Articles from the March 25, 2021 edition


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  • Assembly lists planning for PMC facility as priority

    Brian Varela, Pilot writer|Mar 25, 2021

    The Borough Assembly created a list of its top three capital project priorities for the 2022 fiscal year at their meeting on Monday that could potentially be funded by the federal government. In no particular order, the Borough Assembly chose a $16.2 million priority that would finalize the planning for a new Petersburg Medical Center facility, a project that would add ramps to South Boat Harbor totaling $1.7 million and the expansion and improvement of remote access facilities for a total of...

  • PMHS to transfer services to SEARHC

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    Petersburg Mental Health Services will be shifting its services and staff over to Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium beginning April 1. The decision to transfer services to SEARHC is a result of a series of funding cuts, according to Susan Ohmer, executive director and founder of PMHS, in a letter to the public. Although SEARHC will be taking over PMHS' services, SEARHC will maintain the same office and has offered PMHS providers the opportunity to keep working for the organization. "I...

  • PCOC to host 2021 LNF

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    The Petersburg Chamber of Commerce has announced that it will be hosting the Little Norway Festival this year, but it will be taking precautions to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. Chamber administrator Mindy Lopez said the Little Norway Festival Committee has been planning for the festival since January but has only recently made the commitment to hold Mayfest this year. The Little Norway Festival will be held from May 13 through May 16 and is going to look a bit different from past...

  • Yesterday's News

    Mar 25, 2021

    March 25, 1921 Under the names of the “Gold Dollar Brand” the first shrimp and crab were packed at the Elson and Malcom cannery this week, marking a distinct step in the utilization of the shrimp of Alaska. The cannery, which is fitted up in the old Trading Union warehouse on Main Street, is modern and clean and every precaution is taken to insure an absolutely clean pack. On account of the icy coldness of the waters from which the shrimp and crab are taken, and the difference in the natural food, the Alaskan crab and the shrimp are dec...

  • Assembly, PMC board to mull new facility

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    The Borough Assembly set April 28 as a potential date to hold a work session with the Petersburg Medical Center Board of Directors to discuss a new hospital facility at their Monday night meeting. The Borough Assembly was unanimously in its support of the meeting between the two entities, which is supposed to happen at least once a year. Assembly Member Bob Lynn, who is the assembly's liaison to the hospital board, said the work session would allow the assembly to ask questions about the new fac...

  • EOC moves community back to low risk of COVID-19

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    The Petersburg Emergency Operations Center reassessed the local COVID-19 risk level on Monday and lowered the community from a moderate risk to a low risk level. The decision comes as Petersburg recovers from a local outbreak. Petersburg was at a red risk level or COVID-19 transmission for 22 days. The community was at an orange risk level for just one week before the EOC lowered it down to yellow. As of Wednesday, Petersburg has gone over seven days without a new case of COVID-19 being reported...

  • Sprinkler failure

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Motor Pool to get vehicle lift

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    The Borough Assembly approved the purchase of a $54,952.47 mobile vehicle lift for the Motor Pool Department at their meeting on Monday. The four-column, mobile vehicle lift system will be purchased with funds from the Public Works Department, Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department and Petersburg Municipal Power & Light motor pool balances, according to Public Work Director Chris Cotta. In the 2021 fiscal year budget, the borough had allocated $54,000 for a vehicle lift. Cotta said the additional...

  • Guest Editorial

    Wrangell Sentinel|Mar 25, 2021

    The governor will go to great lengths to avoid supporting a tax — any tax — but taxes are how people pay for public services. Instead of thinking about the public, his administration’s latest ill-conceived plan is to close Division of Motor Vehicle offices in six small communities so that he can claim budget savings of $500,000 a year. Of course, what the state may save, the public would have to pay — and more. The administration has proposed contracting with private operators to provide driver’s license and vehicle registration services...

  • Court report

    Mar 25, 2021

    Mar. 18 – Jerome Edward Dahl Jr. entered a guilty plea to charges of size limit for Tanner Crab, first offense. The court sentenced the defendant to a $3,000 fine with $1500 suspended, 1-year probation, pay $20 surcharge and ordered the forfeiture of the crab. Mar. 17 – Osvaldo Mulero-Cruz entered a guilty plea to charges of driving without a valid operator’s license. The court sentenced the defendant to a $150 fine that will be dismissed if the defendant can provide a valid driver’s license to the court. The defendant will pay a $20 surchar...

  • Police report

    Mar 25, 2021

    March 17— Extra patrols were requested at two undisclosed locations. A vehicle became stuck at a location on S. Nordic Dr. The vehicle was later towed. March 18— Authorities responded to a report of small children walking around at a location on Fram St. without adult supervision. A deceased animal was reported at a location on Wrangell Ave. Extra patrols were requested at an undisclosed location. March 19— Excessive noise was coming from a home located on Mitkof Highway. An ID was found and turned over to authorities. A bag of clothing found...

  • Small, large vaccine clinics planned for April

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    Petersburg Medical Center will be holding a combination of small and large COVID-19 vaccination clinics in April as the community reaches a full vaccinated population of 33.9 percent, or 1,085 people, according to the borough's COVID-19 Dashboard. PMC Director of Nursing Jennifer Bryner said at the COVID-19 community update on March 19 that the hospital will be holding a smaller COVID-19 vaccine clinic at PMC for residents receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in early April. On Apri...

  • Higher oil prices, federal aid ease state budget woes

    Larry Persily, Wrangell Sentinel writer|Mar 25, 2021

    Legislators started the session in January amid a shortage of revenues and debate whether the state could even afford a dividend this fall unless it exceeded its annual limited draw from the Permanent Fund. Significantly higher oil prices and more than $1 billion from this month's federal pandemic aid package may fix both problems, though only temporarily. The Alaska Department of Revenue told legislators last week that higher oil prices could produce an additional $790 million in revenues this...

  • Alaska Fish Factor

    Laine Welch|Mar 25, 2021

    Halibut prices for Alaska fishermen for 2021 have started out significantly higher than last year, despite sluggish demand and transportation logjams in some regions. The Pacific halibut fishery opened on March 6 and two weeks later only 80 deliveries were made, 46 at Southeast ports and 34 from the Central Gulf, totaling 355,524 pounds. Most landings appeared to be small lots that were purchased on consignment. The first fish typically fetches higher prices and then drops off as the season progresses. No Alaska ports reported paying under $5...

  • Obituary: Patricia "Pat" Reid Hinde

    Mar 25, 2021

    Pat passed peacefully at home in Petersburg, Alaska on March 18, 2021. She was the youngest of six siblings born to Ben and Myrtle Reid in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 23, 1938. She graduated Lake Worth College, Florida with a degree in early childhood education. In 1977 Pat met and married the love of her life, Robert "Bob" Hinde, in Ventura, California. Wanting an adventure, they traveled north up the Pacific coast until Bob took a job with the ADF&G as an engineer on the M/V Polaris... Full story

  • GCI will move call-center operations overseas

    Wrangell Sentinel staff|Mar 25, 2021

    GCI, the largest telecommunications provider in the state, is planning to move all of its call-center operations out of Alaska and will contract with a third-party vendor to provide the service from the Philippines. The move will start this summer, according to a report in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Saturday. The company, which provides cable television, internet, cell and wired telephone services in Alaska, has had a hard time filling its call-center jobs, said Heather Handyside, vice president for corporate communications at GCI....

  • Museum News

    Mar 25, 2021

    The Arctic Brotherhood was one of the early organizations formed in the northern territory, as a fraternal organization exclusively for white males over 18. It began with a group of gold seekers sailing to Alaska by steamer in 1899. Their constitution stated that they espoused intellectual and social intercourse and to advance the interest of the Northwest Section of North America. Despite that lofty sentiment, the dollar initiation fees were often spent on entertaining members. The...

  • Flor's painting accepted in the International Guild of Realism 2021 Spring Salon Online International Exhibit

    Mar 25, 2021

    Beth Flor has been accepted into the International Guild of Realism 2021 Spring Salon Online International Exhibit which is for juried members only. The painting Cabbage Heart was selected for the show running from March 20 - May 20 and may be seen on the guild's website. Beth's painting Spring Row will also be included in the Spring Show at Fountainhead Gallery in Seattle in April....

  • FBI arrests Wasilla man on Capitol riot charges

    Mar 25, 2021

    ANCHORAGE (AP) – A Wasilla construction worker faces federal charges in the January breach of the U.S. Capitol. Aaron James Mileur, 41, was arrested March 16 by the FBI on charges of knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on U.S. Capitol grounds. The charges stemming from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol are misdemeanors. The case had been sealed until his arrest. He made an initial appearance March 16 in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, where federal prosecutors did not ask t...

  • First Sitka test set conducted

    Mar 25, 2021

    Wednesday’s aerial herring survey covered Sitka Sound from Redoubt Bay to Shoals Point and north to Krestof Sound. Weather during the flight was poor with 20-knot winds, low overcast, and occasional snow flurries. No herring or herring spawn were observed. The highest concentrations of herring predators were observed near Vitskari Rocks, Bieli Rock, and east of Middle Island. Numerous whales were seen working the deeper waters east of Vitskari Rocks and near Bieli Rock. Two whales were also observed east of Middle Island. Groups of sea lions w...

  • Sunset at week's end

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Six residents test positive for COVID-19

    Brian Varela|Mar 25, 2021

    Six cases of COVID-19 were reported in Petersburg on Monday, according to a joint press release from the Petersburg Borough and Petersburg Medical Center. Five of the cases were identified through PMC's symptomatic testing, and one case was identified through the asymptomatic testing at the Petersburg James A. Johnson Airport. Public Health investigation will determine if any of these cases are connected to the previous Petersburg outbreak. All positive cases have been directed to isolate by... Full story

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