Articles written by Dan Rudy


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  • Wrangell golf tournament rallying funds for cancer care

    Dan Rudy|Aug 2, 2018

    WRANGELL - The hospital's charitable foundation is planning a big weekend August 11 and 12 for its annual golf tournament, hoping to boost its cancer care travel fund. The Wrangell Medical Center Foundation was established in 2007 with three goals in mind, among them supporting equipment needs at the hospital and providing health career scholarships to prospective students. It also has over the past decade distributed $97,000 in grants to individuals undergoing treatment for various iterations...

  • Courts to consolidate Wrangell magistrate spot

    Dan Rudy|Jul 19, 2018

    WRANGELL - Magistrate Judge Desi Burrell will assume the duties fulfilled by Wrangell's Chris Ellis for the past 14 years. Chris Ellis had worked the magisterial track within the Alaska Court System for 30 years before retiring last month. Spending the first half of her service on the Seward Peninsula and Prince of Wales Island, Ellis served the court in Wrangell for 14 years. With her departure, ACS has decided to consolidate the position with surrounding courts. Magistrate Desi Burrell of the...

  • Local businesses highlighted in regional competition

    Dan Rudy|Jul 12, 2018

    On Monday organizers of the regional business development competition Path to Prosperity announced their 12 finalists for 2018, three of which come from Petersburg and Wrangell. Focused on encouraging entrepreneurship in Southeast Alaska communities, P2P is a programming partnership between Spruce Root Inc. and The Nature Conservancy. The latter is an environmental organization centered in Arlington, Virginia, while the former is a rebranding of Haa Aaní Economic Development and its associated...

  • Wrangell magistrate judge retires after 30 years

    Dan Rudy|Jun 28, 2018

    WRANGELL - After 30 years on the bench, Wrangell's district magistrate will conclude her legal career today. Chris Ellis has served as a magistrate judge for First District Court in Wrangell for 14 of those years, with most of her preceding tenure spent in Craig. When she graduated with her bachelor's degree in 1973, law hadn't been on her mind, but Alaska was. "Basically I studied anthropology with a specialty in archaeology, and my goal was to come to Alaska," she said. Ellis found herself dra...

  • Water in Wrangell seems to be fine at start of summer

    Dan Rudy|Jun 28, 2018

    WRANGELL - The glass appears to be on the half-full side for Wrangell's water situation, as the season for peak usage of the resource starts up. "Our outlook is very good right now," reported Amber Al-Haddad, director for Public Works. While reservoir levels have dropped slightly since the spring due to drier than usual weather conditions, raw water reserves are still looking healthy. The city's treated water supply comes from a pair of open reservoirs, with the treatment plant drawing from the...

  • Search underway for multiple vacancies in Wrangell

    Dan Rudy|Jun 28, 2018

    WRANGELL — The hunt is on for a whole crop of high-level management positions in different city departments. The City and Borough of Wrangell is in the early stages of finding replacements for the heads of the Nolan Center, Wrangell Municipal Light and Power and Public Works, plus the city’s top accountant and a newly-created maintenance lead position. The tidal wave of turnover started on April 16, when WMLP superintendent Clay Hammer stepped down in order to head projects for Southeast Alaska Power Agency. City manager Lisa Von Bargen rep...

  • SEARHC confirms affiliation with Wrangell on hospital

    Dan Rudy|Jun 21, 2018

    WRANGELL — In a press release last Friday, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium announced it will officially move forward with formalizing an affiliation with the City and Borough of Wrangell regarding the future of its municipal hospital. The decision follows one reached unanimously by the Wrangell Assembly on June 12, and sets into motion a transfer of operations of Wrangell Medical Center to SEARHC. Initially, the regional provider will acquire the local hospital and assume its ope...

  • District 35 candidates preparing for upcoming elections

    Dan Rudy|Jun 21, 2018

    With the legislative season wrapping up in May, candidates for Alaska's primaries and general elections have begun preparing themselves for voters' consideration in the coming months. This year House District 35 can expect to see a competitive race for its Republican Party primary in August, with Democratic incumbent Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins running unopposed in his party's primary. District 35 encompasses much of Central Southeast, including the communities of Petersburg, Sitka, Hoonah and...

  • Accident at Wrangell bridge results in two fatalities

    Dan Rudy|Jun 14, 2018

    WRANGELL - A bridgeside traffic accident was discovered Monday evening, one which resulted in two fatalities and left two more passengers critically injured. Rainie Doak was traveling with her three children northbound on Zimovia Highway late Sunday or early Monday morning. Doak is believed to have been at the wheel when the Ford Expedition lost control approaching the Pats Creek Bridge, about 12 miles south of Wrangell. The road approaches the bridge at an angle and conditions that evening had...

  • Track & field wraps up season at State

    Dan Rudy|May 31, 2018

    Petersburg High School's track and field team set some personal records at State in Palmer over the weekend, with one of the Lady Vikings' squads bringing home a championship. "The kids did great," Coach Brad Taylor recounted. "It was a lot of fun. The majority of the kids were freshmen, their very first state meet. They had a blast." The team took off last Wednesday, getting in some practice time before their preliminaries. The women's 800m relay team brought home gold medals in their event,...

  • SEARHC-WMC deal looks promising, parties say

    Dan Rudy|May 31, 2018

    WRANGELL - After a series of meetings and public presentations last week, a proposed acquisition of Wrangell Medical Center by a regional health group looks more probable. Southeast Alaska Rural Health Consortium has expressed interest in administering the municipal hospital, which has been in a prolonged state of financial difficulty. At the Wrangell Assembly's most recent meeting last Tuesday, WMC chief executive officer Robert Rang reported having only 13 days' cash on hand with which to...

  • Governor Walker makes stop for Mayfest

    Dan Rudy|May 24, 2018

    Gov. Bill Walker stopped in Petersburg for a brief visit Friday, making the rounds for meetings and taking some time to participate in its Little Norway festivities. "It's perfect. I can't complain about a day like today," Walker commented, noting the afternoon's cloudless sunshine. He had attended Petersburg's distinctive festival before, but this year's trip was his first since being elected as governor four years ago. "I came down obviously to meet with various folks, but I was also in the...

  • Track and field take silvers at Region V, Stateward bound

    Dan Rudy|May 24, 2018

    Petersburg's track and field teams each placed second at regionals for their divisions, with most of the team heading next to State this weekend. Competing at Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau, 21 of the team's 28 athletes qualified for the state-level meet in Anchorage, with a number of personal records set across the board. "It went great. We had 23 PRs on the first day, and I didn't even count the ones on the second day," remarked Brad Taylor, the Vikings coach. For the girls, freshman...

  • Tribal members take field trip to Anan Creek

    Dan Rudy|May 24, 2018

    WRANGELL - A group of Tlingit residents had a unique opportunity for an historical site visit with state archaeologists last week at Anan Creek, revisiting a traditional fishing ground. Now known best for its bear observatory, what draws those bears is the creek's yearly run of salmon. This salmon run at Anan has long been a source of food for the nearby population as well, as attested to by the remnants of a tidal fish trap still near the creek on Sealaska Corporation lands. The United States...

  • Track girls take top place at Ketchikan invite, boys second

    Dan Rudy|May 17, 2018

    Petersburg’s track and field team had a productive weekend, competing at Ketchikan’s May Invite against the hosting high school and Thorne Bay. The Lady Vikings had the run of the board at Esther Shea Field, with its athletes taking first in most events. The team’s younger runners saw success on the track, with sophomore Elizabeth Gregoire placing first in the 100- and 200-meter events. She had company, with classmate Kianna Kivisto placing just behind in second in both events. In the 100m, freshmen Allison Davis and Ruby Massin placed third...

  • SEARHC meetings to lay out Wrangell hospital acquisition likelihood

    Dan Rudy|May 17, 2018

    WRANGELL — A series of meetings between Southeast Alaska Rural Health Consortium and the City and Borough of Wrangell are planned for early next week. The regional health group is entertaining making an offer to assume control of Wrangell Medical Center, a municipally-run critical access hospital which has in recent years fallen into financial difficulties. Starting Sunday afternoon and lasting through Tuesday, SEARHC will hold a series of meetings with city staff, hospital transition steering committee members and the wider community, in o...

  • Wrangell centenarian honored by state for longevity

    Dan Rudy|May 17, 2018

    WRANGELL - Designating this May as Older Americans Month in Alaska, Gov. Bill Walker recognized Wrangell's oldest resident along with other centenarians across the state. In a special luncheon at the Wrangell Senior Center, Lawrence Bahovec was presented with a personalized commendation as a distinguished citizen. At 101 years old, Bahovec is one of 83 Alaskans who have reached the milestone, and was among the 21 other residents of the state so honored with this month's commendations....

  • State nutrition group recognizes 2018 award winner

    Dan Rudy|May 10, 2018

    In a media release posted this week, the Alaska School Nutrition Association named Carlee Rae Johnson as its Director of the Year. The nutrition director for the Petersburg School District since 2011, Johnson has put much effort into widening its local lunch program's menu options. "She does all these amazing things with this limited equipment," said Erica Kludt-Painter, PSD superintendent. "Our facilities are very minimal," Johnson explained. "We have basically only a double convection oven....

  • Hometown track star named rookie of the year

    Dan Rudy|May 10, 2018

    A track and field star from Petersburg High School's graduating class of 2017, Izabelle Ith has continued to make her mark at the collegiate level. This month Ith was honored by the New England Small College Athletic Conference for her achievements on the track, following the conference's championship meet on April 28. Currently attending Williams College in Massachusetts, Ith was named a NESCAC Rookie Most Outstanding Performer. During last month's championship meet – her first – Ith won the...

  • Some firsts and records set in Thunder Mt. meet

    Dan Rudy|May 10, 2018

    The high school’s track and field team headed to Thunder Mountain over the weekend to take part in the annual Capital Invitational. “It was a good meet for us,” said Brad Taylor, Petersburg’s track coach. “We had some outstanding performances.” One of the stand-out showings was from freshman Maia Cowan, whose 3200-meter run at 11:53.32 set a personal best and beat the school’s standing record by 14 seconds. “It was super good,” said Taylor. “It was a significant record for us.” Sophomore Isaac Taylor also had a good performance in the tr...

  • Both Wrangell reservoirs are overflowing

    Dan Rudy|May 10, 2018

    WRANGELL - Wrangell's water situation seems stable heading into the summer, with both reservoirs "overflowing" according to the latest update from Public Works. A combination of factors led to the enforcement of conservation measures through the month of March, including low precipitation, a lengthy winter and high demand. During the winter, demand by the first week of February had spiked to 1,151,000 gallons per day, which for the previous year was second only to a summertime high the first...

  • Wrangell wetlands mapping could encourage fish and development

    Dan Rudy|May 10, 2018

    WRANGELL — A regional nonprofit will be conducting a survey of Wrangell’s watersheds this summer in an attempt to encourage wetlands conservation. Angie Flickinger is the Wrangell area coordinator for Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, a regional consortium of community organizations interested in managing watersheds and resources. What the group would like to do is inspect streams, culverts and other aquatic habitats and identify opportunities for their improvement or restoration. Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, wetlands and wat...

  • Byford monofill on hold again for possible finance boost

    Dan Rudy|May 10, 2018

    WRANGELL — At a public presentation at the Nolan Center on Monday, staff with the Department of Environmental Conservation and its contractors updated Wrangell on the status of a proposed monofill site on the island. A designated monofill to house around 18,500 cubic yards of contaminated earth from the former Byford junkyard is planned to be sited at a state-owned rock pit. Accessible by Forest Service roads along Pats Creek, the project’s nearness to the popular fishing stream has been a point of contention for some residents. Wrangell Coo...

  • Stikine king salmon subsistence fishery to be closed

    Dan Rudy|May 3, 2018

    The Federal Subsistence Board announced on Monday it will be closing its Chinook salmon subsistence fishery in the Stikine River this year due to low expected returns. Under the authority delegated him by the board, Ranger Bob Dalrymple of Wrangell's Forest Service district made the decision to close down the fishery. Preseason forecasts made by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game informed the decision, with 6,900 king salmon greater than 28 inches in length expected to return. Management...

  • Abandoned carmageddon in neutral as Wrangell weighs options

    Dan Rudy|May 3, 2018

    WRANGELL — The city is inching toward a planned purge of the island’s abandoned vehicles and assorted clutter. The unsightly problem has been a longstanding issue in public parking spaces such as at Shoemaker Bay Harbor, with unroadworthy vehicles left there to the elements. But under municipal code junk vehicles on private property are also not allowed, and the rule extends to other collections on display deemed to be a “nuisance” by authorities. This means disused vehicles like cars and boats, rusting piles of scrap or broken equipme...

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