Sage Smiley, KSTK - Wrangell

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Two mug shots of a white man.

Louisiana jury convicts former Wrangell physician of rape

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A former Wrangell doctor and former chief of staff of the Wrangell Medical Center has been found guilty of raping a girl in Louisiana more than a decade ago. He will be sentenced Dec. 13 and faces life in prison.
A big white building on a small grassy hill.

Wrangell to survey site of former boarding school for Native children

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There are plans to redevelop the site of the former Bureau of Indian Affairs facility that was open for 43 years. But sensitivity toward the legacy of abuse and trauma and recent discoveries of graves at Canadian boarding schools have caused local officials to tread carefully before breaking ground.
Two people in orange jackets work on a boat.

Dunleavy administration announces new task force to tackle the thorny issue of trawler bycatch

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Bycatch is what fishermen catch unintentionally — fish they aren’t targeting that get caught up in their nets, anyway.
Fishing boats in a harbor

Southeast Alaska commercial salmon harvest 4 times higher than last year

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In total, commercial salmon fishermen in the region caught and sold 44 million more salmon than last year.
A rock with drawings in it.

What’s that reddish color on Wrangell’s petroglyphs?

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A beach on the northern tip of Wrangell Island in Southeast Alaska is home to rock carvings estimated to be at least 8,000 years old — petroglyphs made by the ancestors of Wrangell’s Lingít people. Recently, one of the larger petroglyphs seemed to change color. And that ignited some debate in town. Was it vandalism or a naturally-occurring reddening?
A white trailer is parked outside that says "Wrangell Fire Department" and SEARHC.

Now hiring: ‘COVID greeter’ for the Southeast community of Wrangell

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Wrangell is looking to hire a COVID greeter for its airport to alert travelers of testing rules, local mandates and where to get vaccinated.
Two crew men shovel a deck full of fish on board a large boat

Tribal, commercial fishing groups call for drastic reductions in trawl salmon bycatch

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Fisheries managers allow whitefish trawlers to inadvertently scoop up halibut, crab and salmon in their nets. The bycatch rate is relatively low, but because the trawlers catch so much of their target species, the unintended harvest adds up.
A fishing boat behinid a small barrier reef in front of some tall mountains

State government shutdown could close Alaska fisheries

If Alaska state leaders can’t resolve an impasse over the budget, large swaths of state government will shut down in July. That could include Alaska’s lucrative summer salmon fisheries, which is causing concern across coastal communities.
A white man wearing a state trooper uniform stands in front of a white truck with his hands clasped in front of him.

Wrangell’s new wildlife trooper knows what it’s like to make a mistake

Wrangell's wildlife trooper shot and killed a sub-legal moose earlier last year and turned himself in to the agency he works for. But he said it's made him a more empathetic trooper.

Remembering Kurt Brodersen, the ‘MacGyver of Union Bay’

Broderson was rescued from the boat he was living on last November after it sank in a storm.
A zoom call with mostly whihte men

Federal fisheries council, citing profanity, tightens comment policies

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council says recent profane comments prompted it to tighten commenting policies, but some fishermen and community organizers say that’s a bunch of bull.
A green grassy field next to a spruce forest

Study: Tongass holds more than 40% of all carbon stored by national forests

Tribes say the study shows the importance of conserving the rainforest from logging.
Fishing boats in a harbor

State data shows 2020 Southeast salmon harvest was among worst on record

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For sockeye, the harvest was the second lowest since 1962, while the king salmon harvest was in the bottom five.
A bearded white man in orange rain gear

Port Protection man featured on reality show missing after fire

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Gary Muehlberger was featured as a cast member of the National Geographic reality TV show “Life Below Zero: Port Protection,”

Lawmakers consider relaxing conflict of interest rules for game and fisheries boards

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Alaska’s House Fisheries Committee is considering a bill that would allow members of the Board of Fisheries and Board of Game to join in those discussions of the citizens boards that set the rules for fishing and hunting on state lands — even if they’ve declared they have a financial stake in the matter.
A piece of bone, next to a dime

10,000-year-old bone from Wrangell area hints how domesticated dogs may have traveled to the Americas

A dime-sized fragment of dog bone — more than ten-thousand years old — has given researchers new clues about how domesticated dogs first made their way to the Americas.

Plunging fish tax payments raise concerns for coming years, Southeast officials say

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Fishing is an economic engine in Southeast Alaska, and city governments rely on the money it provides. But after a dismal 2020 season, many are worried about lack of funds — and the future of the fisheries.
Some traffic cones hanging from another cone

‘Pretty much sums up 2020’: Wrangell makes do with anonymous holiday tree installation

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Despite its desultory appearance, the tree has sparked joy. And the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce has not yet rescheduled its official tree-lighting ceremony.
A black and white image of a rescuer in the water

Shipwrecked in storm, retired fisherman gets unexpected rescue in Southeast Alaska

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70-year-old Kurt Broderson was floating in a survival suit in waves the size of houses when Coast Guard rescuers arrived to save him. He says the event changed his life.
An empty ferry terminal on a foggy day with mountains in the background

Wrangell left high and dry by sparse winter ferry schedule

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The blue and gold ferries will sail repeatedly within 20 miles of the island town — but only stop twice.