Southeast News

Zika patient treated in Sitka

Location-MEHostpital-1024x683The state department of Health and Social Services announced the first known case of the Zika Virus in the state today belonging to a patient treated at SEARHC’s Mt. Edgcumbe Hospital in Sitka.

Ortiz discusses legislative session and budget deficit

District 36 Representative Dan OrtizDistrict 36 Representative Dan Ortiz held a constituents’ meeting in Ketchikan Wednesday night. He spoke about the state’s fiscal challenge and what happened during the last legislative session.

Local Rotary group helps vaccinate in India

Block printing on fabric was one of the cottage industries in India that a local Rotary group visited. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)A group of Ketchikan Rotary members traveled to India in February to help administer polio vaccines, and to see the sights that country has to offer.

Finkenbinder runs against Kreiss-Tomkins for District 35

Republican Sheila Finkenbinder of Sitka is running for House District 35.Finkenbinder says as a Republican she'll have a better chance to make changes than her Democratic opponent.

Don Young visit sparks protests

IMG_7479Congressman Don Young was scheduled to speak to the Chamber of Commerce at noon yesterday (07-21-16). But he first had to pass through a group of pretty disgruntled constituents.

Sitka Seafood Festival issues SOS

parade 3 2013The Sitka Seafood Festival has issued a call for help. The 2016 festival was placed on hold earlier this year. Alicia Haseltine, vice-president of the festival board, says the decision was made after the event lost several of their leaders.

City Council hears update on Verizon rollout

Customers sign up for Verizon wireless plans at KPU following a quick grand-opening ceremony Wednesday morning. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)KPU Telecom Manager Ed Cushing told the Council that the Ketchikan store last week outsold all the other Verizon Alaska stores combined.

Metlakatla resident to represent Alaska at DNC

Gavin Hudson stands with a Bernie Sanders cardboard cutout during the Alaska Democratic Convention earlier this year. Hudson is headed to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week. (Photo courtesy Gavin Hudson)A Metlakatla resident is heading to the City of Brotherly Love next week as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

O’Brien resigning from Ketchikan School Board

Ketchikan School Board President Michelle O'Brien is resigning from the board, effective Oct. 12. (KRBD file photo)O’Brien has served as a Ketchikan School Board member for seven years, and has been Board president for the past two.

Paddle Battle postponed until next weekend

Photo courtesy of Rick MozolicOrganizers say the weather forecast for this weekend is unsafe for paddlers.

Borough assembly favors state income tax over sales tax

Chris Cotta, Assistant Public Works Director, addresses the Petersburg borough assembly July 18.Petersburg borough’s assembly was united in voting at Monday’s regular meeting. Everything they voted on ended with unanimous support including two ordinances on marijuana.

Young makes campaign stop in Ketchikan

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, speaks during a Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce lunch. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)During a presentation to the Chamber of Commerce, Rep. Don Young revisited some of his favorite issues: Federal regulations; resource management; and the need to return to an economy based on production. The state’s only representative in the U.S. House also touched on the presidential race, and his own bid for re-election.

Pokemon swarm Sitka streets

617af198-e461-4fc8-8d40-51456a6939d6Pokemon GO is based on an incredibly popular Japanese franchise. There are video games and trading cards, TV shows and toys. And now, there’s a game for smart phones that’s taking the world - and Sitka - by storm. Downloadable audio

P2P finalist hooking into traceable-fish market

Dianna Garfield Robinson on board the FV Seabright at Refuge Cove Marina. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)Seabright Seafoods is a true small business. It’s a direct-sales operation run by owners Dianna Garfield Robinson and Brent Robinson. They recently were chosen as finalists for Path to Prosperity, a Southeast Alaska small-business competition.

Should commercial marijuana in Petersburg be illegal?

Petersburg borough assembly members at the July 18 meeting (from left): Eric Castro, Jeigh Stanton-Gregor, Nancy Strand, Bob Lynn. (Cyndi Lagoudakis and Mark Wohlhueter were on teleconference)The Petersburg borough assembly approved the ballot question in response to a citizens initiative that gathered enough signatures for a vote. The question would ask voters if all sales and importation of marijuana should be illegal, including cultivation and testing.

Ketchikan’s Shaw attends GOP convention

ShawCroppedShaw is one of 28 Alaska delegates at the convention, and at age 21 is the youngest.

Boro delays pot tax to consider potency tax

National Public Radio image.The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly postponed action Monday on a marijuana sales tax of up to 10 percent, to provide borough staff time to look into a proposal that would tax marijuana based instead on its potency.

Cruise industry grows, global share shrinks

Three cruise ships dock in downtown Juneau July 14, at the height of the tourist season (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Alaska’s cruise industry is on track to hit the magic million-passenger mark this year. But it's attracting a smaller percentage of the worldwide market.

Drug-free coalition wins $600,000 grant for Sitka

IMG_7326The state’s Division of Health and Social Services awarded Sitka Counseling and Prevention Services and the HOPE Coalition a grant of $150,000 per year, for up to four years, to address prescription opioid and heroin abuse in Sitka.

Borough assembly to consider marijuana proposals

boroughsealPetersburg's borough assembly meets Monday to consider marijuana proposals, a state income tax, and other issues in a regular meeting.

Petersburg Police Chief says new crime bill won’t help

Petersburg Police Chief, Kelly Swihart. Photo courtesy of Petersburg Police Dept.Police Chief Kelly Swihart says SB 91 creates softer arrest and bail conditions and will make it more difficult to keep the public safe.

VIDEO: Air crew rescues injured hiker from Mt. Verstovia

Michigan resident Debra Valentine is brought aboard an Air Station Sitka rescue helicopter. (USCG image)An Air Station Sitka helicopter crew rescued a woman off of Mt. Verstovia Tuesday evening (7-12-16), after she fell and injured her knee.

Deacon’s music a bell-towering achievement

bells 1The bells at St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral in Sitka are ringing again after a temporary hiatus. Thanks to a new deacon with musical abilities and no fear of heights, you’ll hear them ringing most days at 11:55. Downloadable audio

Petersburg public health limits services to cut costs

Erin Michael is the Public Health Nurse in Petersburg.Well child checkups are limited to children six and under. People over 29 can longer get immunizations, STD checks or birth control although there are a few exceptions.

Partnership to boost Alaska trail, cabin repairs

A Trail Mix volunteer moves gravel to a muddy part of Juneau's Lemon Creek Trail. A new agreement means the nonprofit group will expand its work in Alaska's national forests. (Photo courtesy Trail Mix)Alaska’s national forests will see more cabin and trail improvements under a new public-private partnership. A nonprofit group long involved in Juneau maintenance work is increasing its role in the Tongass and Chugach National Forests.

Budget cuts close Sitka Public Library on Sundays

IMG_7272Book-loving Sitkans are facing a major plot twist. City budget cuts are bringing the Sitka Public Library to a close every Sunday, starting last Sunday (07-10-16). The new facility, which opened doors in February, will maintain its current schedule the other six days of the week.

‘Anna Blanc’ leads readers where angels fear to tread

Where's Anna Blanc? Kincheloe's protagonist is 19, and could easily look like one of these women from a 1910 image on her website.A visiting author has captured the experience of some of the country’s earliest female police officers in her debut novel, “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc.”

Petersburg to see another marijuana vote

Danielle Baldwin shows off strains of medical marijuana at a smoke shop in Ashland, Oregon. AP Photo/Jeff Barnard434 petition signatures were checked over and certified. Petitioners only needed 104 signatures to get the issue before voters.

Priest, pilot, policeman, pastor, departs Petersburg

A man who’s headed up two different churches here in Petersburg, flown float planes and done the midnight shift as a local cop has moved out of town this summer. Pastor Mike Schwarte left the Petersburg Lutheran Church and moving with his family to be near Auburn University in Alabama. The 54-year-old Schwarte was a Catholic priest for five years covering churches in Wrangell, Petersburg and Kake and flying a float plane back and forth between the towns. He also worked as a float plane pilot and wore a badge for the Petersburg Police Department.

Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins skeptical of special session

Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins is the representative for Southeast's District 35.The Sitka representative says it's not likely lawmakers will come to an agreement on a sustainable fiscal plan.