One of the top stories here in 2014 was Wrangell’s addition of a 300-ton boat lift to its Marine Service Center. The lift is the second-biggest in Alaska.
Wrangell Harbormaster Greg Meissner said he expects the new lift to generate more boat yard jobs.
“You start pulling the 100-foot class boats out here, the great big fish packers or yachts, them type of boats, they’re not do-it-yourself,” Meissner said. “For the most part, they’re hiring somebody.”
Another major story of the year was the arrest of Wrangell doctor Greg Salard in October. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Salard at his home in Wrangell on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.
Salard was one of four medical providers in Wrangell. He was employed as a family doctor by Alaska Island Community Services and served under a contract with Wrangell Medical Center, the community’s hospital.
Salard lost his job and surrendered his medical license after he was indicted by a grand jury.
AICS Executive Director Mark Walker said he found no reason in the workplace to suspect Salard would be arrested for child pornography.
“There were never any complaints that relate to anything like this,” Walker said. “So we’re completely taken by surprise by all of this.”
Salard’s trial is coming up in February.
Wrangell and Petersburg transferred management of the Tyee Lake hydropower plant to the Southeast Alaska Power Agency.
Wrangell also has a new representative in the Alaska State House. Non-affiliated candidate Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan narrowly won the race against Republican Chere Klein. Former Rep. Peggy Wilson decided not to run this year.