Leila Kheiry, KRBD - Ketchikan
According to the City of Ketchikan, preliminary counts show 960,262 passengers visited the community via cruise ship in 2013. That’s an increase of 8.4 percent over last year, and handily beat the 2008 record.
Hospital facilities throughout Southeast Alaska are getting old, with many closing in on 50. Health care has changed quite a bit in the past half-century, and communities are facing expensive upgrades to keep up with those changes into the future.
The Celebrity cruise ship Millennium returned to Ketchikan Sunday night after mechanical problems. Police responded to the ship late Tuesday night following reports of unruly passengers.
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly decided Monday to back off its longstanding endorsement of a bridge to Gravina Island, and instead opted to support improved ferry service.
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has reached a settlement agreement with a seasonal business owner who hasn’t paid his sales taxes for about three years.
A 45-year-old Ketchikan man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly having two-and-a-half pounds of marijuana shipped to Ketchikan.
A large timber sale in the Tongass National Forest called Big Thorne was announced Monday, combining old and second growth areas of Prince of Wales Island.
A Metlakatla woman is gearing up for the upcoming Miss Indian World competition, next week during the annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The newest piece of art for the new Ketchikan Public Library building is an installation called “A Trip to the Library.” Artists Evon Zerbertz and Rich Stage were at the library after hours last weekend, working out the logistics of hanging the complex piece.
The big question in Southeast Alaska this weekend was, “Did you feel the quake?” In some communities, it was, “Where’d you evacuate too?” or “Did anything break?” The 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck at 11:58 p.m. Friday, with more than a dozen weaker aftershocks following for hours. The temblor, which some called “The Midnight Quake,” hit about 60 miles west of Craig, on Prince of Wales Island. KRBD’s Leila Kheiry talked to people in Ketchikan and on Prince of Wales Island about the quake and its aftereffects.
Boaters may have noticed gray, dead-looking trees on islands north of Ketchikan. Like other parts of Southeast Alaska in recent years, Western hemlock trees on those islands are suffering a sawfly infestation. But U.S. Forest Service officials say it’s normal, and not a cause for concern.
Thick stands of young trees surround Election Creek, near Klawock on Southeast Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island. The forest was logged in 1989, and it’s been left to grow back on its own. Now, more than 20 years later, Sealaska Corporation is getting ready to thin the crowded stands of trees that have returned.
OceansAlaska Marine Science Center completed its first season of operation this year, successfully producing hundreds of thousands of shellfish seed. Barbara Morgan, research and training specialist, said the first year was successful enough that the Ketchikan-based center is expanding operations.
Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell announced Tuesday in Ketchikan that the state will immediately begin negotiations with the Ketchikan shipyard to design the first of at least two smaller ferries for the Alaska Marine Highway System, rather than the 350-foot ferry that had been planned.
With the City of Ketchikan facing increased bond debt for its new library and fire station, managers have recommended increasing the city’s property tax by a full mill. One mill equals one dollar for every $1,000 of assessed value. If the Ketchikan City Council accepts the proposed property tax increase, a resident with a $200,000 home would pay $200 more annually.