Southeast News

Hanley’s departure comes at critical time for Mt. Edgecumbe

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Commissioner Mike Hanley’s departure comes at a critical time for Mt. Edgecumbe High School, the state run boarding school in Sitka.

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Schools serve breakfast, feed brains

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It’s often called the most important meal of the day but sometimes kids don’t get the chance to eat breakfast before heading to class. Sitka School District wanted to change that this year and started offering breakfast for all students.

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Bumps likely in the long road to a new Tongass plan?

Sec. Vilsack's direction to produce a plan that is "ecologically, environmentally, and economically sustainable" is a significant challenge, as managers reckon with a forest that is huge, but also fragile. (Flickr photo, Joseph)

The Forest Service is planning to shift its focus from old-growth to young-growth timber harvests in the Tongass National Forest. The transition to young growth got its start early in the Obama administration, and there could be at least three more presidents before it becomes a full reality.

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City mayor talks pot at Chamber presentation

Mayor Lew Williams III speaks to the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)City of Ketchikan Mayor Lew Williams III talked pot during his annual State of the City presentation at Wednesday’s Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce lunch.

Sitka School Board rallies behind Mt. Edgecumbe (again)

The Sitka School Board Tuesday night (2-2-16) directed the superintendent to draft a letter in opposition to a proposal from the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program to take over Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka.

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U.S. prosecutors recommend 20 years in prison for Salard

Salard102814bFederal prosecutors are recommending a 20-year prison term followed by a lifetime of supervised release for former Wrangell doctor Greg Salard ahead of his sentencing hearing next week.

Sitka man sentenced to 40 years for sexual assault

A Sitka man has been sentenced to over 40 years in prison for sexual assault.

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Schools to Task Force: ‘We don’t have any more fluff’

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On Monday night (02-01-16), the Citizens' Task Force heard from the Sitka School District, which is beginning their budget process this month.

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Task force chair opens two-hospital conversation

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The old question of ‘Can Sitka afford two hospitals?’ became new again, as the Citizens’ Task Force heard a budget report from Sitka Community Hospital yesterday In his remarks, hospital CEO -- and task force chair -- Rob Allen raised the question of how the hospital could work more efficiently with its neighbor across the bridge.

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Ortiz gives an update on the legislative session

Recently elected House District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz speaks during a Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce event.Rep. Dan Ortiz says the atmosphere in Juneau is pretty positive, with most lawmakers focused on resolving the state’s $3.5 billion deficit rather than delaying action.

Marijuana laws missing key language

Alaska's marijuana statutes are missing language that enables the FBI to perform national background checks. (Photo by Enrique Mendez http://www.enriquemendezfotografia.com/)

Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott signed the state marijuana regulations into law last month (01-22-16) and the state will begin accepting license applications on February 24th. But there’s a wrench in the works: the original bill fails to properly authorize background checks.

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Sitka park targeted by graffiti vandals

The graffiti cleans easily off the new directional signs (left), but wooden surfaces will have to wait for warmer, dryer weather before they can be repainted. (SNHP photos)

Within the past week, nearly every flat surface in Sitka National Historical Park has been marked with one or more graffiti tags.

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Sitka fugitive goes ‘underground’ to elude capture

Sitka police lieutenant Lance Ewers and landlord Marcel
Prato examine a tunnel system that Jeremy Beebe had excavated under
his home in the Vitskari Trailer Court. (Daily Sitka Sentinel
photo/James Poulson)

A fugitive from justice in Sitka was arrested Wednesday evening (1-27-16), after police located him hiding in a tunnel system he had dug under a trailer park.

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Alaska sends second draft of transboundary agreement to B.C.

red chris mineLt. Gov. Byron Mallott sent the second draft of a Statement of Cooperation to British Columbia officials last week as part of an ongoing effort to preserve water quality and fisheries of the Stikine, Taku, Unuk and Alsek rivers.

Elders cleaning up after storm blows roof off

Roofing material is seen in the yard in front of Frank and Marge James' rented home off North Tongass Highway. The roof blew off in the storm earlier this week. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Two Ketchikan elders are cleaning up and looking for a new place to live after the roof of their rented home was blown off during a big storm earlier this week.

Kreiss-Tomkins’ fiscal survey link corrected

Alaskans in House District 35 were sent a survey by their House representative, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, regarding options to help resolve the state’s budget deficit. But, according to Kreiss-Tomkins’ office, the survey information included an incorrect link.

Storm blows through SE, taking out trees, power

KPU Electric Division crews work on power lines Tuesday morning on Sunset Drive.A big storm blew through Ketchikan Monday and early Tuesday, taking down trees in some areas and cutting the community’s power link to the Swan Lake hydroelectric dam.

City prepares 2016 cruise season calendar

A cruise ship is docked at Ketchikan's downtown Berth 2. About 1 million cruise passengers visited Southeast in 2015. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)The first ship of the season will be the Crystal Serenity, arriving May 1. That ship carries a little more than 1,000 passengers. Daily visits and multi-ship days start on May 8th. After that, there are no scheduled ship-free days until Sept. 10.

No retail marijuana ban for City of Ketchikan

Council Members Julie Isom and Bob Sivertsen are seen during Thursday's discussion of a proposed temporary ban on retail marijuana. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Following about an hour of public comment from a packed Council chambers, the Ketchikan City Council voted 3-2 Thursday to reject an ordinance that would have temporarily banned retail marijuana in city limits.

Ketchikan’s aging water system

A section of repaired water pipe is seen on Baranof Avenue after the old pipe broke and washed out the fill under the street in 2013. (KRBD file photo by Leila Kheiry)Wood-stave and steel pipes are a thing of the past, but the aging iron pipes under much of Ketchikan's streets have their own set of problems.

Temporary retail-pot ban up for second Council vote

(Creative Commons image)The Council also will talk about a possible ballot measure for voters to decide whether to allow commercial marijuana in Ketchikan city limits.

R2AK officials planning a second epic race

Al Hughes, Matt Steverson and Graeme Esarey take first-place in the Race To Alaska. The crew crossed the finish line in Ketchikan, Alaska at 12:55pm on Friday, June 12, 2015. (KRBD File Photo)Organizers of the 750-mile engineless boat race from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan say they had a huge positive response last summer to what Evans calls their “good bad idea.”

Ferry fares rise 5 percent for most routes

The ferry Malaspina awaits passengers at Juneau's Auke Bay ferry terminal. Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska.Ferry fares went up 5 percent for most routes Jan. 1. The hike comes on the heels of a 4.5 percent increase that began in May.

Wrangell F&G committee seeks to change moose antler definition

IMG_1321The Wrangell Fish and Game Advisory Committee met Monday night and discussed its continuing effort to change a moose antler regulation affecting local hunters.

Petersburg-Wrangell priest dies after heart attack

weiseA Catholic priest who served parishes in Wrangell and Petersburg died Sunday night, 10 days after suffering a heart attack.

TAC ends series of meetings with review of forest plan proposal

tongassThe Tongass Advisory Committee ended a 16-month series of meetings Thursday, formally completing its effort to advise the Tongass National Forest in a transition from old to young growth logging.

Mount Polley Mine to discharge wastewater

A mined-out pit used to store wastewater and milling leftovers at British Columbia's Mount Polley Mine is expected to fill up in  April. The B.C. government just issued a permit allowing treated pit water to be discharged into a nearby lake.  (Photo by Monica Lamb-Yorsk/Williams Lake Tribune)British Columbia's Mount Polley Mine, which became a poster child for environmental disasters, will soon begin discharging wastewater.

How do you run the ferry system with less money?

The fast ferry Chenega is up on blocks for repairs and maintenance at the Ketchikan Shipyard Feb. 21, 2014. The Alaska Marine Highway, roads, airports and other transportation projects could get a funding boost under Legislation moving in the state House. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)The Alaska Marine Highway System wants more input into in its long-term planning. It's announced what it’s calling community engagement meetings in six port cities over the next month.

USFS updates Wrangell Island Timber Sale proposal

timber mapThe U.S. Forest Service recently announced it is changing its proposal for a timber sale on Wrangell Island. The Forest Service is proposing a harvest of about 5,300 acres for 73 million board feet of mostly old growth timber.

Wrangell boater found dead

Kenneth Trammel left on the Thalassa Nov. 5.A missing Wrangell boater was found dead Wednesday afternoon, according to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers.