Southeast News

Walker says Prince Rupert terminal will be rebuilt

Prince Rupert Ferry Terminal July 2014 1 croppedGov. Bill Walker says he’ll continue pushing for construction of a new ferry terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Rainfall sets records around the region

Rain fills a ditch along Mitkof Highway near Petersburg Wednesday.The storm that just passed through Southeast Alaska set daily rainfall records around the region.

Website ranks two Petersburg schools best in the state

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA website has ranked two of Petersburg’s schools as the best in the state. The site,, rates cities, schools, universities and neighborhoods and has ranked Rae C. Stedman as the number one elementary school in Alaska and Mitkof Middle as the number one middle school.

Rain+wind+high tide = flooding, evacuations

The Yeltatzie Salmon, a sculpture by Terry Pyles, is almost swimming upstream as Ketchikan Creek rises at high tide Tuesday.

The pedestrian bridge leading to Creek Street was closed because of flooding at high tide Tuesday.

Buckets of rain blew into Ketchikan Tuesday and Wednesday, leading to power outages, overflowing creeks, flooded streets and evacuations.

The National Weather Service … more

Ketchikan nurse contract talks enter mediation

Barbara Lander sent us this shot from Sunday morning's informational picket. She says about 50 people picketed Saturday, 60 showed up on Sunday, and about 30 demonstrated Monday morning.Ketchikan nurses were picketing over the weekend as contract negotiations with PeaceHealth enter mediation this week.

Sitka bike rider medevacked after collision with truck

A Sitka High School freshman was medevacked to Harborview Hospital in Seattle after being struck by a vehicle Friday evening (1-23-15). 15-year old Cody Bergman is in stable condition, according to close family friends, and he is responsive. However, doctors are keeping him sedated while they assess the extent of his injuries.

Marc Luiken is state’s new transportation commissioner

8-19-11 Marc Luiken at Jno C of C horiz widerThere’s a new boss at the state agency overseeing roads, airports and ferries.

What does civil rights mean to 21st century kids?

09-_DSC8605Almost 50 Years after Martin Luther King led the march from Selma to Montgomery, that resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the landscape of civil rights has changed. There are new faces tackling modern issues in the city of Sitka.

Heavy rains flood creeks, fill reservoirs

A dog reconsiders his walk down the Nelson Logging Road. A 12-foot high tide plus heavy rains sent Starrigavan Creek over its banks at 1 PM today (1-21-15). (Hugh Bevan photo)There is an upside to having rainy, autumn weather in the middle of winter: both Sitka’s reservoirs are filling up. Frank Rogers, Sitka’s senior hydroelectric operator, says water levels in Blue Lake rose 2 feet overnight on Tuesday (1-20-15), after over two inches of rain fell in the area.

Marijuana Town Hall: Sitkans offer ideas on cafes, kids

Municipal attorney Robin Koutchak (far left) speaks as the audience gathers for Sitka's Marijuna Town Hall. "How far do we want to go," she asked. "Do we want police to say 'Drop the brownie'?" (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)The City of Sitka wants to have some regulations in place by the time the public use of marijuana becomes legal in Alaska on February 24. At a Town Hall Meeting Monday night (1-19-15) residents had the chance to offer their opinions on where and if marijuana should be used in public places in the community. And as you might expect with a controversial topic like marijuana, there were opinions to spare.

Petersburg will bid on land near remote dock

papkesdockThe Petersburg borough government will put in a bid for some Alaska Mental Health trust land up for auction this winter at Papke’s Landing ten miles south of downtown Petersburg. The land could be used for parking or access to the state owned boat ramp and dock nearby. The borough assembly Tuesday voted to bid on some or all of the seven lots up for sale.

Trying to figure out the future of Tongass timber – by February

At 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest, pictured here near Sitka, is the country's largest. (Photo by Mike Hicks)What is the future of timber on the Tongass? That's the daunting question before the Tongass Advisory Committee, which is holding its fifth meeting in Juneau this week. But for some, the most important issues on the Tongass are the ones the committee isn’t supposed to address.

Public meetings set on TLMP amendment

The Tongass National Forest makes up most of Southeast Alaska (Courtesy U.S. Forest Service)The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled three public meetings in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan to update the public on the proposed Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan Amendment.

Will DOT changes help or hurt the ferry system?

The ferry Taku sails into the Wrangell Narrows on its way south in 2013. It's part of an aging fleet needing repair or replacement. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Could the firing of three top state transportation officials put the Alaska Marine Highway at risk? That’s what some ferry supporters are asking.

Scientific societies oppose old-growth logging

DominickDellaSala_0More scientists have joined a campaign to stop old-growth logging in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

Family worried about missing Ketchikan man

10924776_663160590460453_5110478167486218101_nA Ketchikan man has been missing for nearly a month, with no evidence that he left the island.

Tongass committee chafes at early deadline

Industry representative Wade Zammit discusses forest transition issues during a Jan. 20 meeting at Juneau’s Aspen Hotel. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Members of the Tongass Advisory Committee are unhappy with Forest Service efforts to speed up their work.

Judge rules in Petersburg’s favor on demolished house

takendownhouseA judge has ruled in the Petersburg borough’s favor in a court appeal over a home deemed as a dangerous house. The piling foundation failed for the home on Wrangell Avenue in 2009 and the borough sought to have the owners demolish the structure, which they did last year.

Worhatch wins Petersburg’s annual Rain Game Classic

raindropsA local man has won the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce’s Rain Game Classic, missing the actual amount of rainfall last year by just 12-hundredths of an inch.

Community service superstars honored on MLK Day

08-_DSC8602These students were among 30 presented with certificates on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at a ceremony at Blatchley Middle School. The students ranged from Lexie Kennedy in kindergarten to seniors at all three high schools.

Sitkan charged with four felonies in police standoff

A Sitka man is facing felony charges following a late-night standoff with police earlier this month. A grand jury has indicted 33-year old River J. Dailey for allegedly threatening the lives of a man and his wife, and two police officers.

Budget woes to stall Katlian Bay road project?

The Katlian Bay Road was authorized, along with several other transportation easements, in Public Law 109-59, aka "SAFETEA-LU," passed in 2005 when Rep. Don Young chaired the House Transportation Committee. (KCAW graphic)A six-mile extension of Halibut Point Road into Katlian Bay is slated for funding this year - but the state budget crunch may change that. The one-lane, gravel road would connect to lands owned by Sitka’s urban Native corporation.

Kake powerline project a little closer to construction

Kake mayor Henrich Kadake pleads for a connection to cheaper hydro-electricity as Southeast Alaska Power Agency CEO Trey Acteson listens.A multi-million dollar electrical power line extension to connect Petersburg and Kake is a little closer to becoming reality this year. The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft Enviromental Impact Statement examining three possible routes for the connection, which could bring cheaper electricity to Kake. That town’s mayor made an impassioned plea for support of the project during a meeting Wednesday in Petersburg.

Petersburg’s new drive down dock takes shape

Workers lower the 140-foot transfer bridge into place Friday morning.It was a big milestone Friday for the drive down dock project on the Petersburg waterfront. Tamico, the contracting company building the new dock, lowered a 140-foot transfer bridge into place. That bridge will allow vehicles to drive onto a new 180-foot float still being assembled two miles south of town in Scow Bay.

Inmate dies after hanging himself at Ketchikan jail

An inmate at the Ketchikan Correctional Center who was facing felony sex abuse charges died Saturday at Alaska Regional Hospital after apparently hanging himself with his bed sheet late Thursday morning.

Klawock couple plans halftime wedding

ak-akkhs2-letter-150A couple in Klawock has been engaged since 2001, but they couldn’t quite come to agreement about what kind of wedding ceremony to have. They finally settled on a unique venue: Center court at halftime during Friday’s home basketball game.

Safe Havens presents safety recommendations

16284104842_ddc57bb977_oThe first Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board meeting of the new year on Wednesday night wrapped up some old topics such as the Safe Havens safety recommendation report and opened up new discussions including a Native languages curriculum and the upcoming budget.

“The Intergalactic Nemesis” invades Alaska

Courtesy of theintergalacticnemesis.comFans of comic books and radio drama are in for a treat this weekend in Petersburg as the critically acclaimed multi-media performance “The Intergalactic Nemesis” will be doing two shows this weekend at the Wright Auditorium. The show is a live-action graphic novel performed by three actors.

Strong king numbers outside Sitka boost winter troll catch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASoutheast Alaska salmon trollers are having a strong winter season, thanks to good catches on the outer coast outside of Sitka. The winter season started October 11th and the catch of Chinook had topped 24,000 fish by the second week in January.

Sitka democrat prepares for bleak budget outlook in new session

Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins addresses the Alaska House of Representatives, March 12, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins thinks the state’s financial situation will mean a new reality for the state legislature in the upcoming session. The Sitka democrat is starting up his second term representing his hometown, along with Petersburg and 22 other small communities in central Southeast.