Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS - Haines
It’s been nearly a month since Election Day and the race for House District 34 has finally come to an end with a four-term legislator losing his seat to a political newcomer.
Rep. Bill Thomas said today (Nov. 27) that he’s 99.9 percent sure he will request a recount in the House District 34 race. Republican Thomas, of Haines, lost re-election by 34 votes to Sitka Democrat Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.The district includes Haines, Sitka and many small Southeast communities.
The race for House District 34, between Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Sitka) and Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Haines), is now tied. KHNS reports two questioned ballots were counted from Port Alexander, closing the gap. The Division of Elections now says it will not count any more ballots until Monday, with the final count still slated for Wednesday.
A search is underway for a Haines fisherman that went overboard today near Skagway.
Many times, in a Southeast Alaska community, a pole raising means a carved totem pole unveiled to honor a family, place or event. But last week several dozen gathered in Haines to unveil a different kind of pole in awareness of domestic violence.
About 70 people were rescued on Sunday from a sightseeing boat that struck a rock near Glacier Bay waters. The 79-foot Allen Marine vessel Baranof Winds reported it was taking on water Sunday morning. The Coast Guard, National Park Service, and a Holland America Cruise ship responded, said Petty Officer David Mosley with Coast Guard public affairs.
The Native village corporation Klukwan Inc. in Southeast Alaska filed for bankruptcy this week. The corporation filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 which allows for reorganization, meaning the debtor usually proposes a plan to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time, or the court will determine how the debts will be settled.
There’s a reason the Chilkat Valley is called the Valley of Eagles. Thousands of bald eagles thrive in the valley near Haines and the Tlingit village of Klukwan. The communities gathered recently to honor the anniversary of a preserve created to protect the eagles and their habitat.
It’s been just over a week since the Haines commercial fishing fleet and community lost a longtime resident and fisherman. But already a unique effort to honor and memorialize him has taken hold in the community.
A two-year old venture between a Native Corporation and the community of Kake is making a play in the processing business. But it’s also focused on creating jobs.
The winter’s heavy snowfall and warm temperatures this past week prompted flood warnings in Upper Lynn Canal rivers over the weekend. Haines set a record temperature of 86 on Saturday, and the snows were melting fast through the weekend. The Tayia River near Skagway reached a moderate flood state over the weekend peaking just over 17 feet Saturday evening, which is enough to hit the Chilkoot Trail, according to rangers.
Parts of the Alaska Highway in Canada remained closed today, stranding travelers and supplies in the Yukon and near the communities of Haines and Skagway. The road isn’t likely to open until at least tomorrow.
Mudslides and washouts caused by heavy rains and snowmelt have stranded passengers along the Alaska Highway on Friday and the road could remain closed into the weekend.
The family of a teenager that drowned at a Haines beach two years ago is suing the Haines Borough for wrongful death and asking for at least $1 million in damages.
When hundreds of junk cars began taking over the Chilkat Valley near Haines this year, it prompted complaints from neighbors and concern in the borough about how to deal with the problem. But thanks to some coordination between the borough and a Seattle recycling company, hundreds of junk cars and piles of scrap metal have been removed from the Chilkat Valley.