Southeast News

Kake rebuilds community library, one book at a time

For over a decade, there was no place to check out a book in Kake, Alaska. The school district closed the library in 1999 due to funding loss. But through outside partnerships and the hard labor of volunteers, the books were put back on the shelves and the library re-opened one year ago.

Teri Rofkar, innovative Tlingit weaver, dies at 60

Tlingit weaver Teri Rofkar died today (12-02-16). The Sitka resident was internationally renowned for her baskets and textiles, made from cedar, spruce tree roots, and mountain goat wool collected along Sitka’s shores. She was 60 years old.

Opportunities continue for maritime industry

Doug Ward at the November 30th Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce luncheon.The Ketchikan Marine Industry Council supports growth and expansion of Ketchikan’s marine economy. Doug Ward gave an update on KMIC at Wednesday's Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Terrifying visages: Native armor inspired fear in foes

Tlingit battle helmets were designed to inspire fear. The thick, wooden head armor carried imagery of strong warriors, fierce animals or revered ancestors.

Council OKs two retail pot license applications

(Creative Commons image)The Ketchikan City Council agreed in a split vote Thursday to not protest two marijuana retail stores in the downtown area.

Snagging Savings: Energy audit aims to cut costs for fishermen

An energy audit aims to help Sitka’s fishermen increase their profit margins.

Ferry Lituya to get new payment system

The ferry Lituya loads vehicles onto its car deck at the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal before sailing to Metlakatla. (Photo by Linda Hall/Alaska DOT&PF)People ferrying from Ketchikan to Metlakatla will soon pay double for their tickets. But the return trip will be free.

Sitka cruise line captures more small-ship market share in ’17

A Sitka-based tour company has become a dominant player in the small-ship cruise industry. Alaskan Dream Cruises was launched 5 years ago by Allen Marine, and expects to top 3,000 passengers next summer.

Shopping and eating in Afghanistan

Afghan market (photo courtesy of Sabra Simmonds).Ketchikan resident Sabra Simmonds spent the past two years living and working in Afghanistan. She spoke about what Afghanistan is really like, including preparing food and shopping.

Ketchikan Senior Services relocating

The Saxman Senior Center, new home to Ketchikan Senior Services.Ketchikan Senior Services is moving to a new location. Programs will move from the Water Street building to the Saxman Senior Center in mid-December.

Munson: SEARHC must control Sitka hospital consolidation

An expert in tribal law and health care says it would be possible for Sitka Community Hospital and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium to combine operations, but control over the organization would primarily rest with SEARHC.

Ocean acidification threatens Alaska waters, workshop to be screened in Sitka

A workshop held in Anchorage Wednesday (11-30-16) aims to bring together scientists and stakeholders to better understand the threat ocean acidification poses to the state.

Ketchikanite shares experiences living in Afghanistan

Sabra Simmonds on top of the Kabul Wall overlooking the city.Ketchikan resident Sabra Simmonds spent almost two years living and working in Afghanistan. She recently made a presentation at the Ketchikan Public Library about her life in the Middle East. In the first part of a series, we look at day-to-day life.

Modern ‘warriors’ protect language, water, subsistence, families

What makes a modern warrior? A tribal organization says it’s someone who fights to preserve subsistence rights, Native languages, clean water and families.

As Southeast elk hunt closes, harvest slightly below average

Roosevelt Elk (courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish & Game)

Roosevelt Elk (courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish & Game)


Elk hunting in Southeast comes to a close Wednesday and at five animals harvested, 2016 might be slightly under the five year average of seven. There is a window … more

Sitka Trail Works to get $1.8 million for Cross Trail completion

Sitka Trail Works announced last week that $1.8 million in federal funds have been approved for the final phase of the Cross Trail.

Sitka Assembly reviews floating dock plan

On Tuesday (11-22-16), the Sitka Assembly held a joint work session with the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board to review design plans for a multi-purpose dock.

Partnership entered to expand NWC art education

UAS Chancellor Richard A. Caulfield, SHI President Rosita Worl, and IAIA President Robert Martin signing the MOA.Three organizations have entered into a partnership to provide enhanced and expanded Northwest Coast art programs and opportunities for Alaska students.

Charges pending in recent Wrangell boat break-ins

Sunshine at Heritage Harbor
Photo by Andrea Laughlin

Wrangell Police say charges are pending for recent boat break-ins in Heritage Harbor. Two suspects are awaiting charges, but police would not identify them.

Five boats were reported broken into on Nov.20. Only three are thought to have had items … more

Trump, Congress and Southeast timber, what are the possibilities?

The Tongass National Forest makes up most of Southeast Alaska (Courtesy U.S. Forest Service)

Could President-elect Donald Trump and the incoming Republican-led Congress change logging plans in Southeast Alaska? Changes to the Tongass forest plan amendment, a contentious Forest Service regulation, are possible.

The Tongass Land Management Plan amendment is on its way … more

UAS receives endowment for fisheries scholarships

Bob Henderson (photo credit - the Henderson family)The UAS fisheries program got a boost recently. The family of Robert E. Henderson created a $375,000 endowment that will provide scholarships and research experiences for students studying mariculture or fisheries.

Feds OK selling or scrapping ferry Taku

(Creative Commons photo by Ted McGrath)The marine highway is moving ahead with plans to sell or scrap the ferry Taku. But it’s keeping its options open for a second sidelined ship, the Chenega.

Wrangell School Board has uncomfortable conversation about sex-ed

Elementary school

Wrangell’s School Board discussed sex education during a contentious meeting Monday. The board hosted a presentation on its curriculum for middle and high school students to a packed house and several parents disagreed on this year’s approach.

State legislationmore

Council supports Akeela’s sobering center proposal

The Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility will close Sept. 15th due to state budget cuts. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)The Ketchikan City Council agreed unanimously Monday to support Akeela-Gateway’s application for a state grant to develop a sobering center at Ketchikan’s former state-run juvenile detention center.

Several Wrangell boats broken into over weekend

Sunshine at Heritage Harbor
Photo by Andrea Laughlin

Several boats in Wrangell were broken into over the weekend. The Wrangell Police Department was notified of the break-ins early Saturday morning.

Five boats were entered in Heritage Harbor. Only three are thought to have had items taken. WPD said … more

UFA hones in on salmon habitat issues


United Fishermen of Alaska is beginning to get an idea of what its new Salmon Habitat Information Program – or SHIP – will look like. The program is aimed at engaging commercial fisherman around the state in salmon habitat issues.… more

Audubon Society bird count continues in Wrangell for twenty-third year

Delta-area bird-count coordinator Steve DuBois photographed this Eurasian collared dove in the Delta Junction area in September. (Credit Steve DuBois)

The Alaska Audubon Society is gearing up for its seventy-sixth annual Christmas BirdCount. Several communities will hold counts around the state between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Volunteers travel set routes within a 15-mile radius around participating communities counting each … more

Assembly discusses pot taxes and assemblyman Prysunka resigns


The Wrangell Assembly discussed a possible excise tax on marijuana sales during its meeting Tuesday. Several members spoke in favor of the idea. Assembly member Mark Mitchell said he would like to see something similar to the current 10 percent … more

Wrangell votes Republican across the board in unofficial results


As the doors close, 812 votes were cast in Wrangell today. In the unofficial results, Republicans won across the board by wide margins.

In the presidential race, Republican nominee Donald Trump over doubled votes in favor of Democratic nominee Hilary … more

Steady stream of Wrangell voters at polls since morning


The polls opened at 7 a.m. this morning in Wrangell, and it’s been a steady flow of voters ever since. Sarah Merrit, Wrangell’s election chair, said this election seems busier than most with 160 votes being cast before 10 a.m. … more