By Larry Persily
Wrangell Sentinel writer 

State ferry system still short of hiring needs


The Alaska Marine Highway System has enough crew to operate its summer schedule, though it still lacks a sufficient cushion to handle worker illnesses, injuries and personal leave without holding over staff for extra shifts.

“We have been holding people longer than they would like,” Transportation Department spokesman Sam Dapcevich said last week.

And the state ferry system is far short of the additional staff that would have been needed to bring the Columbia back to service after a three-year absence for maintenance and a money-saving tie-up. The state last fall had “penciled in” t...

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