Southeast News

Sitka police release operations manual in wake of video

The video of the arrest of 18-year-old Franklin Hoogendorn will be examined by the FBI< along with Sitka's police procedures. (YouTube image capture)

Sitka has released its police department operating manual to the public. The 342-page document was posted on the city’s website after a video of a high school student being tased went viral.

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With sale, seed planted for affordable housing project


Last night (11-24-15), the Sitka Assembly finalized the sale of a portion of the Old City Shops property for an affordable housing project. Though the ordinance passed, Assembly members wondered aloud about how to ensure that neighborhood would be built.

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PHS science team prepares for statewide competition

Members of Petersburg's Ocean Science Bowl team at practice. From left: Helen Martin, Chauncy Sandhoffer, Tucker Hagerman, Charlie Christensen, Julia Murph, Anders Christensen. Photo/Angela DenningThe high school students are working on two 15-page research papers for a statewide competition. The Alaska Tsunami Bowl, an academic competition, will take place in Seward at the end of February.

Ketchikan Chamber hires new director

ChamberlogoJulie Isom has been named the new executive director of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce. Isom accepted the position on Tuesday and will replace outgoing director Chelsea Goucher.

Petersburg officials discuss retaining Coast Guard cutter

The Petersburg-based Coast Guard cutter Anacapa (photo courtesy USCG)Petersburg officials are hoping to discuss ways to keep a Coast Guard cutter stationed in this Southeast community. Petersburg’s borough assembly wants to talk about changes to the waterfront to accommodate newer, larger patrol vessels, and it’s part of a discussion going on up and down Alaska’s coastline.

‘The Geography of Water': A love story to Southeast


A former ranger in the Tongass National Forest has published her first novel, and the story is set on her old turf. Mary Emerick's The Geography of Water springs from the beaches, coves, and bays of Southeast Alaska.

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Tulsequah cleanup won’t restart water treatment

Acid drainage from the Tulsequah Chief Mine discolors a leaking containment pond next to the Tulsequah River in British Columbia in 2013. (Photo courtesy Chris Miller/Trout Unlimited)Canadian regulators say the Tulsequah Chief Project, near Juneau, has agreed to reduce pollution leaking into a nearby river. But the mine won’t have to restart a shuttered water-treatment plant.

Petersburg awaits court’s decision on municipal boundaries

PSGBORsmallThe Alaska Supreme Court may have a decision in the next month or two on the boundaries of the Petersburg borough. The size of the new municipality has been up in the air since it was approved by area residents in December of 2012. That’s because the city and borough Juneau sought to annex some of the same land on the northern end of the proposed Petersburg borough. A superior court ruled in Petersburg’s favor last year and Juneau appealed that ruling to the state’s highest court.

Assembly indefinitely postpones pot excise tax

MarijuanaThe Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly Monday night Monday decided to postpone indefinitely a citizen request to establish at $10 per ounce excise tax on marijuana. The Assembly also heard an annual report from AIDEA.

‘Tis the season for increased phone and internet scams

Photo courtesy of bbb.orgA series of phone, email and internet scams continue to hit residents in Southeast Alaska and beyond. People are particularly vulnerable during the holiday season. Here's information on some of the scams to watch out for.

Petersburg wakes up to mysterious loud booming noise

This map shows the five reports of people seeing a meteor early Saturday morning. Photo/amsmeteors.orgSome think it was thunder and lightning while others say they saw a meteor.

Sitka students beat state test score average


Results are in from the first year of the Alaska Measures of Progress assessments and students in Sitka did better than expected.

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In letter to FBI, STA concerned about racial bias


On Tuesday (11-17-15), the Sitka Tribe of Alaska wrote a letter to the Anchorage Division of the FBI, regarding a tasing incident of a Native Alaska teenager in the Sitka jail last year. The letter alleges that prejudice exists within the Sitka Police Department and asks the FBI to consult the tribe during the investigation.

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Forest plan: transition to young growth logging to take 16 years

Logs are loaded onto a truck on Kupreanof Island in 2013.The U.S. Forest Service has released a new plan for managing timber lands on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. It puts a timeline on the transition from young- to old-growth logging and it attempts to make it easier to develop hydro projects on forest land.

Police search for Harry Race burglary suspect


Harry Race Pharmacy was robbed late Wednesday night (11-18-15) and the Sitka Police are now looking for the suspect.

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Mitkof timber sale decision pulled

A tug pulls a log raft down the Wrangell Narrows near Mitkof Island in 2013. (KFSK file photo)The U.S. Forest Service has withdrawn its decision on a proposed timber harvest on Mitkof Island near Petersburg. The proposed logging sparked a lawsuit by a coalition of environmental groups and concerns from the timber industry. The agency plans to take another look at the economics and impacts of logging on Mitkof.

Southeast Alaska humpbacks tagged for annual migration

I humpback whale dives in Frederick Sound near Petersburg. (Photo courtesy of Craig Hayslip, Faculty Research Assistant, OSU Marine Mammal Institute)Researchers from Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute returned to the waters of Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage in Southeast Alaska this month. It’s the second year of a two-year tagging program aimed at finding out more about the timing and nature of the annual migration of humpback whales from Southeast Alaska to the warm waters off Hawaii and Mexico.

Petersburg acting group brings holiday musical to life

Lively elves giggle and sneak around the shoemaker's shop at night making shoes. Photo/Angela DenningMitkof Mummers will be performing "Elves and the Shoemaker" this weekend at the Wright Auditorium in Petersburg.

Museum audit focuses collection


The Sitka Historical Society and Museum has been acquiring objects, documents and photos for more than 50 years. And, like any collector, there comes a time to clean house.

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Proposed gun shop stirs up opposition from neighbors

gjoastreetsignPetersburg resident Gregg Townsend wants to run a gun repair shop out of his home but neighbors oppose it.

Sm’algyax language revival focus of new group

Haayk Foundation co-founders, from left, Kandi McGilton, Gavin Hudson and David R. Boxley visit the Museum of the North in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. (Photo courtesy David Boxley)Three young Metlakatla residents have started a new non-profit organization with the goal of strengthening their Tsimshian culture. The first task – and it’s a big one – is helping to create a larger pool of fluent speakers of the Tsimshian language, starting with themselves.

Alaska drafts mine agreement with B.C.

British Columbia Mines Minister Bill Bennett, left, and Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott talk at a dinner at Juneau's Walter Soboleff Center in August. (Photo courtesy of the governor's office)Alaska officials have drafted an agreement with British Columbia aimed at protecting transboundary waters.

Wild about local foods


Every year, the Sitka Conservation Society hosts a Wild Foods Potluck. It’s an edible celebration of all that can be picked, plucked, hunted, fished, grown, and gathered in Sitka. This year, over 150 people attended and brought dishes to the Alaska Native Brotherhood Founders Hall.

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British Columbia goes after leaking mine

Acid drainage from the Tulsequah Chief Mine discolors a leaking containment pond next to the Tulsequah River in British Columbia in 2013. (Photo courtesy Chris Miller/Trout Unlimited)British Columbia is telling owners of a leaky mine in the Taku River watershed that it’s time to stop polluting the river, which flows into Alaska.

Forecast calls for warm, wet winter


While Sitka saw snow over the weekend and last night, weather forecasters say very few flurries are expected this winter. Residents can expect -- and there’s no surprise here -- lots of rain.

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FBI to lead investigation of tasing incident in Sitka jail


The Anchorage FBI office will be taking a leadership role in the investigation of the 2014 tasing of a teenager in a Sitka jail cell. Franklin Hoogendorn, age 18, was a student at Mt. Edgecumbe High School when he was arrested and tased by three officers, while in custody of the Sitka Police Department.

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‘Companion’ Christmas trees from Tongass

Aaron Steuerwald and Steve Hollis found the best available Shore Pine were on the Shoal Cove road system on Revillagigedo island in Southeast Alaska. (USFS photo)This year’s National Christmas Tree is a 74-foot spruce from Alaska’s Chugach National Forest. In addition to the spruce, seven smaller “companion” trees have been selected from the Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest.

Search for lost Deer Mountain hiker suspended

The top of Deer Mountain is hidden in clouds Friday morning. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)The search for Justin Nathan has been suspended after five days with no sign of the 22-year-old, missing on Ketchikan’s Deer Mountain after a hike last Wednesday.

Still no sign on 5th day of search for missing hiker

A view of Deer Mountain. (KRBD file photo by Leila Kheiry)Rescue crews and family members of 22-year-old Justin Nathan continued searching for him on Sunday, the fifth day that he has been missing on Deer Mountain, but found no clues.

No luck in 4th day of search for Ketchikan man

The top of Deer Mountain is hidden in clouds Friday morning. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)A 22-year-old Ketchikan man remains missing on Deer Mountain, and rescue crews pulled back search teams Saturday afternoon after another day of snow and rain.