News / Wrangell


Sorted by date  Results 1 - 25 of 5772

  • Assembly moving toward vote on mandatory boat insurance

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    The borough assembly has set a public hearing for June 25 on an ordinance that would require boat owners to show proof of marine insurance or pay a monthly surcharge on their moorage fees. If approved by the assembly, the insurance requirements likely would not be applied until next year, Borough Manager Mason Villarma said in an interview June 12. The port commission has recommended the assembly require marine insurance to protect the borough from damages caused by boat fires and to ensure payment of any cleanup or salvage expenses. The...

  • Trident plans for up to 180 workers processing salmon

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    Trident Seafoods’ plan for its Wrangell plant this summer “is to run hard,” with as many as 180 workers on the processing lines, packing headed-and-gutted pinks and chum salmon for the fresh-frozen market. “You’ve got to get them out of the water and into the freezer” to have the best fish for consumers, said Jeff Welbourn, senior vice president of Alaska operations. It’s all about time and temperature, he said of producing a quality product. The company has added a new fish oil plant to its Wrangell operations for this summer, he said. “We...

  • Planning nearly complete as Fourth just two weeks away

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    They can't do anything about the weather, but organizers of Wrangell's Fourth of July events are preparing for the wettest and hoping for the warmest. They have made room at the covered downtown pavilion for musical groups to perform in the afternoon and evening of the Fourth. The bands need electricity, which doesn't mix very safely with rain, said Tommy Wells, executive director of the chamber of commerce, which organizes the annual holiday celebration in town. The events start with a golf tou...

  • Researcher delivers 3,000-year-old bone fragment to tribe

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    A large audience turned out to hear an evolutionary biologist explain the connection between a dime-size piece of 3,000-year-old human bone found in a cave near Wrangell and present-day Alaska Natives, who welcomed the opportunity to return a distant ancestor to her final resting place. Charlotte Lindqvist, a professor in the department of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo in New York, gave the presentation June 13 at the Nolan Center. The event focused on a bone fragment...

  • Time to bait the hooks for Family Fishing Day on Saturday

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    Once again, it’s that time of year to catch some fish at the lake and net some fun for the whole family. The annual Family Fishing Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Pats Lake. The event promises to have something for everyone, including casting practice and even a free lunch. The U.S. Forest Service Wrangell District and WCA Earth Branch are sponsoring the event, along with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Corree Delabrue, with the Forest Service, confirmed that special youth fishing regulations by Fish and G...

  • Borough to allow tax payments by credit card but will charge fee

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    The borough will allow people to pay sales and property taxes online by credit card, though they will be charged a credit card processing fee of 2.75%. The assembly approved the credit card option and fee on a unanimous vote at its June 11 meeting. Utility customers already are allowed to pay their bills with a credit card, with no fee. The new option for tax payments will take effect July 1. Property tax bills will go out by July 1 and payments are due by Oct. 15. Businesses generally pay sales taxes quarterly, with the next round of returns...

  • Market conditions continue to pressure seafood processors and fishermen

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    Consumers think of seafood as a premium purchase, which is not a good image when household budgets are tight and shoppers are worried about inflation. “The problem is not the fish,” said Jeremy Woodrow, executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. “The challenge is in the global marketplace.” Woodrow in February called the 2023 market for Alaska salmon “rock bottom” with low prices and weak demand, though maybe the industry was coming off that rocky bottom, he said then. Now, as the season is getting underway this summer, “a lo...

  • Wrangell readers turn to 'romantasy' and a lot of other books

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    As the weather warms, residents of all ages will indulge in some leisure reading over the summer. At the Irene Ingle Public Library, librarian Sarah Scambler doesn’t keep track of the titles checked out by patrons but noted people read a wide variety of different subjects. “We have a pretty eclectic group of readers here at the library.” She noted one popular title on the shelves that’s been on the bestseller list for the past 10 weeks is a novel called “The Women” by Kristin Hannah, based on the true experiences of female nurses during the...

  • Touch-a-Truck split into noisy and quiet sessions on Sunday

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    Kids of all ages will have a chance to check out some big rigs at the popular Touch-a-Truck event, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at the parking lot by Volunteer Park. Attendees will get to see many kinds of work vehicles, including fire trucks, police cars, bulldozers, dump trucks and more. This is the seventh such event held in Wrangell, with one year staged as a parade due to COVID restrictions. While it’s normally held on a Saturday, Parks and Recreation Coordinator Devyn Johnson said she wanted kids to be able to come to this event a...

  • Invasive European green crab found less than 10 miles from Ketchikan

    Scott Bowlen, Ketchikan Daily News|Jun 19, 2024

    The anticipated movement of invasive European green crab farther into Southeast Alaska was verified June 13 when 11 carapaces of the shellfish were collected on the shore of Gravina Island’s Bostwick Inlet, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The inlet, less than 10 miles southwest of downtown Ketchikan, is a popular local spot for harvesting Dungeness crab. The molted green crab carapaces were found by members of the Metlakatla Indian Community Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Alaska Sea Grant program, who were c...

  • State limits sportfishing in Wrangell Narrows to protect hatchery kings

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 19, 2024

    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has tightened the sport fishing limits for Wrangell Narrows and Blind Slough Terminal Harvest Area where hatchery kings return. The new limits were put in place due to poor returns of king salmon in the area, and will be in effect Saturday, June 15, through July 31. In the Wrangell Narrows, south of Matinsens’s dock and north and east of the northern tip of Woewodski Island at the southern entrance to the narrows, the new bag and possession limit for all anglers is one king salmon. Nonresident annual l...

  • Manager tells assembly it's time to reduce spending

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    Sales tax revenues came in under projections for the first three months of the year, an indication of a weakening economy and a worrisome sign for the community, Borough Manager Mason Villarma said last week. “We’re at that point we’re going to have to trim things down,” he told the assembly at a budget work session Wednesday, June 5. Mayor Patty Gilbert called the manager’s draft spending plan “the leanest budget” she has seen. In addition to proposing laying off two of the police department’s seven-member force of certified officers, Villa...

  • Paddle to Celebration provides a source of deeper connection

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    "Good morning Paddle to Celebration 2024! It's time to get up!" Jim Zeller's booming voice echoed through the forest. It was 4:30 a.m. and rain pattered the roof of my tent on Read Island. I could hear people in nearby tents begin to stir, along with the faint snoring of those that hadn't been roused by Zeller. We were a couple days into our seven-day canoe journey from Wrangell to Juneau, where we would arrive for Celebration, the biennial gathering of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. The...

  • Biologist will explain Alaska Natives' connection with prehistoric bone fragments

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    A University at Buffalo, New York, professor will talk about the genetic connection between human remains thousands of years old discovered in a cave near Wrangell and Alaska Natives in the area today. The presentation, sponsored by the Wrangell Cooperative Association and the U.S. Forest Service, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Nolan Center. The event will be free to the public. Evolutionary biologist Charlotte Lindqvist of the university’s department of biological sciences is coming to Wrangell for the presentation. “I wil...

  • Draft budget calls for 2 layoffs at police department

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    The draft budget before the borough assembly includes eliminating two positions from Wrangell’s seven-member force of certified police officers. The spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, Borough Manager Mason Villarma said, is constrained by flat property tax revenues, a decline in sales tax receipts, a long list of deferred maintenance projects and declining reserve funds. The layoffs, proposed for Sept. 30, would result in the department pulling back from 24-hour coverage, Villarma explained at a borough assembly budget w...

  • Pessimism shows up in survey of Wrangell businesses

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    Wrangell is among the more pessimistic towns in this year’s annual business survey conducted of Southeast communities. About half of the 35 Wrangell business leaders who responded to the survey had a negative view of the town’s economic outlook, and almost one-third expected they would need to cut jobs this year. None of that surprises Kate Thomas, the borough’s economic development director. “Our downtown district is not doing as well as it has in the past,” she said in an interview Thursday, June 6. Residents are spending more money onl...

  • Schools readvertise counselor job after remote applicant withdraws

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    The school district is readvertising for a full-time, in-person counselor to serve Wrangell’s 260 students starting in August. Amid pushback from faculty and at least one board member at last month’s school board meeting, the previously selected out-of-town applicant withdrew her bid to work as a remote K-12 counselor for the coming school year. The district administration last month proposed a contract for remote services with Lindsay Pinkelman, who runs Find a Way Consulting, based in Delta Junction, 95 miles southeast of Fairbanks. Tho...

  • Assembly may stop donations to radio, chamber, senior center

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    In addition to focusing on big-dollar issues, assembly members at last week’s budget work session discussed a collective $50,000 question: Whether the borough should contribute money to KSTK radio, the chamber of commerce and the senior center. The issue of improving playgrounds also came up toward the end of the meeting. Unlike recent years when the borough assembly appropriated cash for the radio station, chamber and senior center, the draft budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 does not include any such direct payments. Borough M...

  • Granddaughter wins Fourth of July art contest

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    A Talkeetna high school student who comes to Wrangell for the Fourth of July most every year to visit family is the winner of this year's chamber of commerce competition to design an official logo for the holiday celebration. Kyla McChargue said her winning design, with boats and planes converging on Wrangell, is intended to show everyone coming to town for the Fourth. "I just wanted to show that even if you don't live in Wrangell ... it's home," she said last week. Kyla, 15, who will be a sopho...

  • Wrangell dancers show their pride at Celebration

    Becca Clark, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    Centennial Hall in downtown Juneau filled with energy June 5 as Alaska Natives from all over the state paraded through, singing, dancing and wearing their regalia with pride. This was the grand entrance for Celebration, the Alaska Native cultural festival held in Juneau every other year, put together by Sealaska Heritage Foundation Dakhká Khwáan Dancers (People of the Inland) from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, led the Grand Entrance on the first day, lining the stage as they kept singing and d...

  • Former Soldotna police chief hired to run Wrangell department

    Mark C. Robinson, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    Dale Eugene "Gene" Meek has been hired as Wrangell's new police chief and will start the job on July 22. He most recently served as police chief in Soldotna, on the Kenai Peninsula. Borough Manager Mason Villarma, who met with Meek several times during his visit to town over the weekend, said he and Mayor Patty Gilbert had dinner with Meek and his wife, Mechel (pronounced "mee-shell"), on Saturday. The day before, soon after his arrival on the afternoon flight on Friday, Meek met with members...

  • One dead in Wrangell Narrows boating collision

    Petersburg Pilot and Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 12, 2024

    After a six-hour search, divers recovered the body of a woman who died in a boat collision between a 20-foot Hewescraft aluminum skiff and a 58-foot commercial fishing vessel in the Wrangell Narrows near the mouth of Blind Slough on Wednesday morning, June 5. An Alaska State Troopers spokesman on Friday identified the woman as Susan Paul, 73, of California. A second individual, thrown from the skiff into the water, was rescued by a good Samaritan on the scene, according to a U.S. Coast Guard news release. The man was taken to the Petersburg...

  • Developer plans for year-end construction start at former hospital property

    Becca Clark and Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    Wayne Johnson, a Georgia-based real estate developer, came to town to finalize his $516,000 purchase of the former hospital property and six adjacent borough-owned lots. Johnson said in an interview Sunday, June 2, that he still needed to work out some details on the purchase of the six lots but anticipated no problems and expected to sign the papers this week, before he needs to return to Georgia. He plans to start demolition in October, with site preparation and start of construction by year-end, he said. Johnson has changed his plans...

  • Assembly sets property tax rate at same as last year

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    As Wrangell’s population continues to age, the total value of senior citizen-owned homes exempt from property taxes continues to grow. About 27% of Wrangell’s population was 65 years or older last year (551 of 2,039 residents), according to Alaska Department of Labor statistics. That’s up from just under 23% in 2020 (482 of 2,127) and 19% in 2015 when the town’s population was much larger at 2,442. State law requires municipalities to exempt from property taxes the first $150,000 in assessed value on homes owned by senior citizens and disable...

  • Chamber moves salmon derby to June 15-30

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel|Jun 5, 2024

    The chamber of commerce has moved the dates for this month’s salmon derby to June 15-30 to allow anglers more time to try their luck after popular areas near Wrangell open to sportfishing on June 15. The chamber had initially scheduled the derby for two weekends — June 7-9 and June 14-16 — but decided at a May 28 derby committee meeting to move the days to later in the month. State Department of Fish and Game District 6, west of Etolin and Zarembo islands, and most of District 7, east and south of Wrangell, are closed to kings through June...

Page Down