Petersburg Pilot -


Yesterday’s News

News from 10-20-30 years ago


Photo courtesy of the Michael Nore collection ©

A US Army plane lands in Petersburg’s Harbor in 1931.

March 23, 1962 (Wrangell Sentinel) - Construction was started Monday on the Mitkof highway extension to Dry Strait after the winter shut down. About 20 men were on the job, mostly men called back from last season's operations with the addition of several mechanics and a shovel operator. Between 65 and 70 men will be employed during the summer, according to Supt. Joe Hanus. Preliminary work involves removal of fallen trees, rocks and boulder drilling. Additional equipment is being added. A barge is en route from Everett with Caterpillars, trucks, motor grader and assorted equipment. The 10-mile stretch of road, estimated to cost over $2 million and planned to link with the Stikine-Iskut highway to the national highway system via Canada, is scheduled for completion in 320 days.

March 24, 1982 – The beat goes on, but a little bit faster. The City Council still produces symphony-length agendas, but it is learning to dance through them faster than in previous months.

The March 15 meeting was Tom Wood’s last one as a councilman, having announced last month that he was resigning due to the lengthy and frequent meetings accentuated with what he termed a “lack of self-discipline” in limiting debate to the subject at hand. Wood had said that time limitations from the council meetings, special meetings and work sessions were preventing him from fulfilling personal and professional commitments.

But last week it wasn’t even 11 p.m. when the council symphony faded to a conclusion and Mayor Don Koenigs presented Wood a letter of appreciation for Wood’s contributions as a councilman.

“I’m going to miss this outfit,” Wood said. “It may be a character defect but this is the best show in town.”

March 19, 1992 – The newest member of the Petersburg Police Department, Sam the narcotics dog, arrived Monday morning.

Police officer Luke Cramer brought the 44-pound Malinois from Albuquerque, N.M. where the pair has been training for the last three weeks.

Within 43 hours after Sam the narcotics dog arrived in Petersburg, he aided in the discovery of two grams of cocaine at a Birch St. residence, police said.

Sam indicated narcotics were present and police found the cocaine about 15 minutes after the search began, according to police officer Luke Cramer.

Police were tipped off to the drugs by a citizen, he said. The quantity of cocaine found is not large and typical of local drug busts.

March 21, 2002 – Petersburg’s locally stationed US Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa showed the northern city of Valdez just what southeasterners have known for some time - that Lt. Steve White and his crew are ready, willing and able.

Just two days into their duty as the only cutter on Valdez port and pipeline security, the Anacapa received a call from Valdez MSO that the F/V Journeyman was sinking at the Valdez pier.

Anacapa crew started their four pumps to assist harbor personnel whose initial pumps were losing the battle. The crew also began removing snow from the finger float for additional emergency response personnel to get through.

When the vessel stopped gaining water, the Anacapa crew delayed their pumping and used the work skiff to move an oil containment boom around the vessel to prevent further pollution. The vessel was then completely pumped out.

The Anacapa crew’s fast action saved the boat from going down and polluting the harbor.

Much of the Anacapa’s time is spent patrolling a security zone around the pipeline terminal and the surrounding bays and sound. They have also escorted some tankers in and out of port.

“We have had to chip some ice in the morning, even off our small boat,” said Lt. White. “It has been cold here, about 15 degrees, but we’ve been busy. It’s pretty amazing, people’s houses are just buried. The guys appreciate southeast a little more now.”


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