Southeast News

SAR team certifies new 4-legged member

Carol Towne gets Pace ready to search for a volunteer victim, hiding in a muskeg. (Photos by Leila Kheiry)Pace has a great nose, tons of energy and the drive needed for what to her is a fun game. For the people she finds, though, it’s as serious as life or death.

New ferry advertises for start of service in Southeast Alaska

Photo from ccalaska.com/ferry/A new independent ferry service is planning its first sailings in Southeast Alaska in June. The Rainforest Islands Ferry plans to offer a four-days-a-week connection between northern Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell and Petersburg by ferry and mini-coach vans.

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.

Foundation grants $11,000 to Petersburg non-profits

Photo by Karin McCullough courtesy of the Petersburg Community FoundationA charitable endowment fund in Petersburg has awarded grants totaling 11-thousand dollars to six different local non-profit organizations. That money will fund teaching supplies for young children, food for kids on the weekend, library programs for kids and a shelter building for the humane association among other items.

Marijuana committee discusses ban and zoning options

(Creative Commons photo by Brett Levin)The Ad Hoc Marijuana Advisory Committee was updated on proposed state regulations of commercial pot sales and discussed ban options and zoning at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Wrangell faces water shortage

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

Ten run for five Sealaska Corp. board seats

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)Five independent candidates are challenging the same number of incumbents for seats on the Sealaska board of directors.

Chautauqua visits Southeast Alaska next month

Photo by Michelle Bates courtesy of the New Old Time ChautauquaA large group of traveling performers and educators is visiting seven communities in Southeast Alaska this summer. The New Old Time Chautauqua will be holding parades, performances and workshops and encouraging residents to participate.

Warm weather logging restrictions lifted

IMG_3144The U.S. Forest Service has lifted restrictions on logging companies on the Tongass National Forest because of a drop in forest fire danger over the weekend.

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.

Winner tops 50 pounds in Petersburg salmon derby

derbyhatA 50.9-pound king was the winner in Petersburg’s 34th annual salmon derby over the weekend. Scott Stafford had the largest salmon for the four day event and wins first prize of seven thousand dollars.

Logging restrictions in place for dry weather on Tongass

IMG_3158Officials on the Tongass National Forest are restricting logging activities because of the hot, dry weather and some lightning strikes in the region. The forest has been placed on “Hoot Owl” restrictions, effective Friday, May 22nd. That means some logging work cannot take place during the afternoon and evening. The limitations are in place for the Craig and Thorne Bay districts on Prince of Wales Island along with the Wrangell ranger district.

Petersburg salmon derby underway Friday

karenmalcomThe Petersburg Chamber of Commerce’s 34th annual salmon derby opens Friday, May 22 with over 100 prizes for lucky anglers landing a king salmon during the four-day event. Fishing starts at 7 this morning and is open through 5 p.m. Monday. Event organizers were able to tag two fish this week, good for cash prizes if they’re caught again during the derby.

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.

Student glacier survey reports little change at LeConte

Kyle Hagerman, Skipper Erickson, Ian Fleming, Shalie Dahl, Aaron Murph and Chauncey Sandhofer surveyed the LeConte Glacier this month. (Photo courtesy of Victor Trautman)A team of student surveyors from Petersburg High School just completed an annual visit to the LeConte Glacier on the mainland near Petersburg. This is the 32nd year for the program to record the position of the terminus of the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America. The students have found little change in the location of ice face, no big retreat or advance again this year. They were able to verify their work for the first time using a satellite image.

Hyder border to reopen for 24-hour access

Hyder signSen. Lisa Murkowski’s office announced today that after many discussions with her office, the Canadian government has agreed to work with U.S. officials to open the gate -- and keep it open, all the time.

Lightning causes power outage in Petersburg

powerpole4A rare thunder and lightning display caused a brief power outage in Petersburg Tuesday afternoon. Petersburg Power and Light superintendent Joe Nelson reported that lightning hit a tree along with a transmission line and distribution line for the local electric utility.

Critics question Sealaska Corp.’s finances

sealaska-annual-report-2015-graphCould Sealaska make more money, pay higher dividends and make better use of its land? Yes, say some shareholders critical of the Southeast regional Native corporation’s management.

Petersburg assembly approves Chautauqua camping

Sandy Beach Park low tidePetersburg’s borough assembly approved camping at Sandy Beach next month for a group of performers, educators and chefs planning to visit. The New Old Time Chautauqua may be bringing up to 55 people to Petersburg and other Southeast towns this summer. They’ll be performing while they’re in town and holding workshops.

Ortiz returns, asks constituents for input

Rep. Dan Ortiz talks during a town-hall-style meeting Thursday at the White Cliff building.After a quick trip to Juneau early this week that didn't result in any action by the Legislature, House District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz returned to Ketchikan for a town-hall-style meeting with constituents Thursday evening.

New Tongass Forest Supervisor on the job

EarlStewartThe new Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart has worked for the U.S. Forest Service since 1991, moving through various forests. But, he says, he’s always wanted to live and work in Alaska.

Male cat nurtures litter of abandoned kittens

Henry and kittenHenry’s strong mothering instinct is a surprise, and it’s also a gift, because he could make all the difference to whether the kittens survive.

Ammonia leak prompts temporary evacuation

EC PhillipsAn ammonia leak led to a compressor shut-down at a Ketchikan fish processing plant Tuesday night, and prompted an evacuation of the surrounding area.

AK, B.C. promise more input into mine decisions

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott discusses the Xat’sull people’s traditional fishing on the Fraser River with tribal council official Jacinda Mack on May 6, 2015. The Xat'sull live in the area damaged by August's Mount Polley Mine tailings dam collapse. They’re concerned about reopening plans. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)The Walker-Mallott administration will include transboundary mine critics’ concerns in its negotiations with British Columbia.

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.

Gov. Walker proposes larger ferry budget

Students protest cuts in the marine highway system budget at the Kake ferry terminal in March. (Photo courtesy Adam Davis/Sustainable Southeast Partnership)Gov. Bill Walker says the state ferry system needs more money to avoid “crippling cuts” during the next fiscal year

Red Chris Mine gets closer to full production

The Red Chris Mine's first shipment of copper concentrate was sent out April 11, 2015. (www.imperialmetals.com)A British Columbia mine upriver from Wrangell and Petersburg is one step closer to full production after reaching a benefits agreement with a First Nation group last weekend.

Some ferry cuts restored, but impacts unclear

A marine highway staffer watches as passengers and dogs reboard the ferry Matanuska before departing Wrangell Jan. 16, 2013. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)State budget-writers have reversed one of cuts made to the Alaska Marine Highway. But officials say it's too early to say how much service will be restored.

Public media cuts could end local programming

Wrangell's KSTK is among public broadcasters facing deep cuts that could change  programming. (File photo)Some Alaska public broadcasters would have to give up local programming if the state Senate’s budget cuts go through.