Articles from the August 31, 2017 edition


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  • PMC & physicians face wrongful death claim

    Ron Loesch Publisher|Aug 31, 2017

    The Petersburg Medical Center and three of its physicians are being sued over a wrongful death claim being brought by Mary Katasse Miller. Superior Court Judge William Carey set the trial date for November 20, 2018 at a scheduling conference on August 21. Also named in the suit are PMC physicians Courtney Hess, M.D., Kris Sargeant, M.D. and Jennifer Hyer, M.D. Hess has been employed at PMC since July 2014, Sargeant since Aug. 2012 and Hyer since Aug. 2011. Miller represents the Estate of Malcom Miller and herself. Her late husband died on June...

  • Gone too soon

    Aug 31, 2017

    More than 30 people participated in the Children Gone too Soon walk in Petersburg on Saturday. Folks walked from 3rd Street to the end of the docks, where family and friends tossed flowers into the Narrows to commemorate children who died too soon....

  • NOAA frees tangled whale near Tracy Arm

    Kevin Gullufsen Juneau Empire|Aug 31, 2017

    A humpback whale near Tracy Arm became entangled in a cruise vessel’s anchor line for almost 12 hours Sunday morning, but was freed by a team of marine mammal entanglement experts Sunday afternoon. The humpback struck the Uncruise Adventures cruise vessel Wilderness Explorer at about 2:15 a.m. Sunday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said in a Monday press release. A responding team of marine mammal entanglement specialists believe they freed the whale by cutting an anchor chain at about 2 p.m. Sunday. “We are grateful to the cre...

  • Local rain: 2006, 2011, 2014, 2015 & 2017 are in top 10 wettest summers

    Ben Muir|Aug 31, 2017

    The rain in Petersburg came in consistent droves this summer, and temperatures were cooler than normal, leaving climatologists fixed on explaining sporadic weather patterns in the past and surely in the future. Petersburg experienced its seventh wettest summer since reports began at the National Weather Service in 1924 — yet there are two days left, said Rick Fritsch, the climate program leader with the department in Juneau. “You had an extraordinarily wet summer,” Fritsch said. “It’d be better if I reported how many days you didn’t ha...

  • Gillnet snags two bucks

    Aug 31, 2017

    A Rambler Street resident caught two bucks that became snared in a gillnet in their yard on Thursday August 24. According to the Petersburg Police Department an officer responded to the incident at 5:48 in the morning and was able to cut the gillnet from the antlers of the two deer. Gardeners often use gillnet to keep wildlife out of their gardens and flower beds....

  • Yesterday's News

    Aug 31, 2017

    August 31, 1917 – The Petersburg public schools open for the new term next Tuesday morning. Miss Burke, of Seattle to set to fill the vacancy left by Miss Murphy, of Montana. She is expected to arrive on the City of Seattle, together with Miss Kirchiem, from Tacoma. Miss Edna Miller, who has been attending the State Normal School at Bellingham for the summer term, has arrived back home on the Al-Ki. Miss Taylor, who has been here since early summer is the fourth member of the teaching corps. Arrangements as to grades to be taught by each w...

  • Assembly meets with hospital board to discuss relationship

    Ben Muir|Aug 31, 2017

    The hospital in Petersburg is an independent operation that makes its own decisions, despite being owned by the Borough. It makes finance decisions on its own with no proviso that the Borough oversee those moves. But one condition in the Borough Charter says the Petersburg Medical Center Board and the Assembly should meet annually. And they did last week — the first joint meeting since March 2015, confirmed by Borough Clerk Debbie Thompson. “There hasn’t been any dialogue between the Borough and the hospital,” said George Doyle, a hospita...

  • Correction:

    Aug 31, 2017

    There will be no school for Elementary School students on September 1. Labor Day will be observed on September 4 with no school district wide....

  • Ms. Pawuk's first day

    Aug 31, 2017

    Stephanie Pawuk started teaching at the Rae C. Stedman Elementary School this year. Here she is with her mix of third and fourth grade students on Monday, the first day of school....

  • Letter to The Editor

    Aug 31, 2017

    Tooth decay has gone down To the Editor: You may not have heard that tooth decay has gone down in all developed nations at about the same rate, whether their water is fluoridated or not. Strangely, most in the medical profession are also ignorant of this phenomenon. Yet data from the World Health Organization shows this trend: http://www.mah.se/CAPP/Country-Oral-Health-Profiles/. Here in the US in 1987, the National Institute of Dental Research conducted the largest government study ever done comparing fluoridated versus unfluoridated...

  • Police Report

    Aug 31, 2017

    Aug. 23 — A bear was reported on 4.5 St. Illegal camping was reported on Odin St. Police responded to a civil matter on Kiseno St. Police are investigating a theft at an undisclosed location. Aug. 24 — A disturbance was reported at the South Boat Harbor. Police responded to an alarm on Charles W St. Harassment was reported on S. Nordic Dr. Extra patrols were requested on Haugen Dr. Littering was under investigation at an undisclosed location. Two assaults were under investigation at undisclosed locations. An intoxicated person was reported on...

  • Court report

    Aug 31, 2017

    Aug. 10 — Judge Magistrate Burrell granted an exparte protective order against Thomas McKeon. Darci Lin Cook was granted a stalking petition against Samuel Jackson. A long-term hearing date was set for Aug. 25. Aug. 11 — Superior Court Judge Carey granted third party custody of Kenneth L. Birch, 36, to James Birch, the defendant’s father, on a 24/7 basis. Birch is charged with two counts of sexual assault. Aug. 16 — Beth Moreland entered a not guilty plea to charges of assault in the 4th degree. Judge Magistrate Burrell released the defenda...

  • Shellfish testing clears Pats Creek and Shoemaker

    Dan Rudy|Aug 31, 2017

    WRANGELL — The Wrangell Tribe’s environmental program office announced last week that most species of shellfish have been cleared for consumption at a pair of local beaches. On August 24 results from the week’s sampling had indicated levels of saxitoxin – the root cause of paralytic shellfish poisoning – evident in mussels at Pats Creek and Shoemaker Bay beaches had dropped below federal safety guidelines. Conducting the site testing, the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program had previously issued a warning for Pats in January a...

  • Petersburg opens its first nursing program

    Ben Muir|Aug 31, 2017

    Demand for nurses is growing in Alaska enough for Petersburg to open its first student-degree program with online lectures and on-island lab training. The program, sponsored by the University of Anchorage Alaska, started on Monday. The program is a two-year associate's degree with four students from Petersburg seeking to become a registered nurse with little travel off-island, said Nichole Mattingly, the local site coordinator. "In small communities like this we want to invest in nurses who are...

  • Report: Majority wants a new hospital, services, privacy

    Ben Muir|Aug 31, 2017

    The hospital in Petersburg is a Band-aid station that’s aging in sections invisible to the vast majority of the community. That is according to its consultant, Monica Gross, the author of a long term planning report for the Petersburg Medical Center that was released last week. In it, she outlines a range of surveys she conducted with hospital staff and community members with regard to remodeling or replacing the hospital. In a Hospital Board meeting last week, she first addressed an apparent misconception of the Medical Center, which is its f...

  • Salmon carcasses dumped near town

    Ben Muir|Aug 31, 2017

    Richard Lowell of Alaska Department of Fish and Game said he received a text message on Tuesday that read "this is why we have bears in town." Along with the text was a photograph of salmon carcasses sprawled across the center of Mill Slough in Petersburg. Reports of discarded salmon bodies near the city are common, unfortunately, and a significant driver of increased bear activity in residential areas, said Lowell. Those who get rid of fish on public or private land and along roads can see...

  • Ms. Dembs first day

    Aug 31, 2017

    Sara Dembs moved from Colorado to Haines a year ago and now lives in Petersburg, where her first day of full-time teaching fifth grade students was on Monday....

  • Heavy rain damages highway in Ketchikan, floods homes

    Aug 31, 2017

    KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Heavy rainfall in the southeast Alaska city of Ketchikan damaged a highway and flooded homes, one of them so badly that water poured out of one homeowner’s light fixture. Ketchikan received 7-10 inches (18-25 centimeters) of rain Monday into Tuesday, creating hazardous conditions, the Ketchikan Daily News reported. On Tuesday, the city recorded 4.18 inches (10.62 centimeters) of rain, nearly doubling the record set in 1917 for precipitation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It took...

  • New species of squid near Petersburg, researcher says

    Ben Muir|Aug 31, 2017

    There are new species of squid near Petersburg, and determining their population is like measuring fog, according to one researcher who has defied Alaska squid assumptions for years. In a presentation at the Public Library on Tuesday, Stephanie Hayes, a PhD student in Marine Biology, which she has refined to squid research, described the Armhook species. New to the Petersburg area, the Armhook Squid has increased in prevalence, despite being told that it hadn't been the case, Hayes said....

  • Fish Factor: The "bread and butter" salmon catches are far better than last year despite the 2017 statewide salmon take falling short

    Aug 31, 2017

    Alaska’s salmon season is winding down and while catches have made the record books in some regions, the statewide take will fall a bit short of the 204 million fish forecast. “We are within about 10 percent of the forecast, so that’s very positive and overall it’s been a pretty good season,” said Forrest Bowers, deputy director of the commercial fisheries division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The statewide salmon catch through Friday topped 191 million. The shortfall, Bowers said, again stems from the arrival of fewer pink salmon...

  • Wrangell auxiliary honored at national convention

    Dan Rudy|Aug 31, 2017

    WRANGELL - Women from the local American Legion Auxiliary took part in the national organization's 97th annual convention last week. Three members from Merlin Elmer Palmer, Auxiliary Unit 6, joined 1,500 other delegates, as well as alternates and guests from around the United States in Reno, Nevada. Accompanied by Barbara Hommel and Zona Gregg, respectively the chapter's vice president and treasurer, president Marilyn Mork was recognized as Alaska's Woman of the Year. "I was kind of surprised...

  • Alaska court upholds cut to checks from oil-wealth fund

    Aug 31, 2017

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Bill Walker acted within his authority last year in reducing the amount set aside for checks from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund to state residents. The decision released Friday sided with the state, as a lower court had, in the dispute over Alaska Permanent Fund dividends. The case was brought by Democratic state Sen. Bill Wielechowski and two former legislators, who argued that the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. last year was required by law to make available nearly $1.4 billion f...

  • Access improved at Anan, first phase in overhaul

    Dan Rudy|Aug 31, 2017

    WRANGELL - Improvements to the observatory at Anan Creek are complete, improving access and security for one of Wrangell's top visitor attractions. Managed by the Forest Service, Anan Wildlife Observatory is best known for its bear population, one of the few where brown and black bears can be observed feeding together nonconfrontationally. Along with LeConte Glacier and the Stikine River, the sites brought in half of Wrangell's total tourism earnings in 2014, or $2 million, according to a study...

  • Judge approves $1M loan for Alaska newspaper amid bankruptcy

    Aug 31, 2017

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a $1 million loan for the Alaska Dispatch News to keep it operating as negotiations continue with potential buyers. The newspaper will use the loan from potential buyers approved Monday to continue paying insurance premiums and employees, KTUU-TV reported. Without the loan, Alaska Dispatch News could not afford its ongoing expenses and would have to fold, said Cabot Christianson, the newspaper’s lawyer. The Anchorage-based newspaper filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 12. Last week, a j...

  • Salmon Harvest Week 34 & 35

    Aug 31, 2017

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