Southeast News

Assembly to consider budget changes and a ballot measure

dollar bills closeupThe Petersburg Borough Assembly will consider budget changes for fiscal year 2016 in a meeting Monday.

80 percent of PHS students in extracurricular activites

Jaime Cabral is Petersburg School District's Activities Director,The 2015-16 school year looks to be another full one for Petersburg School activities. Activities Director, Jaime Cabral, gives us a preview.

Draft petition calls for a third city in Ketchikan

Settlers Cove State Park. (KRBD file photo)Consolidation has failed in Ketchikan many times in the past. Now, a group of people in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s North End is trying something completely different: They want to create another city in the borough, which would add a fourth local government in a community of about 13,000 people.

Road construction will continue until early fall

Road work will continue on Haugen Drive until the end of the summer. Photo/Angela DenningWork on the borough's sewer system parallels state improvements happening on two of the town's main roads.

Slippery steps lead to award for damages

0728151043A civil trial this week in Ketchikan ended with a warning to Southeast Alaska homeowners: Make sure your outdoor walkways have a non-slip surface, or you could end up paying thousands of dollars.

PHS cross country looks promising as practice begins

Coaches Tom Thompson and Debby Eddy talk to the cross country runners July 29, the first day of practice. Photo/Angela DenningIt’s still July but Petersburg High School students have already begun preparing for this fall’s sports season.

Committee recommends no local retail pot ban

(Creative Commons photo by Brett Levin)The Ketchikan Marijuana Advisory Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that the various municipal governments in the borough not ban the commercial sale of marijuana in Ketchikan, at least not until after the state has completed its regulation process.

WCA celebrates cultural center’s grand opening

wca cultural centerThe Wrangell Cooperative Association cut the ribbon on its cultural center and carving shed Saturday, completing the second phase of the tribe’s three-part Native cultural revival plan. The center will serve as a place for recreating eight sacred totem poles and for teaching Native arts.

Subsistence Board vote makes Saxman rural again

The Saxman Clan House.The Federal Subsistence Board voted during a work session Tuesday in Anchorage to return communities to the status they held before 2007. That’s the year the board decided to make Saxman non-rural, an action that Saxman residents and other Native leaders have fought against ever since.

B.C. tribal protest stops mine exploration, for now

Tahltan First Nation elders and other tribal members protest exploratory drilling at the Doubleview Hat prospect site. It's on a tributary of the Taku River. (Photo courtesy Tahltan Central Council)Developers of a mine on a Taku River tributary have stopped work after an on-site protest by a British Columbia tribal government. The Taku enters the ocean near Juneau.

Pink salmon catches remain below average

Pink salmon-ADF&GCatches of pink salmon in Southeast's seine fishery are below average but the run could also be very late.

Gravina access, bridges come up at STIP meeting

AirportFirst and Second Waterfall bridges on North Tongass are in line for improvements, but will they last until construction is set to start in summer 2017? And, the Gravina Access EIS is 99 percent done. It just needs the governor to make a decision.

Rescue squad stays ready for the next emergency

A rock face north of Ketchikan where KVRS members train.The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad was the first group on the scene of a deadly float plane crash in Misty Fjords more than a month ago. The rescue squad didn't disband after that mission, however. They're still training, making sure they’re prepared for the next time someone needs their help. To find out how, reporter Madelyn Beck got a first-hand look at some of their training on a rock wall.

Father, daughter meet after 49 years

karajimImagine meeting your father for the first time when you reached 49 years old. Imagine you just found out about your biological dad just days after saying goodbye to your adoptive father. That happened this spring for a woman from Provo, Utah who traveled to Petersburg, Alaska this month to meet her biological father.

Youth crew cleans Tongass, even under rain

0726151328a (1)The Youth Conservation Corps came to Ketchikan and the surrounding Tongass National Forest this past month to work with a local branch of the U.S Forest Service. That meant helping out timber crews, cleaning up around fisheries and clearing trails -- rain or shine.

Tobacco tax ordinance ready for Assembly vote

(Creative Commons image)The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has completed drafting an ordinance that would impose a $3-per-pack tobacco tax within borough boundaries. The ordinance also would tax other tobacco products – including e-cigarettes – at 75 percent of their wholesale price.

Ravens Roost Trail closed for phase two remodel

Nick Corpela with Corpela Construction out of Hyder is creating phase two of the trail. Photo/Angela DenningIn a multi-year project, the Ravens Roost trail is currently in phase two.

The Cannery Tales: Cecilio Escatell

Cecelio Escatell takes break from work at the cannery to enjoy the Petersburg sunshshine.(Facebook)Meet Cecilio Escatell, a cannery worker at PFI this summer.

Petersburg’s community gym gets makeover

Parks and Rec Director Donnie Hayes stands near the newly surfaced community gym. Photo/Angela DenningThe gym in the Petersburg Recreation Center will reopen Monday after being resurfaced.

Groups seek halt to POW wolf hunting, logging

POW wolf pupCiting a state study that shows a sharp decline in the wolf population on Prince of Wales Island and surrounding islands, six conservation groups have asked state and federal officials to take steps to help preserve the remaining animals.

Southeast cities ask for fewer ferry cuts

The ferry Taku sails into Juneau’s Auke Bay terminal. It’s tied up for the year, affecting seafood processors who transport their fish via Prince Rupert, British Columbia. (Photo by LCGS Russ/Wikimedia Commons)Southeast Alaska community leaders hope to restore some ferry sailings cut due to state budget reductions.

Trial of former Wrangell doctor starts Monday

greg salardThe jury trial of former Wrangell doctor Greg Salard will start Monday at the U.S. District Court in Juneau. He is facing three felony charges related to child pornography.

Wrangell ANS prepares to host 100th anniversary celebration

The Alaska Native Sisterhood was formed 100 years ago in Wrangell, and the community will welcome a few hundred visitors this fall for the ANS centennial celebration.

BC mine to reopen after 2014 disaster

Hazeltine Creek, once a narrow waterway, is filled with mud, silt and logs following August 2014’s tailings dam breach at the nearby Mount Polley Mine. (Photo courtesy Chris Blake/MineWatch Canada).British Columbia will allow the Mount Polley Mine to resume limited operations. The mine's tailings dam broke last year, polluting nearby waterways.

Wildfires also hit Southeast forests

A fire left its mark on this Tongass National Forest tree trunk, as seen in 2008. (Creative Commons photo by Xa’at)Tongass National Forest officials have counted 16 wildfires this season, one more than the regional average for a whole year.

Southeast businesses request more Tongass recreation funding

tongass hikingFifty Southeast Alaska business-owners are asking Congress to give more money to the Tongass National Forest recreation program. Funding for trails, cabins and wildlife-viewing sites has declined in recent years, and tour operators worry the Forest Service won’t be able to maintain the attractions they depend on.

Budget cuts sideline three of Alaska’s 11 ferries

The ferry Taku waits to load in Sitka during the winter of 2012. in Early morning Taku in Sitka. The 370-passenger ship is scheduled to be tied up starting in July. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)A draft schedule released Friday shows the Taku out for a year and the fast ferries Chenega and Fairweather tied up starting in the early fall.

Red Chris mine gets final environmental permit

red chris mineThe Red Chris copper and gold mine got final approval last week to discharge wastewater in the Stikine River watershed. Some Alaskans are worried the Red Chris and other British Columbia mines will impact salmon in Southeast.

Report lists watersheds, salmon habitat potentially affected by B.C. mines

This map, found in the FNMEC report, shows potential contaminant flow paths from B.C. tailings dams into Southeast Alaska waters.Thousands of miles of salmon habitat and more than 200 communities across Southeast Alaska and British Columbia could be affected if another mine disaster happens near the border. According to a report released this week by a B.C. First Nations group, 35 tailings ponds in the region are drawing more scrutiny after a mine dam collapsed last summer.

Borough Assembly approves waterfront master plan

waterfront master planThe Wrangell Borough Assembly last week approved a plan for developing Wrangell’s downtown waterfront. The Wrangell Waterfront Master Plan would put $14.7 million into improving the waterfront between City Dock and the Marine Service Center.