Eric Stone, KRBD - Ketchikan
A killer whale that beached itself on Prince of Wales Island on Thursday has freed itself, according to federal biologists.
Inter-Island Ferry Authority says 3 crew members positive for COVID-19, but schedule won’t be affected
Inter-Island Ferry Authority managers said Tuesday that three crew members have tested positive for COVID-19. IFA General Manager Ron Curtis declined to say exactly when the staff members tested positive, citing ferry authority policy.
The company says it’s the first time a fully vaccinated guest has tested positive for the disease on its ships.
Canadian authorities say they’ll lift a pandemic-era ban on cruise ships in the country’s waters, but it won’t happen until after the end of Alaska’s 2021 cruise season. The decision means cruise ships could again sail from Vancouver and Victoria to Alaska in 2022.
The first large cruise ship to visit Alaska since 2019 arrived in Ketchikan early on the morning of July 9. The federally mandated test voyage is the symbolic start of the Alaska cruise season.
When the Serenade of the Seas ties up on Friday, it’ll be the first ship to visit Ketchikan since October 5, 2019 — 21 months ago.
Ketchikan police have made an arrest in a 28-year-old rape case. Police credit a recent push to end Alaska’s sexual assault kit backlog with identifying the suspect.
The catamarans — Fairweather and Chenega — were recently sold for about $5 million to a Spanish ferry company and are being shipped via the Panama Canal.
Ketchikan-based state public health nurse Arizona Jacobs said last week that the surge of cases in Metlakatla is thought to be linked to the surge of cases in Ketchikan.
In a step toward a limited, late summer cruise season, Norwegian Cruise Line has signed an agreement with the state of Alaska and several of Alaska’s port operators.
On Monday, local authorities announced the community’s second death from the disease during the pandemic.
A federal bill that would allow foreign-flagged cruise ships to bypass Canada on their way to Alaska is headed to the president’s desk after unanimously passing the U.S. House of Representatives. That follows the U.S. Senate passing similar legislation earlier this month.
According to state data, the southern panhandle — including Ketchikan, Metlakatla and Prince of Wales Island — has the highest population-adjusted rate of new cases in the state. New infections are appearing at a rate three times higher than any other region in Alaska.
Infections were reported in Craig, Klawock, Sitka, Wrangell and Ketchikan.
There have been two attempts in Congress to save Alaska’s cruise season in the last week. Both have failed.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday blocked consideration of a waiver that would have allowed foreign-flagged cruise ships to visit Alaska ports this summer.
The governor and legislative leaders have agreed on a rough plan to use federal pandemic relief from Congress to help stabilize Alaska’s beleaguered ferry system.
The head of Ketchikan’s school district turned in her resignation Friday afternoon. Tribal leaders have been calling on the district to replace her in recent months.
An aerospace and technology company is considering building key parts of a satellite network in Alaska — including Ketchikan, Nome and Fairbanks — that, according to the company, could help improve internet access across the globe.
Ketchikan police are investigating racist and homophobic graffiti that appeared around an asphalt trail and a local skate park over the weekend. Police said no suspects have been identified.