Southeast News

Native language bill has personal meaning for Sitka family

Jessie Johnnie's speech was recorded by X̱'unei Lance Twitchell in September 2011. He asked her what students of the Tlingit language need in order to succeed.Twenty Native languages, including Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, became official state languages on Thursday, Oct. 23. For Sitka resident Heather Powell, the signing marked a personal victory for a member of her family.

Mark Weaver pleads not guilty to explosives charges

Weaver paperworkMark Weaver has pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing unregistered explosives.

Dan Sullivan answers questions about Southeast Alaska

SullivanIMG_6838Dan Sullivan interviews with KFSK about Southeast Alaska issues.

Wrangell doctor indicted on child porn charges

A federal grand jury indicted Wrangell doctor Greg Salard Wednesday, charging him with distribution and possession of child pornography.

147 years later, a changing of the flags on Castle Hill

Keeley LaRose came with her family to watch the ceremony (KCAW photo/Emily Kwong)Sitka celebrated the 147th anniversary of the Alaska transfer on Saturday (10-18-14) with a big parade and a period reenactment.

Is someone poisoning Sitka bears?

Cin-blond sow+cub082713_9998PM-sSomeone appears to be poisoning bears near Sitka’s Sawmill Creek Road. A young male found dead last week may be the latest victim.

HD35 candidates debate in Sitka

Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (l) and Petersburg Republican Steven Samuelson debated a range of issues before the Sitka Chamber of Commerce (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)The two candidates for House District 35 met in Sitka for a sometimes testy exchange before the Chamber of Commerce. Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and Petersburg Republican Steven Samuelson took questions Friday on topics from fishing to healthcare. But the debate sometimes revolved more around age and experience.

Petersburg family seeks to bring clean water to Thailand

From Left to Right: Kate Thompson, Clara Medalen, and Lizzie Thompson, and Wear Eide, Photo courtesy of Lizzie ThompsonOne vendor at this weekend's Oktoberfest looks to raise money to bring clean drinking water to a Thailand village.

Consultant: Tourism branding needs to be different

Tourism consultant John Kelsh of Great Destination Strategies discusses community branding at a Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Sitka can’t boost tourism by waiting for consensus. That’s the message from marketing consultant John Kelsh, who addressed the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

PHS boys swim team wins meet in Sitka

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Petersburg High School swim team won a meet in Sitka even though their coach says they could have had better times.

Man drowns in ANB Harbor

ANB Harbor (KCAW photo/Greta Mart)Sitka police say the 41-year-old fell off the main float at ANB harbor last Thursday afternoon.

Is Southeast Alaska safe for sea stars?

Sunflower star losing arms in Sitka aquarium. (Photo by  Taylor White/EarthFix)Sea stars, commonly known as starfish, have been vanishing from North America’s Pacific shoreline. Whatever is killing them has spread as far north as Sitka.

Hunters take near-record number of moose near Wrangell, Petersburg

IMG_1321The Wrangell-Petersburg area’s month-long moose hunt ended last week with an almost-record harvest. The harvest from the Stikine River is also the highest going back to 1990.

Lt. Gov candidate Byron Mallot talks Southeast issues

Mallot mugByron Mallot, who is running for Lt. Governor alongside Independent Bill Walker, says education, energy, and transportation are their top priorities.

Campaigning in Sitka, Dunbar takes on fisheries, mining

Democrat Forrest Dunbar campaigned in Sitka on August 7, 2014. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)Congressional candidate Forrest Dunbar says he will push to protect a key federal fishery law if he’s elected. He also voiced concerns about transboundary British Columbia mines during a Sitka campaign visit.

Sitka Sound Science Center presents new face to the public

Gil Truitt (left) cuts the ribbon on the newly renovated Sage Building, while Research Director Tori O'Connell applauds. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz).After a summer cocooned in scaffolding, the Sitka Sound Science Center shed its tarps for an Alaska Day unveiling ceremony. The three-year, $1.4-million dollar effort overhauled the exterior of the 1930-era Sage Building, which once housed the science programs at Sheldon Jackson College.

Parnell says he’s unaware of herbicide concern

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell says he has not heard concerns from Southeast residents over plans to spray herbicides along state-owned roadways for vegetation control.

Petersburg students teach adults about 3-D printing

Skipper Erickson holds his euphonium next to the 3-D printer he used to make the instrument's mouthpiece. Photo/Angela DenningIt could take weeks for a specialized part to be ordered and shipped to Petersburg. Yet, what if you could just make the part at home? That’s the idea behind 3-D printers and students at Petersburg High School are busy learning and teaching others about how that technology works.

Petersburg School District Board to consider grants and other issues at this week’s meeting

The Petersburg school board Tuesday night plans to take action on a new law passed by the Legislature that prohibits school districts from restraining or putting students into seclusion except for special circumstances.

Updated: Wrangell doctor arrested on child porn charges

greg salardA Wrangell doctor was arrested following allegations of distribution and possession of child pornography. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant yesterday at the home of Greg Salard.

Sitka Sound Science Center opens renovated doors

The Sitka Sound Science Center celebrated the newly renovated Sage Building on Saturday morning. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)Sitka's Alaska Day celebrations got underway early Saturday morning (10-18-14) with a ribbon cutting at the Sitka Sound Science Center to celebrate the renovation of the center's Sage Building. The building has a new roof, new windows, and a newly repaired exterior -- the glass for the front doors arrived late Friday night, just in time to open them to the public on Saturday morning.

Borough to consider emergency radios and traffic regs

boroughsealPetersburg Borough Assembly will be considering several issues at its meeting Monday night.

New Clausen Museum Director arrives in Petersburg

Brittany Enge stands in front of the Clausen Museum in Petersburg. Photo/Angela DenningThe Clausen Museum has recently hired Brittany Zenge as new Director to replace Sue McCallum who moved to Florida after 16 years on the job.

Wrangell assembly passes ordinance to strengthen leash laws

City Hall - Photo by Shady Grove Oliver/KSTK NewsThe Wrangell Borough Assembly Tuesday passed a new animal control ordinance to tackle the problem of dogs running free downtown.

US Senate candidates reject efforts to reduce outside spending

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich has signed a pledge that would make third-party ad spending in the Senate race more transparent. Challenger Dan Sullivan refused to sign it, and accused Begich of not signing his pledge to curb outside spending.

Update: Protesters at BC mine step aside

klabona keepersA nearly-completed British Columbia mine in the Stikine River watershed is expected to begin full production at the end of this month. Meanwhile, protesters blocking access to the controversial Red Chris mine may be forced out Tuesday.

More Big Thorne timber sales announced

Clear-cuts and old-growth forests are part of the view of Indian Valley on Prince of Wales Island. The Forest Service just announced three more timber sales in the Island's Big Thorne area.The Forest Service plans three more timber sales in a part of Prince of Wales Island conservationists say needs to be protected. They’re much smaller than a recent sale in the same area.

House District 36 candidates talk budget cuts, minimum wage at forum

house 36 forumThe two candidates running to represent Ketchikan, Wrangell and surrounding communities in the Alaska State House of Representatives were in Wrangell Thursday for a candidate forum. Republican Chere Klein and non-affiliated candidate Dan Ortiz took questions from voters on balancing the state budget, Medicaid expansion and the minimum wage.

Philanthropic running group seeks nonprofit status

Running BuddiesA Wrangell running group is trying to become a nonprofit organization so it can give more to local charities and help residents with their medical expenses. The group hopes official nonprofit status will provide more sources of funding and more services for the community.

Update: KSM mine project wins more key permits

A glacier reflects in a naturally occurring pool of rusty, acidic water at the site of one of the KSM Prospect's planned open-pit mines. The British Columbia mine project, northeast of Ketchikan, was just granted permits for roads and construction camps.A controversial British Columbia mine northeast of Ketchikan has gained some key permits needed for construction.

Little Big Thorne: Smaller contract goes to Viking Lumber

The Viking Lumber Mill is on Prince of Wales Island. It was just awarded a contract to log part of the Big Thorne timber sale. (C
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)The Forest Service has awarded a contract to log two-thirds of a controversial Southeast Alaska timber sale. Officials say it’s the first of several contracts for an area called Big Thorne.

Ketchikan debate features three governor candidates

Bill Walker, Care Clift and Gov. Sean Parnell.About 250 people crowded into Ketchikan’s Ted Ferry Civic Center to hear what Libertarian Care Clift, Republican incumbent Sean Parnell and independent Bill Walker had to say.

Governor debate

From left: Bill Walker, Care Clift and Sean Parnell at Wednesday's debate for candidates running for Alaska governor. Nick Bowman of the Ketchikan Daily News moderates.Three candidates for Alaska governor, independent Bill Walker, Libertarian Care Clift and Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, participated in a debate Wednesday in Ketchikan. Click here to listen to the entire event.

Cruise traffic level, but could face growth

Tourists off the Norwegian Sun book a Mendenhall Glacier tour near Juneau’s waterfront on one of the last days of 2014′s tourism season, as a staffer watches. Passenger numbers were similar to last year’s. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)This summer's visitors asked about the waterfront's elevation, whether Alaska takes American money and where the Sarah Palin statue is.

Ketchikan shipyard to build two Alaska ferries

Adam Beck and Gov. Sean Parnell sign the contact for Vigor Alaska to build two new state ferries.It’s official: The Ketchikan Shipyard will build two new ferries for the State of Alaska over the next few years.

Report shows plateau in Southeast economy, population

southeast conferenceAfter five years of growth, Southeast Alaska’s labor force and population leveled off in 2013, according to data released Tuesday at the Southeast Conference annual membership meeting.

Thomas Bay commission tries to find its place after SEAPA transfer

The Thomas Bay Power Commission Tuesday resolved to ask the borough assemblies of Wrangell and Petersburg how it can contribute to the communities after a management transfer removed its original responsibilities.

Tribal groups disagree about BC mine projects

The Nisga'a Lisims Government Building is the home of the Canadian First Nation's government. Leaders say their environmental concerns have been answered by the developer of the KSM Mine. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)Some Alaska tribal organizations say Aug. 4’s dam break at a British Columbia mine shows what could happen at proposed near-border mines. But some B.C. tribal governments strongly support development.

Early tests show B.C. tailings spill water ‘safe’

Muddy water from the breached Mount Polley Mine tailings pond dam floods a downstream creek and road Monday. (Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)The British Columbia Environment Ministry says water that poured out of a massive mine-tailings pond Aug. 4 appears to be safe

Is B.C. mine tailings dam break a warning for Alaska?

This aerial image shows Monday's Mount Polley Mine tailings dam break and some of the damage downstream. Fishing and environmental groups say the same could happen at new B.C. mines near the Southeast border. (Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre photo)Monday’s tailings-dam break at a British Columbia copper and gold mine could threaten Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries. Critics also say similar dams closer to the border could suffer the same fate.