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 By James Brooks    News    February 21, 2024 

Permanent Fund could come up short of spendable money in 3 years

The board in charge of the Alaska Permanent Fund is amping up its warnings about an impending state financial crisis. Without action by the Legislature, there’s a small but growing chance that within three years, the Permanent Fund — source of... Full story

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 21, 2024 

Borough officials concerned about ongoing population decline

Borough officials are concerned that Wrangell continues to lose population, while those who stay in town grow older and leave the workforce. As a whole, the state has lost more residents than it has gained in new arrivals every year since 2013, with...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 21, 2024 

Ballot measure would be needed to pay assembly, mayor for their work

A majority of the borough assembly supports changing municipal law to pay the mayor and assembly a few thousand dollars a year for their work, but it would require a change in the municipal charter to adopt such a compensation plan. “If this would...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 21, 2024 

Assembly votes to proceed with $25 million harbor grant application

The borough assembly has voted to proceed with an application for $25 million in federal funding to rebuild the Inner Harbor, Reliance and Standard Oil floats, including a commitment that Wrangell would come up with $5 million needed to fully fund...

 

New mobile auto mechanic knuckles down to work

Jared Becker was new to Wrangell when he and his wife, Destiny, arrived from St. Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, at the end of September. "We're Jehovah's Witnesses, so we like to help out with...

 

Repairs and improvements coming to borough parks and trails

The Parks and Recreation Department has a healthy list of work projects it wants to complete by June, including maintenance on the Mount Dewey trail, repairs to public restrooms and reinforcing the fire pit at City Park. Replacing more trash bins...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 21, 2024 

Assembly decides mandatory boat insurance ordinance needs more work

Assembly members agreed that a port commission proposal to require boat owners to carry marine insurance — or pay a monthly fee in addition to their stall rental — needs a lot more work. The port commission has been discussing since 2022 the...

 
 By James Brooks    News    February 21, 2024 

Legislature starts process to reject governor's change to ferry advisory panel

The Alaska Senate has taken the first formal steps needed to reject some or all of the 12 executive orders Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued at the start of this year’s legislative session, including the order that would take away the Legislature’s... Full story

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    February 21, 2024 

NOAA reports 45 killer whales caught up in fishing gear since 1991

Over the past three decades, 35 killer whales were entangled in fishing gear in Alaska, resulting in 25 deaths, according to a report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report from NOAA Fisheries covers documented case... Full story

 

KSTK soliciting donated artwork for fundraising auction

KSTK is accepting donations of artwork for its annual fundraising auction, set for Friday evening, March 22, at the Nolan Center. “We have artwork from all kinds of different artists from around Alaska,” said KSTK Development Director Kimberly...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 21, 2024 

Concrete work underway for new water treatment plant

Site prep work is finished and concrete foundation work has started on a new multimillion-dollar treatment plant to improve water quality and quantity for Wrangell. “We’re actually pouring our first footings,” Amber Al-Haddad, the borough’s...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    February 21, 2024 

Proposed fine for illegal use of harbor dumpsters set for public hearing

The public will have a chance to voice their opinions Feb. 27 on a pair of proposed municipal ordinances that would limit the use of harbor dumpsters to boat owners only and for their household trash only — with a $150 fine for violations. The...

 
 By Alaska Beacon    News    February 21, 2024 

Boss of proposed gas pipeline project is highest-paid state executive

The head of the state corporation in charge of a long-dreamed Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline is once again Alaska’s top-paid public executive. Frank Richards, president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., received $479,588 in... Full story

 

Student figured out how to upgrade livestreams from high school gym

What began about a year and a half ago as a side project for high school student Spencer Petticrew would eventually evolve to become his senior project: the livestreaming video setup at Wrangell High...

 
 By Lex Treinen    News    February 21, 2024 

Klukwan church given to tribe after century of Presbyterian ownership

The church, originally known as the Klukwan Presbyterian, has been holding regular Sunday services for nearly a century. But one thing about the church has changed: its owner. More than a year ago, a...

 
 By Lex Treinen    News    February 21, 2024 

Haines loses appeal of census count that showed 17% population drop

The U.S. Census Bureau has rejected Haines’ appeal of the agency’s 2020 count, which showed the Southeast Alaska community’s population dropping by 17%, or 428 residents. “I’m deeply disappointed. I really thought that our response was...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    February 21, 2024 

State offers grants for locally grown food efforts

The state is offering an additional $2.2 million in small grants this year for individuals and groups around Alaska to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food. The grants of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations...

 
 By Claire Stremple    News    February 21, 2024 

Head of troopers says state lacking in rural communities

Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell told lawmakers on Feb. 6 that he doesn’t know how the state can justify the relative lack of resources it has provided to rural Alaska. “Since statehood, the state has followed a... Full story

 

Seafood industry expects another year of weak markets

I’ve never seen market conditions as bad as they are now,” Doug Vincent-Lang, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told a conference of Southeast business, community and municipal government leaders last week. “Last year we...

 

New ministry aims to bring back roller rink this spring

After five years, a once-popular community gathering place may finally make a comeback. Georgianna and Richard Buhler, founders of the nondenominational TouchPoint Alaska Ministries, recently...

 

Wrangell loses third middle/high school principal in three years

Jackie Hanson has resigned as principal of Wrangell High School and Stikine Middle School, effective at the end of the school year. Hanson started with the Wrangell district in August. She was the third principal for the schools in the past three yea...

 

State ferry system in 3rd year of crew shortages

Crew shortages continue to plague the Alaska Marine Highway, the ferry system’s director told a gathering of Southeast officials last week. “Our biggest shortage is in the engineering department,” where the 54 ship engineers on the payroll as...

 

State issues preliminary report on Nov. 20 landslides

State geologists were able to more accurately measure the movement and damage from massive landslides that poured across roads in the middle of the island in November because just a few months earlier the state and U.S. Forest Service had collected...

 

Home buying, building, owning information fair a week away

“At least once a week I get a call from someone who is interested” in the upcoming borough subdivision land sale of 20 lots, said Kate Thomas, Wrangell’s economic development director. To help those callers, and everyone else who might be inter...

 

It'll be hard for state to resume ferry service to Prince Rupert

Numerous challenges are stopping the resumption of Alaska Marine Highway service to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, the ferry system’s director said at a conference of Southeast officials last week. During a Southeast Conference transportation...

 

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