Leila Kheiry, KRBD - Ketchikan
In a split vote Monday, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted to move forward with a proposed tobacco tax. The proposal calls for the borough to work with the City of Ketchikan on a tax that would be similar throughout the community. The suggested tax is $3 per pack of cigarettes, or 75 percent of the wholesale price on other tobacco products. Tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes, also would be taxed at a similar rate.
Recovery efforts were under way early Friday afternoon for nine people killed on Thursday when a floatplane crashed into the side of a steep mountain in Misty Fiords National Monument outside of Ketchikan. Download Audio
Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska is boycotting FedEx. The Juneau-based tribal organization announced Thursday that it has sent notice to all employees to stop using FedEx services, citing the national delivery company’s sponsorship of the Washington Redskins football team.
A Promech float plane with nine people on board apparently crashed near Ella Lake in Misty Fiords National Monument outside of Ketchikan. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker says the plane was reported overdue this afternoon. Download Audio
Teams continue to arrive at the finish line in Ketchikan for the inaugural Race to Alaska, an engineless boat race that started in Port Townsend, Wash. By late last week, all the finishing teams had been on sailboats. But Team Soggy Beavers relied almost 100 percent on human power.
The number of wolves on Prince of Wales Island and nearby islands has dropped dramatically, according to a draft report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. A state official said that decline is something to watch carefully, but he’s not concerned yet about the viability of wolves in that area. Conservationists, though, are alarmed and say that number could be too low to maintain genetic health among remaining wolves.
Ketchikan’s volunteer rescue service recently added a new four-legged team member. Pace has a great nose, tons of energy and the drive needed for what to her is a fun game. For the people she finds, though, it’s as serious as life or death. Download Audio:
The border between Hyder, Alaska, and Stewart, British Columbia, soon will be open 24-hours a day. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office announced today that after many discussions with her office, the Canadian government has agreed to work with U.S. officials to open the gate — and keep it open, all the time. Download Audio:
Based on a petition submitted about a year ago by a coalition of conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that protection for the Alaska yellow cedar tree might be warranted under the federal Endangered Species Act. Download Audio
Less than a week after losing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, a coalition of conservation groups seeking to stop the Big Thorne Timber Sale has filed a Notice of Appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and asked for an injunction pending the outcome. Download Audio
The Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council met in Saxman and Sitka last week to discuss and gather input on issues related to subsistence in the region, including a proposed change to the rural designation process. Download Audio
The Big Thorne Timber Sale lawsuit has been dismissed by a federal judge in Anchorage. Alaska U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline granted summary judgment on Friday in favor of the defendants, and rejected every argument brought forward by the plaintiffs.
The Alaska Supreme Court has granted the state’s motion for a stay pending appeal in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s lawsuit regarding education funding. In a brief one-page ruling, the order simply stated: “The motion is granted. The superior court’s judgment is stayed pending appeal.”
Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey heard arguments Friday over whether he should approve a stay of his January decision that the State of Alaska’s requirement that local communities provide a specific amount for public education violates the Alaska Constitution. Download Audio