Southeast News

Sunshine warms Sitka’s July 4th

Sunshine warms Sitka's July 4thAfter ushering in July 4th the night before with a fireworks show that could be seen across the city, Sitkans enjoyed a warm, sunny Independence Day.

Last R2AK team squeaks in just shy of deadline

The 15th boat finished the Race to Alaska on Thursday, just shy of the July 4th deadline. Team Barefoot Wooden Boats was the last to complete the first-ever 750 mile, engineless trek from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Southeast trollers frustrated with low king salmon quota

About 70 people gathered in Sitka's Harrigan Centennial Hall to hear from Dale Kelley, of the Alaska Trollers Association. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)Harbors emptied throughout Southeast this week as fishermen headed out for the beginning of the summer troll season. And signs point to a banner year for king salmon -- but Southeast fishermen say they’re not getting their fair share.

Historic Tsimshian pole donated to Heritage Center

A detail from the historic pole donated to the Totem Heritage Center by its carver, Tsimpshian artist David Boxley. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Alaska State Museum conservators from Juneau came to town to help clean and preserve the pole, and find out what kind of stories might be hidden in the wood.

Man arrested on warrant from Ferguson riots

Ketchikan's state courthouse in downtown.Ketchikan Police arrested a man Wednesday in connection with a felony, related to property damage in Ferguson, Missouri. The alleged crime occurred during the Ferguson trials of a policeman after an incident that left one man dead and many questioning police-race relations.

Putz won’t run for full assembly term in October

Sitka’s municipal elections are still three months away, but candidates are already deciding whether to run -- or not.

Coast Guard rescues fisherman near Kruzof Island

The Coast Guard hoists a man suffering from stroke-like symptoms from a fishing vessel on the west side of Kruzof Island. Photo courtesy Coast Guard Air Station Sitka.A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued a man from a fishing vessel in Gilmer Bay, on the west side of Kruzof Island Monday afternoon (6-29-15). The man was reportedly suffering from stroke-like symptoms.

Six kittens rescued from POW roadside have died

Henry cuddles with six tiny rescued kittens in May. All the kittens succumbed to kitten fading syndrome. (File photo by Leila Kheiry)The six kittens were found in May in a cardboard box on the side of a road on Prince of Wales Island. They were a little more than a week old at the time.

Sealaska board unchanged by election

Sealaska Plaza is the location of the regional Native corporation's Juneau headquarters.  Shareholders are casting ballots to fill five board of directors seats.  (File photo/KTOO)Sealaska shareholders have returned five incumbents to the regional Native corporation’s 13-member board of directors.

Summer king season to open July 1, but not without protest

Southeast Alaska salmon trollers will open their season on schedule this Wednesday -- but under protest. The state says this year’s quota for Alaska fishermen under the Pacific Salmon treaty is too low.

Harbor Mountain road open to public again

Harbor Mountain Road in Sitka is open again after a long closure. Starting Friday, 6-26-15, vehicles and pedestrians will have full access to the recreation area and trailhead at the top of the mountain.

Sitkans react to gay marriage ruling

Image courtesy Mel Green/FlickrAlthough same-sex marriage has been legal in Alaska since last October, residents of Sitka and visitors alike had thoughtful reactions to Friday's (6-26-2015) landmark decision by the US Supreme Court.

Budget cuts sideline three of Alaska’s 11 ferries

The ferry Taku waits to load in Sitka during the winter of 2012. in Early morning Taku in Sitka. The 370-passenger ship is scheduled to be tied up starting in July. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)A draft schedule released Friday shows the Taku out for a year and the fast ferries Chenega and Fairweather tied up starting in the early fall.

Nine victims recovered from fatal plane crash

Ella Lake, seen from the U.S. Forest Service cabin at the site. (USFS photo)The nine people killed Thursday when a floatplane crashed into the side of a steep mountain in Misty Fiords National Monument outside of Ketchikan have been identified.

E. coli test puts Haines on boil-water notice

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of Escherichia coli, grown in culture and adhered to a cover slip. (Creative Commons photo by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)Haines residents are being told to boil their drinking water after E. coli was found in the municipal water system.

SAR responds to fourth call in four days

Sitka Search and Rescue responded to yet another call this week -- the fourth in four days. Family members reported two campers who didn’t return on time. The couple were found unhurt, but as KCAW’s Vanessa Walker reports, the summer search and rescue season is officially underway.

Lael Grant declared dead, homicide suspected

An image from the "Help Find Lael Grant" Facebook page, which now has 1,426 followers.A Sitka woman missing for nearly three years has been declared dead. Police are now investigating her disappearance as a homicide.

No survivors in Misty Fiords plane crash

MistyMapNine people died Thursday afternoon when the DeHavilland Otter floatplane they were traveling in went down near Ella Lake in Misty Fiords National Monument near Ketchikan.

Tribe boycotts FedEx over ‘Redskins’ support

The Juneau-based Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Thursday that it has sent notice to all employees to stop using FedEx services, citing the national delivery company’s sponsorship of the Washington Redskins football team.

Chautauqua kicks off SE tour in Ketchikan

The Chautaqua kicked off with a parade from downtown to the Gateway Rec Center. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)The event included parades, potlucks, free workshops and a variety show, with everything from jugglers and magicians, to hula hoopsters and musicians.

KSM mine targets richer ore while seeking investors

A glacier reflects in a naturally occurring pool of rusty, acidic water at the site of one of the KSM Prospect's planned open-pit mines. The British Columbia project, northeast of Ketchikan, is drilling for higher-value ore this summer. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)A Canadian mining company says it’s found richer deposits of gold and copper ore at its controversial KSM project.

Red Chris mine gets final environmental permit

red chris mineThe Red Chris copper and gold mine got final approval last week to discharge wastewater in the Stikine River watershed. Some Alaskans are worried the Red Chris and other British Columbia mines will impact salmon in Southeast.

Report lists watersheds, salmon habitat potentially affected by B.C. mines

This map, found in the FNMEC report, shows potential contaminant flow paths from B.C. tailings dams into Southeast Alaska waters.Thousands of miles of salmon habitat and more than 200 communities across Southeast Alaska and British Columbia could be affected if another mine disaster happens near the border. According to a report released this week by a B.C. First Nations group, 35 tailings ponds in the region are drawing more scrutiny after a mine dam collapsed last summer.

Borough Assembly approves waterfront master plan

waterfront master planThe Wrangell Borough Assembly last week approved a plan for developing Wrangell’s downtown waterfront. The Wrangell Waterfront Master Plan would put $14.7 million into improving the waterfront between City Dock and the Marine Service Center.

Red Chris Mine waits for final permit

red chris mineA controversial British Columbia mine upriver from Wrangell and Petersburg is slated to ramp up to full production this summer. But the Red Chris Mine is still waiting for final approval from the B.C. government and a First Nations group.

Wrangell faces water shortage

faucetWrangell officials are asking residents to reduce water consumption because of a shortage at the community’s reservoirs.

Screened-in hot tub on Stikine to close for one month

The screened-in hot tub at the Chief Shakes Hot Springs will be closed July 15 through Aug. 15, 2015. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)The screened-in tub and adjacent changing room at Chief Shakes Hot Springs on the Stikine River will be closed from July 15 to August 15.

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.

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.