Southeast News

DEC cleans up former Byford Junkyard

BEFORE_Wrangell_Junkyard

Byford Junkyard after cleanup. (Courtesy of DEC)

Wrangell’s former Byford Junkyard site about four miles south of town has a clean bill of health. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week that soil contaminated with lead and petroleum … more

Volleyball players, coaches raise concerns

Ketchikan High SchoolRepresentatives of Ketchikan High School’s volleyball team came to the Ketchikan School Board Wednesday with a long list of complaints, including gender bias, alleged violations of Title IX, and objectification of the athletes involved in volleyball.

Marijuana fees could fund student travel

Sitka High freshman David Wilcox blazes across the finish line Saturday morning (9-28-13). Faced with its largest projected budget deficit in recent memory, the Sitka School Board may consider dramatic cuts to sports and activities programs in 2016. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)During their regular meeting last Tuesday night (09-27-16), the Assembly approved - on first reading - a dedicated fund for student activity travel using marijuana fees. They also set aside money for landslide mitigation and received a half a million dollar check from Sitka Community Hospital.

Assembly urges Mental Health to reconsider 115 acres and takes step towards pot ordinance

City-Hall

The Wrangell Borough Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday urging the Alaska Mental Health Trust to reconsider trading 115 acres of land to the Forest Service and passed the first reading of Marijuana zoning codes.

The Wrangell assembly’s resolution supports an … more

Vandals hit senior, ADA transit vehicles

birdVandals caused upwards of $1,400 worth of damage earlier this week to vehicles that are dedicated to transporting Ketchikan seniors and people with disabilities.

Boro Assembly candidates discuss current issues

KRBD file photoCandidates for Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly joined KRBD’s Leila Kheiry for a live on-air forum on Tuesday. Here is a summary from that event.

How the Blue Lake Dam is costing Sitka

“One of the dangers there, as oil prices continue to go up, is that people will start to shift over to electricity, and all that additional capacity that you’ve gained by raising the dam will just go into existing inefficient buildings, or into new inefficient buildings," says Jon Heller. (Blue Lake Expansion photo/Desiree Brandis)The city of Sitka is struggling to pay off the Blue Lake Dam in a big way. The project was largely funded through bond proceeds. But due to a major decline in electric usage by Sitka customers, the city doesn’t have enough money to meet the bond payment.

Forest Service adds to Admiralty Island wilderness

Logged lands at the head of Lake Kathleen, on Admiralty Island, are among those Shee Atiká has sold to the Forest Service to add to its Kootznoowoo Wilderness Area. (Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.)About 4,500 acres of heavily-logged forest will return to wilderness under a deal involving the federal government and a Southeast Alaska Native corporation.

Consultant: Sitka hospital must unite with SEARHC to survive

Kennedy told the board that "comprehensive integration" would keep all current staff employed by both institutions, and mean an end to Native hiring preference at SEARHC. (ECG image)Sitka Community Hospital must integrate operations with the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, or risk closing within three years.

Forum focuses on issue of opioid addiction

Panelists at the Sept. 20 drug forum at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center  included law enforcement, health professionals and a recovering addict. (Photo by Deb Turnbull)Last week, Ketchikan residents gathered at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center auditorium to watch an hour-long video called “Chasing the Dragon.” It’s an FBI-produced film about opioid abuse. After the film the audience and a panel of experts talked for two more hours about the problem of drug abuse, and what individuals in the community can do to help.

Searchers suspect hiker fell to his death

The body of a missing hiker was found by searchers in Sitka on Friday afternoon (09-23-16). SAR captain Lance Ewers believes Hansen slipped while hiking off-trail on his way down Mt. Verstovia.

UPDATE: Body of missing hiker found

Michael Hansen was last seen leaving his apartment at 10:30 a.m. Monday. His vehicle was found at the trailhead, off Sawmill Creek Road, at noon today , 9-20-16. (Courtesy Sitka Search and Rescue)The body of Michael Hansen was found by searchers earlier today (09/23/16). Hansen’s family has been notified of his death and the investigation is ongoing.

Ketchikan voters to decide tobacco, schools taxes

tobacco smokeVoters throughout the Ketchikan Gateway Borough not only will choose Borough Assembly and School Board members next week, they also will decide two tax issues.

Three apply for school board vacancy

Brent Edwards, Jennifer Carter and Dionne Brady-Howard have applied to fill a vacancy on the Sitka School Board.

Kentucky man mauled by brown bear on Admiralty Island

Adkins and his Juneau-based guide were hunting in Chaik Bay near Angoon, about 35 miles northeast of Sitka.Mauling victim Douglas Adkins and his Juneau-based guide were hunting in Chaik Bay near Angoon, about 35 miles northeast of Sitka.

Sitka’s hospitals consider integrating operations

Sitka Community Hospital. (Photo courtesy of the Sitka Community Hospital Foundation)A consultant’s plan recommends Sitka Community Hospital combine operations with the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital.

Students learn about earthquake preparedness

Mike Drummond briefs students at the Quake Shack while Jared Woody assists.An earthquake simulator has been visiting Southeast communities the past few months. It made two stops in Ketchikan. A few third graders at Fawn Mountain Elementary School share their experiences.

School district takes on poor attendance

The Sitka School Board met Tuesday (9-20-16) at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School to discuss absenteeism.Sitka’s School District is beginning a new effort to target absenteeism.

Chamber forum features City Council candidates

A view of Ketchikan from the top of the Edmonds Street stairs.Questions and answers progressed quickly during the one-hour lunchtime candidate forum featuring incumbent City Council members Julie Isom and Judy Zenge, and challenger Spencer Strassburg.

Mallott discusses opportunities and issues facing Alaska

Byron Mallott poses at KRBD-FM in Ketchikan during a campaign visit. The candidate for governor says he will leave Sealaskas board of directors next month.Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott was in Ketchikan earlier this week to address Ketchikan Indian Community’s Southeast Tribal Environmental Conference. At a press conference, he spoke about the "Our Ocean" conference and issues facing Alaska.

Saxman rally supports Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Protesters carry signs opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.A peaceful gathering took place Monday afternoon in Saxman in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. But speakers expressed concerns beyond what is happening in North Dakota.

Landis running unopposed for borough mayor job

Borough Mayor David Landis speaks during a recent Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce candidate forum. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor David Landis is running unopposed for re-election. He joined candidates for Borough Assembly during last week’s Chamber of Commerce candidate forum, answering questions submitted by audience members.

Native leaders call for federal involvement on transboundary mining

red chris mine

A group of Alaska Native leaders said the Alaska congressional delegation’s Sept. 8 letter to the U.S. State Department on transboundary mining is not enough.

The United Tribal Transboundary Mining Group, a union of 15 federally recognized Alaska tribes, said … more

Wrangell may have solution to growing scrap metal issue

City-Hall

Wrangell could soon see a sustainable solution to its growing scrap metal pile at the city dump. Waste Management is working on proposals for all Southeast Alaska Regional Solid Waste Authority – or SEASWA – communities that could provide regular … more

U.S.-Canada trade deal creating uncertainty in Southeast timber market

Part of the Tongass National Forest in April 2008. (Creative Commons photo by Xa’at)

The U.S. is in the midst of negotiations with Canada over an agreement on Canadian lumber imports. Many U.S. sawmill owners argue that the Canadian mills receive government subsidies on government-owned lands, making it difficult for the U.S. market to … more

Five Petersburg residents involved in boat accident on Stikine

The Stikine River Delta, as seen from the air. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News.)

The Wrangell Fire Department transported five Petersburg residents to the Wrangell Medical Center Sunday night after a boating accident on the Stikine River. Wrangell Fire Chief Tim Buness said the call came in around 5:23 p.m.

“So we were notified … more

Alaska’s congressional delegation pens letter to State Department on transboundary mining

The Red Chris Mine in the Stikine River watershed began operations earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of imperialmetals.com)

Mining at Red Chris in February 2015. (imperialmetals.com)

Alaska’s congressional delegation released a letter today to Secretary of State John Kerry, reiterating several requests it would like the U.S. State Department to address on transboundary mining in British Columbia.

The … more

Founder of Beijing non-profit with ties to Southeast dies at 26

Sam Cornthwaite (photo from Go Fund Me page)

Sam Cornthwaite (photo from Go Fund Me page.)

Co-founder of a Beijing non-profit with ties to Southeast Alaska died Sept. 6. Sam Cornthwaite, 26, was the co-founder of GoodWorks Coffee & Tea.

Cornthwaite became ill last week and was moved … more

Green crab invade farther north on B.C. coast

European green crab. (courtesy of Washington Sea Grant.)

European green crab. (courtesy of Washington Sea Grant.)

Last week, an invasive species known as the European green crab was found in Puget Sound. The marine-focused environmental group that found the crab, Washington Sea Grant, is still trying to find … more

Former Wrangellite releases Garnet Ledge book

Garnet Ledge

Garnet Ledge near Wrangell is a well-known spot for locals and tourists, but little is known about its long history, most notably the all-women cooperation that operated the mine in the early 1900s. A former Wrangellite has brought the history … more