Southeast News

Ketchikan police warn of PFD phone scam

Following yesterday’s payment of Permanent Fund Dividends, citizens of Ketchikan have been targeted by scams, according to the Ketchikan Police Department.

Active underwater volcano found near Dixon Entrance

A screen shot from a scientific sounding device shows the newly-discovered volcano and its plume of methane gas. The lower line is an echo, not another volcanic cone. (Image courtesy Canadian Geological Survey)Southeast Alaska has more ‪volcanoes‬ than most residents realize. Geologists just found a new one, south of Prince of Wales Island. Unlike the others, it's not dormant

Federal-state land transfer testimony heard

(USDA photo)Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chelsea Goucher recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify in support of transferring federally managed lands to state control.

PeaceHealth awarded $3.6 million grant

HospitalPeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center announced this week that it has been awarded a $3.6 million grant for the entire PeaceHealth system from the federal Department of Health and Human Services to help improve community health through changing clinical practices.

A month after starting up, new ferry tries to smooth out service

ferryA new independent ferry connecting Wrangell, Petersburg and Prince of Wales Island’s Coffman Cove started up a month ago, and it’s still trying to work out some kinks. Wrangell officials are working with the Rainforest Islands Ferry to solve its biggest problem—the lack of a suitable place to load vehicles in Wrangell.

Prince Rupert, BC, port busy and growing

Prince Rupert's container facility. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)To say Prince Rupert, British Columbia, has an active port would be an understatement. Its port is bustling, and it has plans to become even busier.

Tourists spent more in Southeast this season

A cruise ship is docked at Ketchikan's downtown Berth 2. Such ships brought about 1 million passengers to Southeast this season. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Southeast Alaska tour operators say their customers were willing to spend more money this cruise-ship season.

N. Tongass board talks about City of Ward Cove

Ward Cove. (KRBD file photo)A group that wants to create a new home-rule city from what’s now the North Tongass Service Area plans to have an official charter petition ready for signatures by mid-October at the earliest, but perhaps later in November.

Sitka man facing felony charges for sex-related crimes

A Sitka man is facing fifteen felony counts on sex-related crimes.

Sitka’s disaster response bills approach half-million mark

Sitka has spent almost a half-million dollars since August on emergency cleanup, and is counting on having most of that reimbursed by the state.

AK budget director: Legislature must act

State Budget Director Pat Pitney speaks during Southeast Conference in Prince Rupert, BC, Sept. 16.A former Olympic gold medalist in Women’s Rifle, Pitney said she expects to be a target -- for criticism – as she travels around the state providing information about Alaska’s budget crunch and the options for the state to overcome that crunch.

Assembly adjusts loan for OceansAlaska to continue

Oyster spat from Oceans Alaska.The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly agreed Monday to adjust its loan agreement with OceansAlaska shellfish hatchery, advancing $50,000 from the 2017 allocation so that the facility can continue operations.

Overdue boater rescued from Betton Island

Betton Island. (Alaska Department of Natural Rescources photo)A boater reported overdue Sunday evening was rescued early Monday morning from Betton Island close to Ketchikan.

Basketball in Memory of the Diaz Brothers

DiazbrothersToday marks the one month anniversary of the August 18th landslide, which claimed the lives of three men in Sitka. Two of them were brothers. Elmer and Ulises Diaz were 26 and 25. And last week (09-08-15), the gym opened it’s doors for friends to play in their honor.

Geo Task Force looks for answers in Sitka landslide

A screen capture of a 3-D image of the Kramer Avenue slide area, produced by the state Division of Geophysical Survey.One month after a deadly landslide struck in Sitka, the Sitka Sound Science Center's Geo Task Force is starting the complicated task of learning what happened.

With six months on the clock, citizens’ task force gets to work

IMG_4097Soon after passing the 2016 budget, the Assembly directed the city to create a citizens' task force. The seven-member group will have six months to take a deep dive into city finances and if successful, emerge with a path forward for Sitka. At least, that’s the plan.

Lawyers advocate to keep politics out of judge selection

Justice Not Politics formed shortly after the introduction of SJR 3 in January of this year.A proposal to change the way judges are chosen in the state is getting some pushback -- from the legal profession. Justice Not Politics opposes giving the governor greater power in selecting judges.

Community Schools to move under private management

Filipinos make up 9% of the Sitka School District, yet there is no Tagalog-speaking staff member or formal support group to help new students. In her own way, Jasmine has taken up that cause. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)Sitka’s Community Schools program will be under private management starting October 1. The Sitka School Board had hoped for proposals this summer. When none came in, they put the program out to bid.

Feds: B.C. mines won’t go before international commission

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Anchorage Aug. 30. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, in suit, and First Lady Donna Walker are among those greeting the secretary. (Photo courtesy Office of Gov. Walker)The U.S. State Department will not propose putting Southeast Alaska’s transboundary mine conflict before the International Joint Commission. That’s the U.S.-Canada panel that addresses cross-border water issues.

Sitka man indicted on drug and weapon charges

A Sitka man is facing felony charges for misconduct involving a controlled substance. The three charges include delivering and possessing methamphetamine, as well as knowingly possessing a weapon during the commission of an offense.

Bear vs. chicken: How to protect your hen house

Crupi electrifiesTKE crowd 050815-02pm (1)A killer is on the loose in Sitka and he’s hairy, stinky, and walks on all fours. For the past two and a half weeks, a juvenile brown bear has been breaking into Sitka backyards and nursing an appetite for chickens.

Native groups plan to monitor water quality of transboundary rivers

stikine riverThe Bureau of Indian Affairs is partnering with the Tlingit-Haida Central Council to gather baseline water quality data from three Southeast Alaska rivers that could be affected by British Columbia mine development.

California man found dead on boat in Wrangell

A California man was found dead Tuesday morning on a fishing vessel in Wrangell. Wrangell Police Chief Doug McCloskey said police were notified around 6 a.m. and recovered the body from Wrangell’s downtown harbor.

Rainforest Islands Ferry starts service in Southeast

ferryA new independent ferry connecting Wrangell, Petersburg and Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island started up Friday and transported its first passengers between the communities. But the launch of passenger service revealed some logistical problems.

Wrangell’s tourism season winds down with last big cruise ship

cruise shipThe biggest cruise ship to dock in Wrangell this year marked the winding-down of the busy tourism season when it made its last stop of the summer Tuesday at City Dock.

British Columbia more open to mine treaty talks

B.C. Mines Minister Bill Bennett discusses the week's mine meetings as Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and other state officials listen during a Wednesday press conference in Juneau. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News).British Columbia’s mines minister says he’s open to involving Canada in resolving transboundary mine conflicts. That’s a change from earlier statements.

USFS announces Navy Timber Sale south of Wrangell

A map showing the Navy Timber Sale. (Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service announced a timber sale last week that makes 13.1 million board feet of timber available on the Tongass National Forest 22 miles south of Wrangell.

WMC board hires new hospital CEO

Aaron McPherson, Jeffrey Lyle and Robert RangThe Wrangell Medical Center Board of Directors hired Robert Rang of Kodiak on Thursday as the new hospital CEO.

Dock planned for bear observatory raises concerns

bearIn an effort to increase safety at a popular bear observatory near Wrangell, the U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with plans to build a dock at the site for planes and boats to drop off tourists. But Wrangell-based tour guides say the costly dock will essentially be useless and could create more hazards than it prevents.

One year after mine disaster, Wrangellites protest BC mines

A protest in Wrangell on Sunday, August 2, 2015. (Katarina Sostaric/KSTK)A protest in Wrangell on Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of a mining disaster in Canada and sought to bring attention to mines being developed across the border from Southeast Alaska.