News / Petersburg

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  • Informational signs installed at Sandy Beach; City Creek Trail extension in the works

    Liam Demko|Jun 13, 2024

    In the past week, four informational signs were installed on a newly constructed plaza at Sandy Beach Park - bringing to life the first phase of the Hutli Project. The Hutli Project -a collaboration between the Petersburg Indian Association and an advisory committee including members from PIA, the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition, Petersburg Parks & Recreation, the US Forest Service, and others- aims to tell the story of Petersburg's Indigenous population through the further development of...

  • The Full PDF of this week's Petersburg Pilot

    Jun 13, 2024

    Subscribers log in for access to this week's PDF .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Subscribers, click here for the Full PDF of this week's Petersburg Pilot...

  • Alaska State Troopers identify boater killed in collision near Petersburg

    Hannah Flor, KFSK Radio|Jun 13, 2024

    Alaska State Troopers have identified the person who died in a boating accident near Petersburg last week as Susan Paul, age 73 of California. She was in a 20-foot Hewescraft skiff that sank after a collision with a larger seine boat. A spokesperson with the U.S. Coast Guard, which is leading the investigation, says it's unclear what led to the accident. A second person on board the skiff - 71-year-old Gordon Paul also of California - survived. He was taken to a local hospital after the two...

  • School district passes FY25 budget

    Orin Pierson|Jun 13, 2024

    Petersburg School Board unanimously passed the district's FY25 budget at their regular meeting on Tuesday. This year, more of the budget is going to instruction and less to operations and maintenance, summarized PSD Finance Director Shannon Baird. The budget estimates 450 students will be enrolled in the school district in the 2024/2025 school year. That number is around 19 students fewer than the school year which has just ended. Because the base student allocation has remained flat for yet...

  • Library launches improved summer reading programs

    Liam Demko|Jun 13, 2024

    While Petersburg residents are hoping to trade rainy days for sun, the public library is encouraging kids and readers of all ages to trade in pages for prizes with their annual summer reading programs. Baby Shrimp - the library's playful parenting program for kids ages 0-3 - and Summer Stream - their flagship program for kids ages 3-12 - have both gone through major restructuring this year, while the Go Wild program is continuing to invite teens and adults to join in on the activities. "There's...

  • Petersburg jury finds couple liable for defaming former police officer

    Shelby Herbert, KFSK Radio|Jun 13, 2024

    A Petersburg jury has found residents Julie Ruhle and Jim Vick liable for defaming a former police officer. Two years ago, the couple pled guilty in a criminal court to falsely accusing Louis Waechter of sexually assaulting Ruhle during a traffic stop. Now, the couple is obligated to pay over $1.5 million in damages. The jury handed down their first verdict on May 22, after less than a day of deliberation. Their second verdict, determining punitive damages, came the following day. According to...

  • Food insecurity persists, local nonprofit asks for help

    Orin Pierson|Jun 13, 2024

    Alaskans, including many in Petersburg, have experienced heightened food insecurity for the past several years - ever since the Dunleavy administration cut more than 100 jobs from the state's Division of Public Assistance in 2021, which left offices understaffed and led to a severe, multiyear backlog of applications for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Thousands of Alaskans were left without the food aid they needed. To combat the backlogs Gov. Dunleavy added millions...

  • Petersburg Market taking shape after fresh changes

    Liam Demko|Jun 13, 2024

    On a much needed sunny Saturday last weekend, the Petersburg Market – an outdoor market for homegrown and handmade local goods - kicked off its summer season, welcoming shoppers in a new location and under new leadership. With several new changes in the works by freshly appointed market manager Rebekah Gumz, the 2024 market is slowly growing into its new location between Kito's Kave and The Salty Pantry, as both new and old stalls, vendors, and attractions pop up to serve the public every other...

  • One rescued, one deceased after Narrows boat collision

    Orin Pierson|Jun 6, 2024

    After a six hour search, divers recovered the body of a woman who perished due to a boat collision between a 20-foot Hewescraft skiff and a 58-foot commercial fishing vessel in the Wrangell Narrows near the mouth of Blind Slough on Wednesday morning. A second individual, thrown from the skiff into the water, was rescued by a good samaritan on-scene, according to a USCG press release. "We offer our sincerest condolences to those affected by this terrible tragedy," said Coast Guard Lt. Katy...

  • Borough budget funds school district to the cap

    Olivia Rose|Jun 6, 2024

    The next Petersburg Borough budget was passed by the assembly on Monday after amending it three times in its final reading. This approved budget for fiscal year 2025 will start at the top of July and includes maximum funding for Petersburg School District to the tune of $3.4 million. Several speakers from PSD testified their gratitude to the borough for supporting the so-called "to-the-cap" funding in the borough's FY25 budget. "Inconsistent and unreliable state funding has created instability...

  • School meals free for all students in Petersburg School District

    Olivia Rose|Jun 6, 2024

    For the next few years, school meals will be free to all students enrolled in Petersburg School District. All three school sites in PSD now qualify for the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, which allows schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no cost to student families because the meals are ultimately reimbursed by money from the federal government. PSD Food Program Director Carlee Johnson McIntosh managed the administrative push for getting the CEP. "It's such a great need ... I've seen it...

  • PIA Tribal Council fills vacant seats

    Olivia Rose|Jun 6, 2024

    Later this month, the Petersburg Indian Association Tribal Council will have every seat occupied after swearing in Christine Yatchmenoff as a newly appointed Councilmember. The council filled one vacant seat in March, swearing in Brandon Ware, and sought to fill another vacancy left by Everett Bennett, who was elected to the council in January but later resigned to pursue the PIA tribal administrator position left by Chad Wright and started the job May 20. Yatchmenoff will be sworn in to fill Be...

  • Petersburg expands summer programs for kids

    Jake Clemens|Jun 6, 2024

    Through recent surveys, Kinder Skog families and Petersburg Medical Center employees showed interest for more summer enrichment options for youth, and the Community Wellness program of PMC has worked to meet that demand. More camps will be offered through the ORCA (Outdoor Recreation Creation Adventure) program in Petersburg this summer, including a kayaking expedition, fly-fishing, and an extra session of theater. The POD (Play Outside Days) programs will include running and basketball again,...

  • Retiring superintendent cherished by many who worked with her

    Lizzie Thompson|Jun 6, 2024

    After twenty three years working for the Petersburg School District, Superintendent Erica Kludt-Painter will retire on June 30. In early 2001, Kludt-Painter's dad told her there was a job opening for a principal in Petersburg, Alaska, and said he thought she'd like Petersburg, a town about the same size as her hometown of Orofino in rural northern Idaho. She jumped at the opportunity. Barb Marifern, who was on the hiring committee, said that after a series of phone interviews with each...

  • 'A tangible step forward' taken toward borough owning entitled state land

    Olivia Rose|May 30, 2024

    About 1,758 acres of state land on Mitkof Island is in process to be conveyed to the Petersburg Borough - a fraction of the total 14,666 acres that the borough is entitled to be granted by the state since becoming a borough a decade ago. The lands are Summit Island, Wilson Islands, 480 acres by Blind Slough on the southern part of Mitkof Island, about 157 acres selected that include part of Woodpecker Road, about 80 acres at Blind Point including the gun range area, and approximately 1,012...

  • Funding for new hospital project left out of state capital budget

    Olivia Rose|May 30, 2024

    The multi-million dollar funding request for the Petersburg hospital replacement project was not included in the most recent state FY2025 capital budget, despite being the Petersburg Borough's top priority capital project and months of advocacy to the legislature. In January, the borough assembly unanimously approved a capital projects list that ranked the Petersburg Medical Center replacement project as the very top priority for funding. In February, individuals from the borough, board and...

  • Twisted Ginger silversmith grows her business close to home

    Olivia Rose|May 30, 2024

    Silversmith Erin Kandoll has always considered herself an artist. When the Pilot visited Kandoll's studio, her ginger-color hair sat atop her head in a hair bun while she sorted out dozens of turquoise stones. Twisted Ginger, the name of Kandoll's silver-and-stone jewelry business, was born from a creative pastime. "Started from a state room on the Kestrel with my tackle box ... then to the garage ... to selling everything, to quitting, and then to this," Kandoll recalled. "Now, I'm just ... liv... Full story

  • PVFD Chief Jim Stolpe is Petersburg's Volunteer of the Year

    Olivia Rose|May 23, 2024

    On Saturday, the Petersburg Community Foundation (PCF) granted over $26,000 to nine Petersburg nonprofits and awarded Volunteer of the Year to Jim Stolpe. The Petersburg Community Foundation formed in 2008 as a local affiliate of the Alaska Community Foundation (ACF). PCF continues to grow its community grant-making endowment fund, thanks to the support of the Rasmuson Foundation, ACF, and generous local charitable giving. Every year, dividends from its investments are used to provide financial...

  • Assembly considers sales tax cap increase

    Olivia Rose|May 23, 2024

    The Petersburg Borough Assembly is considering an ordinance that may increase the local sales tax cap for the first time in over two decades. If passed, the ordinance would appear as a ballot proposition this fall, allowing borough voters to decide the hike. The proposed ordinance seeks to raise the maximum taxable transaction amount from $1,200 to $5,000 by amending code language. Under the current municipal code, any purchase exceeding $1,200 is only taxed on the first $1,200 - capping the...

  • Borough Budget weighs deficit spending, school funding

    Olivia Rose|May 23, 2024

    The Petersburg Borough budget for the next fiscal year (FY25) is nearly decided. Currently, the proposed general fund budget for FY25 anticipates total revenues amounting to $13,009,827 and expenditures of $13,408,975 - spending a deficit of nearly $400,000. This budget includes maximum funding for the Petersburg School District. The borough finance department attributes the FY25 general fund budgeted deficit spending primarily to the school district funding increase request, however the...

  • PSD proposes three different scenarios for activities budget

    Olivia Rose|May 23, 2024

    The Petersburg School District is considering three scenarios to reduce the financial burden of student activities on the district's general fund. The three scenarios each involve different adjustments to activity fees, expenses, or a bit of both. The first proposed scenario is all price hikes for activity fees and no cuts to expenses; the third option does not change activity fees, but cuts expenses significantly. The second scenario tries to balance the other options and does a bit of both....

  • Little Norway Festival has arrived

    May 16, 2024

    Skol! This year's Little Norway Festival kicks off today with over fifty festivities to choose from including new events, entertainment, and around 70 street vendors. Petersburg -nicknamed "Alaska's Little Norway"- traces its Norwegian foundation back to the late 1800s. Petersburg's Little Norway Festival, first held back in 1958, coincides with May 17, Norway's Constitution Day. Although the festival has changed with the times, visitors can taste traditional Norwegian foods, watch traditional d... Full story

  • Teacher contract negotiations near agreement, with strings attached

    Olivia Rose|May 16, 2024

    On May 7, negotiating teams for the Associated Teachers of Petersburg (ATP) and Petersburg School District met for a private discussion. The certified teacher contract negotiations have been in a stalemate for months. The situation is constrained by inadequate state education funding that has not adjusted for inflation since 2017. The lack of funding is causing trouble for the district budget to meet the union's expressed need for teacher salary increases. At the May 7 meeting, the district...

  • Seattle's Staxx bros set to perform in Petersburg

    Olivia Rose|May 16, 2024

    Feel like dancing during this week's festivities? Then you're in luck! High energy, multi-genre Seattle-based band the Staxx Brothers are set to perform two fun, riveting and especially groovy shows in Petersburg for the Little Norway Festival. Founded by band lead Davin Michael Stedman in 2002, the Staxx Brothers are a high energy American band from Seattle who play a mixed genre of music, but like to define themselves as "Hard Ass Soul." "The energy you get from the Staxx Brothers show is...

  • Community theater troupe raising funds for fellow mummer

    May 16, 2024

    Today, the Mitkof Mummers community theater group is hosting a sloppy joe dinner and silent auction to fundraise for fellow Mummer, Beth Loesch. Although the spring Mitkof Mummers performance is canceled, the theater group is gathering community support with a fundraiser to show up for one Mummer during a time of hardship. Everything starts at 5:30 p.m. downstairs at Moose Lodge. There will be homemade sloppy joe sandwiches, coleslaw, chips and a giant cookie - first come, first served for $15....

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