Articles from the July 30, 2020 edition


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  • Four dead in car crash

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    Four individuals died in a car crash that occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday morning on Mitkof Island when their SUV drove off the roadway near the 27 mile marker of Mitkof Highway at a high rate of speed, according to a press release from the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Two of the passengers were Wrangell citizens Siguard Decker, 21, and Helen Decker, 19, according to the ADPS press release. Another passenger was identified as 29-year-old Ian Martin of Petersburg, according to...

  • Staff shortage at PO leads to long lines

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    With the retirement of one long time postal employee and the resignation of another, the Petersburg Post Office has been left short staffed, causing shorter window hours and longer wait times, according to James Boxrud, a spokesperson with the United States Postal Service. The local post office is normally staffed with four employees, including Postmaster Kim Aulbach. Recently, all the postal duties have fallen on Aulbach and one other employee while USPS prepares to send two employees from...

  • Two active cases of Covid-19 virus not in town

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    Two positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified among non-residents who arrived in the community on July 20, according to a joint-statement between the Petersburg Borough and Petersburg Medical Center on July 23. As of Wednesday morning, the borough was still reporting both positive cases of the virus as active. Borough Incident Commander Karl Hagerman said on Friday, July 24 that the two individuals submitted test samples upon arrival at the James A. Johnson Airport and immediately got onto...

  • Assembly renews interim emergency provisions

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    The Petersburg Borough Assembly extended the borough's temporary civil emergency provisions emergency ordinance for a third time at a special meeting on Friday, July 24 after three amendments were made to the document. The temporary civil emergency provisions ordinance lays out how the borough would respond to an emergency and the authority that the borough manager and incident commander have in an emergency situation. "I hope everybody on the assembly and the community can see the pandemic is...

  • Clarification:

    Jul 30, 2020

    In last week’s paper, the Petersburg Pilot published a story titled, “SEAPA awards bid for submarine cable,” which cited SEAPA Board Chairman Bob Lynn as saying SEAPA had awarded the submarine cable bid to Sumitomo, a Japanese firm. The Pilot was contacted on Thursday, July 23 by SEAPA CEO Trey Acteson after the paper was printed. He said SEAPA had only issued an intent to award the bid for the submarine cable and had not officially awarded the bid to Sumitomo. Acteson also corrected Lynn’s statement that the project was expected to cost be...

  • State chose unpopular courthouse color

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    Since 1984, the building that houses the Petersburg Courthouse has been painted white with brown trim running along the top edge of the building and down the front, but the colors have been inverted in a recent paint job leaving residents to question the decision to paint a large downtown building brown. One might blame the owner of the building, Jesse Olson of Blue Glacier LLC, for the choice of paint, but he said he didn't pick the paint color. The Alaska Court System did. Olson bought the...

  • SEC survey shows bleak economic outlook

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    The Southeast Conference released the results of a business survey the organization conducted in June that shows all responding businesses, including those in Petersburg, reporting significant financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's basically a snapshot where businesses in the region think the economy is going," said Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Board Vice President Dave Kensinger. "We see the survey, and it's pretty grim." A total of 460 businesses from 23 communities in...

  • Flor's painting accepted in national exhibition

    Jul 30, 2020

    Beth Flor has been accepted in the 85th Cooperstown National Juried Exhibition. The oil painting Pie Day was selected by juror Emma Golden. The exhibit will be online this year due to Covid 19, running from July 10 - Aug. 13. The painting Red Door, Light-play was also chosen for inclusion this spring in The International Guild of Realisms Exhibit. It was Flor's first acceptance from the organization....

  • Man overboard in Kah Sheets Bay

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    The United States Coast Guard transported two people, and two dogs, to Petersburg after their skiff became stuck underneath an overhanding tree in Kah Sheets Bay on Sunday, according to a USCG press release. Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report from a Good Samaritan of a man overboard in Kah Sheets Bay, according to the press release. The owner of the skiff had fallen into the water when the vessel became wedged underneath an overhanging tree, according to the press release. The man...

  • Power outages in two cities may be linked

    Brian Varela|Jul 30, 2020

    At 12:27 P.M. on Saturday, power went out in parts of Petersburg. Three minutes later, downtown Wrangell was also left in the dark, leaving Petersburg and Wrangell officials to think that the two incidents were related. "The issues in both communities seem too close together to be considered a coincidence, but no one has been able to explain why the cutout failure in Petersburg caused a feeder in Wrangell to drop out," said Petersburg Utility Director Karl Hagerman in a statement to the...

  • Moderate aftershock of magnitude 7.8 quake off Alaska felt

    Jul 30, 2020

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A moderate earthquake, an aftershock of last week’s magnitude 7.8 quake off the Alaska Peninsula, occurred in the same region Monday, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. The center said Monday’s quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 and was located at a depth of about 18 miles (29 km). It was centered about 80 miles (129 km) from King Cove, where it was lightly felt, the center said. The King Cove Department of Public Safety sent a notice to residents stating that continued aftershocks were expected. A magni...

  • Three new COVID cases over four days in Wrangell

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 30, 2020

    WRANGELL - Three new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Wrangell over a period of four days this past week. This has brought the total number of cases of the virus in town up to 12. The first case in this string, case no. 10, was announced Friday, July 24. During the initial announcement, it was not known if this case was from a local or a nonresident. This information was updated the next day, July 25, with the announcement of case no. 11. Both cases 10 and 11 were confirmed to be Wrangell...

  • Juneau mulls move to prevent discrimination in local laws

    Jul 30, 2020

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau officials are considering an ordinance that would create a committee to ensure that future local laws are not racist or discriminatory. The proposal to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly is a response to community pressure to establish oversight committees for city departments including schools, police and the assembly itself, The Juneau Empire reported Sunday. Assembly member Rob Edwardson introduced the ordinance last week to create a new seven-person committee with members who have experience identifying u...

  • Ranger district planning for Roosevelt Harbor restoration project

    Caleb Vierkant|Jul 30, 2020

    WRANGELL - The Wrangell Ranger District is beginning the planning process for a restoration of the Roosevelt Harbor area. The harbor, located on Zarembo Island west of Wrangell, is graded inadequately and has poor drainage. According to a document provided by District Ranger Clint Kolarich, this leaves the site and the harbor itself vulnerable to pollutants and erosion. A rough outline of the plan is to add base surface material to the existing grade of the existing Forest Service...

  • 56 workers positive for COVID-19 at Anchorage seafood plant

    Jul 30, 2020

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A seafood processing plant in Anchorage has found 56 employees tested positive for COVID-19, marking the latest outbreak in the industry, health officials said. The Anchorage Health Department announced Friday that testing was conducted between July 17 and July 22, and more workers could test positive as 30 test results are still pending. The plant is owned by Copper River Seafoods and employs 134 workers, many who live in the city. “This is a concerning situation for the people of Anchorage,” said Bruce Chand...

  • Fish Factor: Seafood industry stakeholders have chances to provide input on policy decisions that affect them; for several, window is tight

    Laine Welch|Jul 30, 2020

    Alaska’s seafood industry stakeholders have a four bagger chance to provide input on policy decisions that directly affect their livelihoods: trade, relief payouts for cod and salmon, Board of Fisheries meeting plans and appointees. For several, the window of opportunity is tight. Here is the line-up according to the deadline dates for comments: 1. Trade input - By August 1 suggestions are invited for a newly-established seafood trade task force to be chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative and the Dept. of Commerce. The chance to provide i...

  • Looking for ma

    Jul 30, 2020

    A young moose makes its way along the waterfront on Kupreanof Island near Reinarts' Cabin....

  • Letters to the Editor

    Jul 30, 2020

    Some people afraid of facts, prefer conspiracies To the Editor: I would like to thank Karl, Phil, Liz, Jennifer, Erin, and all the borough and medical staff who are helping us through the worst pandemic since 1918. Karl, I know from my time on the council and assembly, is the most capable employee in our borough. He is honest, hard working, and always reliable. Phil is the best medical center administrator in the 27 years I have lived here. These people are using scientists, epidemiologists, med...

  • Police report

    Jul 30, 2020

    July 22 — Extra patrols were conducted at the one mile mark of Mitkof Highway. An individual was found trespassing in a vehicle at a location on Haugen Dr. Brandon Johnson, 37, was arrested per bench warrant. July 23 — Disturbances were reported at 103 S. 3rd St. and at a location on S. Nordic Dr. Extra patrols were requested on S. Nordic Dr. and Lumber St. A burglar alarm was activated at a location on Haugen Dr. July 24 — Authorities conducted the warrant arrest of Jacob Sturgeon. Samuel Nelson was arrested on charges of violating conditions...

  • Court report

    Jul 30, 2020

    June 30 – Julia Brusell was released O.R. on a charge of violating conditions of release. Defendant was given strict conditions not to possess or consume alcohol or illegal drugs, be subject to search for prohibited items and not go onto the Narrows Inn property. July 7 – Garitt L. Johnston entered not guilty pleas to charges of wanton waste of big game (two counts), hunting bag limits on moose (two counts) and big game unlawful methods. Defendant was released on $500 cash performance bond with additional conditions. July 8 – Brian T. Sterb...

  • A floral appreciation

    Jul 30, 2020

    Twenty-one Petersburg residents pitched in to a GoFundMe to provide flowers for the cookhouse/breakroom tables at OBI Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Tonka Seafoods, thanking the visiting processors for their extra hard work this summer....

  • Artifact Archive: The Songs of Norway fire

    Jul 30, 2020

    On a freezing cold December evening in 1919, the fishermen's buyers cooperative in the Sons of Norway building became engulfed in flame, presumably from an electrical fire that had started upstairs. Nearby buildings were saved due to a lack of wind and owing to a protective layer of winter snow and ice. The building was too smokey for firemen to enter, and the engine used to pump water initially failed. Unfortunately, the building and contents were a total loss. Soon after, the community...

  • Cruising in luxury

    Jul 30, 2020

    Jimmy Jones' 100 meter yacht heads north up the Wrangell Narrows Sunday morning. Jones owns the Dallas Cowboys....

  • Work day on the water

    Jul 30, 2020

    Margaret Agner dresses a halibut onboard the F/V Vena Lee on July 16....

  • Yesterday's News

    Jul 30, 2020

    July 30, 1920 A post of the American Legion was recently organized in Petersburg with 16 charter members. The organization of the Post has placed Petersburg in line with other Alaska towns that contributed toward Victory by sending her boys to the war and it is hoped that the local post will prosper and thrive as it deserves. Every person who served in the Army, Navy or Marine Corps between the dates of April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 are eligible for membership. July 27, 1945 Because of the recent increase in motorboat explosions and...

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