Southeast News

Sitkans face heroin related charges

A Sitka grand jury has indicted three people for tampering with physical evidence related to a police investigation into heroin trafficking.

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.

Feds ask cruise ships, boats to stay far away from seals

Harbor seals rest on ice near South Sawyer Glacier in 2007. New federal guidelines suggest, but don't require, vessels to stay about 500 yards away from the marine mammals to lessen disturbances. (Photo courtesy NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center)Federal officials want cruise ships, tour boats and kayaks to stay far away from harbor seals in Alaska’s glacial fjords.

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.

The line in the slime: Alaska makes stand against D.vex in Sitka

Alaska is going to war against an invasive species in Sitka, and its weapon is science. With help from the Smithsonian, the state is hoping to eradicate an invasive sea squirt in Sitka’s Whiting Harbor.

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.

Sitka Assembly explores taking over Halibut Point Rec

Sunset from Halibut Point State Recreation Area in Sitka. This park -- like others in Sitka -- will transfer into private management on July 1.Sitka will likely take over management of the Halibut Point State Recreation Area. But that doesn’t mean the city is happy about it.

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.

Smoke detector sparks reminder

SmokeDetectorAn incident last week at a Bear Valley home sparked a reminder, both literally and figuratively, to check your smoke detectors, and possibly replace them.

Petersburg voters to elect 20 positions

The Petersburg School District has three seats open on its board.This fall's municipal election will ask Petersburg voters to elect 20 positions for the borough, school district, hospital and library.

Sitkans ‘can-do’ in community kitch

Sitka residents learn how to pickle and ferment fruits and vegetables at Sitka Kitch in mid-July. KCAW photo/Vanessa Walker.

Preserving food is an important activity for many Alaskans, but you’ve got to have the space and the know-how to do it safely. The Sitka Kitch opened its doors earlier this year, to give Sitkans access to a large, commercial … more

Cuts to State Troopers threaten community jails

Kelly Swihart, Petersburg's Chief of Police, stands in front of one of the cells in the community jail. (Joe Sykes)Budget cuts to state troopers are taking place all over Alaska. But in small Southeast communities, like Petersburg, it’s a double whammy. That’s because community jails are also taking a big hit. And the two are inextricably linked.

Local assembly tells state the ferry system is vital

ferrycolumbia1The Petersburg Borough Assembly tells the state that the ferry system is vital to commerce.

National Parks to care for state historic sites in Sitka

Castle Hill, in downtown Sitka, is the best place to take in the full measure of the community's "cultural landscape." (Alaska Division of Parks photo)The federal government is stepping in to care for two of Alaska’s most important historic sites, after the legislature cut funding to state parks in Sitka. The city will look after a popular rec area.

No second king opening for Southeast trollers

A forest of trolling poles in Sitka's ANB harbor, July 2015. (Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)After just eight days in early July, the summer king salmon season for Southeast trollers is over. The Alaska Department of Fish & Game announced Friday that there will be no second king opening in August.

2015 Alpine Adventure Run is “wet and wild”

75 runners competed in the 22nd annual Alpine Adventure Run. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)Seventy-five runners braved a wet Sitka morning on Saturday (7-18-15) for the 22nd annual Alpine Adventure Run.

NTSB investigates Friday’s plane crash near Juneau

(Creative Commons photo by Matt’ Johnson)Wreckage of a plane that went down Friday afternoon 18 miles west of Juneau was being picked up Sunday for further investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Native Jazz swings at fine arts camp

The Native Jazz Workshop comes to the Sitka Fine Arts camp every summer, and is now in its 4th year. Vanessa Walker/KCAW photoIf you walk past the Sitka Fine Arts Camp on any given day, you may hear the sounds of a saxophone, flute or trumpet emanating from one of the buildings. But this week at camp, the Native Jazz Workshop was in session--and students took their passion for jazz to a new level: by learning how it intersects with native culture.