Petersburg Pilot -

2015 Year in review

 

Seth Scrimsher / Submitted Photo

The crew of the Mandi J, a vessel out of Wrangell, deliver an 11,000-pound load of Northern Pink Shrimp to Tonka Seafoods in March.

January-June

January

Petersburg School Superintendent Lisa Stroh resigned from her position citing family medical issues as her reason for leaving although communication between borough staff and student letters indicated turmoil between Stroh and school staff.

Two third and fourth grade elementary students published their own class newspapers.

Former Petersburg School District Maintenance Director Tye Petersen was sentenced to 12 years in prison for Distribution, Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography.

Two eligibility changes went into effect requiring seniors aged 65 and older to be borough residents and to have resided in the borough for at least one year when applying for senior sales tax exemption cards.

The Petersburg Vikings basketball team defeated two-time state title winner Monroe Catholic out of Fairbanks during the Clarke Cochran Christmas Classic basketball tournament.

Icicle Seafoods went up for sale after Paine & Partners out of San Francisco announced the sale.

The Petersburg Borough Assembly began soliciting community input for marijuana use in the borough after voters approved the substance's legalization statewide.

Christafur Morrell pleaded guilty to Attempted Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance after police seized $75,000 worth of heroin from him.

January 2015 became the rainiest month on record breaking 1985s previous record for precipitation.

February

The Petersburg Borough Assembly discussed forming a Marijuana Advisory Committee consisting of assembly members and community residents to research and recommend language for a borough marijuana ordinance.

Petersburg resident Mark Weaver pled guilty to Possession of Unregistered Destructive Devices, which included Tovex, a commercial grade explosive that was found after he detonated a device in a local rock quarry.

Petersburg High School grad Dan Forgey was named the U.S. Chocolate Master and was scheduled to represent the U.S. in the 2015 World Chocolate Masters Competition in Paris, France.

Rae C. Stedman Elementary School principal Erika Kludt-Painter accepted a one-year contract offer to serve as the Petersburg School District Superintendent.

The Alaska Snow Survey Report released findings that snow pack across the state of Alaska was below normal, and snow pack in Southeast was less than half the normal rate.

Petersburg residents Ware Eide and Lizzie Thompson spearheaded an effort to purchase and install a water filtration system for a school in Ware's hometown, Phu Kradueng, Thailand.

Two Petersburg High School teams placed in the top ten at the state Tsunami Bowl-a statewide scholastic science competition.

Mitkof Middle School wrestlers were the 3A champs and placed second overall in the Region V tournament.

March

The Petersburg Borough Assembly narrowly passed an ordinance that brought recycling collection in-house that some officials and staff hoped would decrease long-term sanitation department spending.

Tonka Seafoods announced its purchase of 250,000 pounds of pink shrimp after a decade's long absence of shrimp processing in Petersburg.

Petersburg Borough Clerk Kathy O'Rear retired after 15 years of service to the community and passed the torch to current clerk Debbie Thompson.

The Petersburg Borough Assembly appointed an 18 member Local Marijuana Regulation Advisory Committee.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the Sitka sac roe herring fishery would be done cooperatively this year in order to eliminate competition and risks during a poor market for sac roe.

The Petersburg High School cheerleading squad was named 3A champs after being judged on their performance during game time and in a cheer showcase.

The Tanner Crab fishery saw its largest harvest, 1.4 million pounds, in more than a decade.

The Alaska Senate Finance Subcommittee voted to eliminate all funding to public radio and television, a cut that, if approved by the legislature, would effectively cut half of KFSK's funding and likely end its service in Petersburg.

April

Ruger's Trucking owners filed an application for an initiative petition that would allow Petersburg voters to decide to keep the blue bag recycling program for another two years after the Borough Assembly voted to move the recycling contract in-house.

The Petersburg business economy saw a six percent increase in sales between 2013 and 2014, with businesses reporting almost $122 million in sales.

The Petersburg's adult co-ed soccer team took third place in an annual Juneau soccer tournament.

The Petersburg Borough Assembly voted to suspend the purchase of a new sanitation truck for the borough run recycling program pending the citizen voting initiative to extend the blue bag recycling program collected by private business Ruger's Trucking.

The Petersburg Parks and Rec department cut $50,000 from its budget after the Borough Manager tasked the department to cut $100,000 over the next two years in light of the state budget deficit and statewide cutbacks.

A Juneau-based theatre troupe performed Shakespeare's The Life of King Henry V in Petersburg.

The Petersburg Borough Assembly passed an amended resolution to allow Southeast Alaska Power Agency to move forward with refinancing of existing 2009 bonds and a proposed $7 million bond sale to fund an expansion of the Swan Lake facility.

The Alaska Senate Finance Subcommittee proposed a 4.1 percent base student allocation cut-amounting to around $235,000 for the Petersburg School District.

Petersburg High School senior Shalie Dahl signed a letter of intent to play college basketball for the Green River Gators in Auburn, Wash.

Petersburg residents were given the option to choose whether to haul their recyclables to the curb in a cart or a blue bag, following the Borough Assembly's approval of a resolution that provided for the dual program.

NOAA proposed removing the majority of humpback whale populations from the Endangered Species Act listing.

This month earned the title of the rainiest April on record.

May

Ruger's Trucking owners withdrew their petition to extend their blue bag recycling contract, bringing an end a several months long debate about the future of recycling collection in Petersburg.

The Petersburg Public Works Department met a 48 hour nuisance abatement order issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation after solid waste sludge slid down a hill into a stream that runs into the Sandy Beach park area.

Petersburg Borough Assembly members chose a remodel design option for the Petersburg Municipal Power and Light building after hearing a presentation from architect Linda Millard.

Petersburg residents Mary Koppes' and Orin Pierson's play "Shipwreck on Cannery Island" debuted during Petersburg's Little Norway Festival.

The United States Department of Agriculture awarded a two-year $26,000 grant to Petersburg's The Market-a community farmer's market.

Petersburg track and field runners Izabelle Ith and River Quitslund broke four Petersburg High School records at the Juneau Invitational.

Petersburg high school senior River Quitslund joined the Pacific Lutheran University track and cross-country teams for his fall semester at the university.

Work on the Haugen Drive road construction project began as a runway restoration project at the James A. Johnson Airport neared completion.

A rare lightning strike hit a tree, transformer line and transformer putting the whole of Mitkof Island in the dark for a little more than an hour.

Petersburg High School student Ian Fleming placed first and earned a $12,000 scholarship during a national science competition.

Petersburg High School's track and field team broke another four school records at regionals in Ketchikan.

The Petersburg High School boys track and field team earned its first ever regional title and 12 athletes qualified for state.

Scott Stafford won the Petersburg Salmon derby bringing home a 50.9 pound King salmon.

The Petersburg Local Marijuana Regulation Advisory Committee discussed the possibility of a borough-run dispensary.

This month earned the record of driest May on record.

Petersburg High School swimmer Abel Aulbach earned a spot on the University of Louisville swim team.

June

Track and field runner Ben Zarlengo earned a state title for discuss. Izabelle Ith earned four state titles in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump.

Long-time Petersburg residents Sally and Al Dwyer met the King of Norway, King Harald V during an Alaska World Affairs Council luncheon.

The state legislature finally reached a budget agreement after the session delayed seven weeks in a deadlock.

Mandy Kivisto / Altered Perceptions Studio

The co-ed teams, referees, NSOs, and other volunteers posed for a photo after Petersburg hosted Alaska's first-ever co-ed roller derby bout in April.

The new Rainforest Island Ferry Service that provides service between Petersburg, Wrangell and Coffman Cove was delayed after waiting for U.S. Coast Guard certification.

Petersburg resident Sunny Rice won second place in a statewide Salmon Haiku Contest for her poem 'Thorny devil's clubs.'

Justices with the Alaska Supreme Court began mulling over the boundary dispute case between Petersburg and Juneau after The City and Borough of Juneau filed an appeal with the Supreme Court over a Superior Court Judge's ruling in favor of the Petersburg Borough's northern boundary line.

Juneau District Attorney James Scott began covering Petersburg's criminal cases after state budget cuts forced 15 court staff layoffs.

Petersburg High School basketball player Steward Conn participated on the gold winning 16U USA Team at the United World Games in Europe.

Be sure to check the next issue to read the rest of the year in review from July-December of 2015.

 

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