Mike Swasey, KHNS - Haines

a cloudy town

New COVID surge hits Skagway the week before this year’s first cruise ship visit

“What I have seen is mostly kids, some adults. Seems like it affects the kids a little harder this time,” said Skagway’s Dahl Memorial Clinic’s Medical Director Brent Kunzler.
Two green-and-yellow train engines with White Pass markings in front of an old-timey station for tourists

Canada relaxes border rules, but not enough for the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad

Skagway’s largest tour outfit, the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, says its trains won’t cross the border this season.
A yellow school bus parked with its door open

Training requirements for new commercial drivers in Alaska got tougher this week

The new regulations call for more thorough instruction for anyone seeking a new class B license or higher.
A boat on the water

Private catamarans will provide ferry service between Juneau and the upper Lynn Canal this month

The catamarans will be operated by Goldbelt, Inc., Juneau’s urban Native corporation.
A sea of mussels.

Skagway’s blue mussels were nearly wiped out last year

Reuben Cash says blue mussels are best served steamed with melted butter. But this year, he doubts you could find enough for a meal.
A ferry at a dock.

Matanuska repair delays could mean longer ferry service gaps in upper Lynn Canal

This latest delay could mean nearly a monthlong service gap for Skagway.
Steamy water surrounded by snow

New geothermal hot springs to open soon near Whitehorse

The Takhini Hot Springs near the capital city of Canada’s Yukon Territory has been closed to the public for more than a year. A new facility with a new name is on track to open this coming February.
A ferry parked at a dock, a mountain in the background.

Skagway works to pioneer one of the first electric ferry programs in the country

The Skagway Assembly recently passed a resolution that establishes an electric ferry pilot program.
A white and blue building in the middle of the road that says Canada on the side.

Canadian border relaxes COVID testing rules for residents returning from short trips to the U.S.

Starting Tuesday, Canadians traveling to the U.S. for trips of three days or less will no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to cross back into their home country.
A white and blue building in the middle of the road that says Canada on the side.

US land border opens to Canadians for nonessential travel

The U.S. land border opened Monday at 12:01 a.m. to fully vaccinated, nonessential travelers from Canada.
A woman in a yellow jacket and hat and gloves holds a bottle.

After more than 30 years at sea, a message in a bottle washes up near Skagway

A Skagway resident has found a message in a bottle washed up on a beach with no indication of who sent it — or from where. Now she’s looking for help to find its...
A white and blue building in the middle of the road that says Canada on the side.

A trip through Canada’s newly-reopened border: ‘So empty for so long’

To get through the border, you’ll need your passport, your vaccination card, proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours and a completed ArriveCan application.
A bunch of signs on a garden

Here’s what you’ll need if you’re crossing the border into Canada next month

Any forged vaccination records will be subject to a $750,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment under Canada’s Quarantine Act.
A doe and a deer in front of some tall trees

Are non-native mule deer a threat? Fish and Game wants to find out.

Reports of groups of up to 10 mule deer in Southeast Alaska near Skagway have been received by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and there is evidence that fawns are being born here. Studies show that nearby populations harbor a variety of diseases that have biologists concerned.
A city at the edge of a river with mountains in the background

The Yukon’s largest COVID-19 outbreak intensifies, Skagway looks to avoid a similar fate

Canada’s Yukon Territory is in the middle of its largest COVID-19 outbreak to date with 54 active cases and one confirmed coronavirus-related death.
A city at the edge of a river with mountains in the background

COVID-19 outbreak in Yukon Territory linked to high school students, unvaccinated adults

The Yukon Territory’s COVID-19 outbreak climbed from 18 to 21 active cases on Monday. That’s despite nearly three-quarters of the territory’s adult population being fully vaccinated.
A man and woman stand inside of a yurt, in front of a wooden sign that says Foundroot.

Contamination from December rain disaster forces Haines farmers to vacate land

Fearing that runoff from the December rains might have carried contamination to Henderson Farm in Haines, the American Bald Eagle Foundation has told its renters they won't be able to farm their plots this year.

An uncertain summer: Skagway businesses scramble to prepare for short cruise season

Many businesses are unsure how to operate for what looks like a short cruise season in 2021.
A white woman in a blue fleece stands on the beach in front of some mountains

Heather Lende of Haines named Alaska’s Writer Laureate

The Alaska State Writer Laureate program was established back in the 1960s as a partnership between the arts council and the Alaska Humanities Forum. Earlier this month, after a two-year gap in program funding, Haines-based writer Heather Lende was awarded the honor.
A person walks on a boardwalk below a mountain

Alaska’s side of the Chilkoot Trail will be open this summer, but hikers have to turn around at Canada

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and Parks Canada have teamed up to open the U.S. side of the Chilkoot Trail to American hikers on June 1. Parks Canada will begin taking reservations on April 27th for multi-day trips starting on or after June 1.