime pay and other expenses after the deadly landslide in November. The borough’s request for federal disaster assistance for the N...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 24, 2024

Parents caught off guard by court ruling on homeschool funding

Wrangell parents of homeschooled children enrolled in correspondence programs said they were caught by surprise when an Alaska judge ruled unconstitutional the use of state funds for such programs. The law allowed parents of correspondence students...

 

Counselor leaves after two years; tells school board turnover is a problem

Julie Williams will step down as school counselor for the district at the end of the school term, after two years in the job. It's the latest in several recent high-profile turnovers of key school...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    April 24, 2024

Annual Birding Festival comes to town this week

The 2024 Stikine River Birding Festival will take flight Wednesday, April 24. Minor changes have been made to the schedule of events, which no longer includes a golf tournament at Muskeg Meadows on Saturday April 27. However, there are still plenty...

 

School district requests increase in borough funding

The school district is requesting $1.75 million from the borough for the 2024-2025 school year budget, an increase from the $1.6 million contribution of the past two years. Even with the increase, the budget will draw down more than half of the...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 24, 2024

WCA awarded federal funds to develop climate change response plan

Wrangell Cooperative Association’s Tl’átḵ - Earth Branch was awarded over $200,000 from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for its climate action and adaptation plan to help respond to the growing concerns and risks of climate change. In surveys conduc...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 24, 2024

Borough holds pre-season tourism meeting Thursday morning

The first small tour boat of the summer is due May 9, with the first large cruise ship scheduled for May 16, and it’s time for the borough’s annual pre-season informational meeting for businesses and anyone else involved in the tourism industry. The...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    April 24, 2024

Registration opens May 1 for library's summer reading program

Registration opens May 1 for the library’s summer reading program for kids, with some big numbers from last year to match. More than 90 kids signed up for last year’s program sponsored by the Irene Ingle Public Library, reading almost 2,000 boo...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 17, 2024

Borough approves sale of hospital property to real estate developer

The borough assembly approved the sale of the former medical center and six adjacent lots to property developer Wayne Johnson on April 9. Johnson is a Georgia-based real estate developer hoping to build a 48-unit condo-style housing development with...

 
 By Sam Tabachnik    News    April 17, 2024

Tlingit and Haida continues pressing Denver museum to return cultural objects

In 2017, a delegation from the Tlingit and Haida tribes flew to Colorado to meet with officials from the Denver Art Museum. The dozen tribal members came to discuss the return of a 170-year-old...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 17, 2024

Latest state budget proposal falls short of funding Wrangell school repairs

The Alaska Senate has passed a capital budget to fund roads, school repairs and rebuilds, housing, water and sewer systems and other public works projects across the state — but the spending plan is short of funds to cover repairs to Wrangell’s thr...

 

Forest Service adds staff in Wrangell, mostly to work on recreation projects

The U.S. Forest Service is adding a dozen new positions in Wrangell, plus changing two jobs from seasonal to permanent. Most of the new hires are on the job, with a couple still in the hiring...

 

Volunteer student group expands focus, starts selling lunches

A high school organization founded by students several years ago aimed at inclusivity and students helping each other has expanded its focus, and its store in the school's commons area is selling an a...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    April 17, 2024

Wrangell may receive state funds to start planning emergency route

The state capital budget approved by the Alaska Senate last week includes $200,000 for the borough to start planning an emergency access route for when Zimovia Highway is blocked by landslides or other disasters. The route would connect the old loggi...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 17, 2024

Borough approves pay raises for union, non-union employees

The borough assembly approved a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on April 9, covering public works, light and power, port and harbor and maintenance jobs, totaling about 23 positions....

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 17, 2024

Assembly approves Villarma's borough manager contract

The borough assembly on April 9 approved Mason Villarma’s contract as borough manager. The assembly vote was unanimous. Villarma went to work as finance director in September 2021 and has been serving as both finance director and interim borough mana...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 17, 2024

Annual birding festival flies into town April 24-28

The time of year is approaching when birds flock to the river flats, and Wrangell is once again hosting the Stikine River Birding Festival. The festival will run from April 24 to 28 and will include a variety of bird-themed events and activities...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 17, 2024

Forest Service hosts public workshop for management plan revision

After more than a quarter-century, the nation’s largest national forest is getting a new management plan. On April 22, Wrangell community members will get a chance to learn about the proposed revisions to the forest plan and share their thoughts. A...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    April 17, 2024

Chamber hands out annual volunteer, business, educator and citizen awards

The chamber of commerce at its annual awards dinner last weekend honored several members of the community for their service, including the fire department and emergency medical services crew, municipal electric line crew and borough employees for...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 17, 2024

Wrangell loans ambulance to Ketchikan after station fire

The South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department station in Ketchikan caught fire early morning April 9, damaging multiple fire and EMS response vehicles. When the Wrangell Fire Department heard about the damages, they responded quickly by lending an ambu...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 10, 2024

Class teaches and preserves traditional Haida hat weaving

The WCA Cultural Center filled with the sweet aroma of cedar as students sat around tables, focused on their hats in progress in front of them. They dipped the strips of red and yellow cedar into...

 

High school students statewide protest inadequate state funding

Hundreds of high schoolers across Alaska participated in an organized walkout April 4 in protest of the Legislature’s recent failure to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s veto of an education funding bill. The bill would have included a historic inc...

 
 By Becca Clark    News    April 10, 2024

History podcast tells not all was golden in 1874 gold rush

One hundred and fifty years ago, the Stikine beckoned people to its rugged landscape with the promise of wealth. This was the Cassiar gold rush of 1874, a huge moment in Wrangell history, according...

 

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