Southeast News

All safe after Sitka tour vessel founders

The St. Michael took the stricken St. Tatiana's passengers aboard. (Flickr photo/Michael Fitzhugh)69 passengers and 5 crew members are safe after being evacuated from a tour boat Thursday afternoon (5-21-15) in Sitka.

A seller’s market at Sitka’s industrial park

White says there are now 43 full-time jobs at GPIP, and 380 seasonal jobs. When the APC Mill closed in 1993, Sitka lost over 400 full-time jobs. White says his board has been working under a 20-year strategy to develop the site.It’s a seller’s market at Sitka’s Gary Paxton Industrial Park. Although much of the uplands in the former mill site remains on the market, park director Garry White told the Sitka Chamber of Commerce this week (5-20-15) that the waterfront continues to attract suitors.

Wrangell, Petersburg hospitals share a financial administrator

It can be difficult for rural Alaskan hospitals to recruit experienced financial professionals. That’s why the hospitals in Wrangell and Petersburg are taking a new approach to that challenge by sharing a chief financial officer.

Arctic adviser: Rigid regs worsen climate change impacts

Craig Fleener, Gov. Walker's Arctic policy adviser, addresses the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society at Juneau's Centennial Hall on Wedensday. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Craig Fleener, the governor's Arctic policy head, says communities could better adjust to climate change if hunting and fishing rules become more flexible.

Centennial Hall declared asbestos-free

Harrigan Centennial Hall was re-opened this afternoon (Wed 5-20-15), after an asbestos scare forced an emergency closure on Tuesday. Building Manager Don Kluting said a gray substance was found on spare door and a sample sent to a lab in Washington state, with negative results.

We’re Number 2! Slayers roll to second-place in state tourney

According to Newhouse, the Slayers treat each other like family. "We want to be competitive, but competition will never replace fun." (Sitka Sound Slayers photo)Sitka has the number-two roller derby team in the state. The Sitka Sound Slayers lost only two games in the state roller derby tournament over the weekend (May 16-17) -- both to the Rage City Rollergirls from Anchorage.

With an eye on legislature, Sitka schools move ahead with hires

The Sitka school board wants to develop a more strategic budgeting process in the next couple of years -- assuming the state government is functioning and lawmakers fund education.

Hyder border to reopen for 24-hour access

Hyder signSen. Lisa Murkowski’s office announced today that after many discussions with her office, the Canadian government has agreed to work with U.S. officials to open the gate -- and keep it open, all the time.

Trooper shoots aggressive brown bear in Starrigavan campground

This picture of the bear was taken a few days before a trooper killed the animal as it charged. (ADF&G photo)Law enforcement officers killed a young brown bear in a Sitka campground over the weekend, after the animal had become aggressive.

Book, exhibit recall 1980’s fishing ‘gold rush’ in Sitka

The Lualda's decks go awash during a halibut opener in Sitka Sound in 1987. (Jana Suchy photo)It may be the next best thing to time travel, for the hook-and-line crowd. An author and photojournalist who worked as a deckhand in Sitka in the 1980s has rediscovered some of her early work, and published it in a new book.

Critics question Sealaska Corp.’s finances

sealaska-annual-report-2015-graphCould Sealaska make more money, pay higher dividends and make better use of its land? Yes, say some shareholders critical of the Southeast regional Native corporation’s management.

Delta touches down in Sitka

3-IMG_1209Look out Alaska Airlines. Delta announced last fall it would begin operating non-stop flights from Seattle to Sitka for the summer season. And at 7:25 last Friday (05-15-15), the first flight landed. Delta also began operating one daily flight from Seattle to Ketchikan. The season will end on September 7th.

Climate change, subsistence on Native group’s agenda

NAFWSThe Native American Fish and Wildlife Society meets in Juneau May 20-22. Tribal experts will discuss climate change, subsistence and Arctic policy.

Ortiz returns, asks constituents for input

Rep. Dan Ortiz talks during a town-hall-style meeting Thursday at the White Cliff building.After a quick trip to Juneau early this week that didn't result in any action by the Legislature, House District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz returned to Ketchikan for a town-hall-style meeting with constituents Thursday evening.

New Tongass Forest Supervisor on the job

EarlStewartThe new Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart has worked for the U.S. Forest Service since 1991, moving through various forests. But, he says, he’s always wanted to live and work in Alaska.

Male cat nurtures litter of abandoned kittens

Henry and kittenHenry’s strong mothering instinct is a surprise, and it’s also a gift, because he could make all the difference to whether the kittens survive.

Ammonia leak prompts temporary evacuation

EC PhillipsAn ammonia leak led to a compressor shut-down at a Ketchikan fish processing plant Tuesday night, and prompted an evacuation of the surrounding area.

AK, B.C. promise more input into mine decisions

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott discusses the Xat’sull people’s traditional fishing on the Fraser River with tribal council official Jacinda Mack on May 6, 2015. The Xat'sull live in the area damaged by August's Mount Polley Mine tailings dam collapse. They’re concerned about reopening plans. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)The Walker-Mallott administration will include transboundary mine critics’ concerns in its negotiations with British Columbia.

Bill would add layer to subsistence redesignation

Saxman Totem Park and Clan House.Citing the City of Saxman’s decade-long fight to regain its residents’ subsistence rights, Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a measure on Monday that would require congressional approval before a community’s rural designation could be removed in the future.

MAC hears about proposed state pot regs

(Creative Commons photo by Brett Levin)The first set of regulations will cover local control options, and should be available for public review by the end of the week. A second set later on will deal with products, and the last set will cover licensing requirements. The state needs to have regulations in place by Nov. 24.

Ortiz says he’s ready to negotiate ASAP

ortizHouse District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz is headed back to Juneau on Monday to complete work on the state budget, but there probably won’t be much work taking place.

B.C.: Alaska will get larger voice in mine development

British Columbia Minister of Mines Bill Bennett has announced a plan where Alaska officials will have more chances to comment on projects under development. (Photo courtesy of the B.C. government)British Columbia's top mining official says Alaska will soon have more input into the permitting process. That news came after a meeting with Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.

WCA tests Wrangell shellfish for contaminants

clamThe Wrangell Cooperative Association recently won federal funding to test shellfish from Wrangell beaches. The tribal government wants to make sure clams and cockles are still safe to eat after a sinking tug boat leaked fuel in the area last winter.

Gov. Walker proposes larger ferry budget

Students protest cuts in the marine highway system budget at the Kake ferry terminal in March. (Photo courtesy Adam Davis/Sustainable Southeast Partnership)Gov. Bill Walker says the state ferry system needs more money to avoid “crippling cuts” during the next fiscal year

Red Chris Mine gets closer to full production

The Red Chris Mine's first shipment of copper concentrate was sent out April 11, 2015. (www.imperialmetals.com)A British Columbia mine upriver from Wrangell and Petersburg is one step closer to full production after reaching a benefits agreement with a First Nation group last weekend.

Some ferry cuts restored, but impacts unclear

A marine highway staffer watches as passengers and dogs reboard the ferry Matanuska before departing Wrangell Jan. 16, 2013. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)State budget-writers have reversed one of cuts made to the Alaska Marine Highway. But officials say it's too early to say how much service will be restored.

Public media cuts could end local programming

Wrangell's KSTK is among public broadcasters facing deep cuts that could change  programming. (File photo)Some Alaska public broadcasters would have to give up local programming if the state Senate’s budget cuts go through.

Wrangell teachers implement iPads in elementary school classrooms

ipadThe Wrangell School District brought its elementary school up to a one-to-one student-to-computer ratio last month by giving each student an iPad to use in class. Wrangell second-graders got to start using their new iPads by creating multimedia books about weather.

Child porn charges lead to Louisiana rape charges for former Wrangell doctor

greg salardFederal child porn charges against former Wrangell doctor Greg Salard have led the state of Louisiana to revisit an old sexual assault investigation and charge him with aggravated rape.

Former Wrangell doctor wanted in Louisiana on rape charges

greg salardA former Wrangell doctor awaiting trial on child pornography charges is also wanted in Louisiana to face sexual assault charges. Greg Salard appeared in Juneau court Tuesday on a felony charge of a fugitive from justice.