Sitka assists Sheldon Jackson College
The Sitka Assembly approved a $25,000 forward-funding expenditure Tuesday for surveys and cost estimates for upgrading Sheldon Jackson College's water, sewer, electric and storm drain systems.
A task force to resolve major funding problems at the college has identified repairing the utilities as part of the plan for getting the school on firm financial footing.
The college will pay back the funds, perhaps through the sale of land to the city, Electric Superintendent Randy Cornelius said.
by Shannon HauglandThe Daily Sentinel
School Board adjusts budget
The Sitka School Board approved a mid-year budget revision, using nearly $144,000 in unanticipated income.
District Business Manager Barbara Stocker reported that the actual student enrollment of 1,713 increased state funding by $143,928 over the original among, which was based on an estimated enrollment of 1,702.
The additional money allowed for purchase of high school textbooks, a wrestling mat, a computer archive for student records and professional testing services.
by Chris BernardThe Daily Sentinel
Crime stoppers tip leads to marijuana seizure
The Petersburg Police Department seized more than 25 marijuana plants Dec. 27 after receiving information of an alleged grow operation through a Crime Stoppers tip.
According to the police department, they received the anonymous tip Monday afternoon and on Monday evening confiscated the plants from a Lumber Street residence.
Donald L. Richards, 39, was arrested on an initial charge of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony. he could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
In addition to the plants that were seized, the department also allegedly confiscated packaged marijuana and equipment that officers say was being used to grow the plants. Officers allegedly found grow lights, power converters and CO2 generators.
The value of the seizure was estimated at $58,000, though the plants had not reached maturity.
by Brian JohnsonPetersburg Pilot
Kake Cannery received plaque
The Kake Cannery received an honorary plaque from the National Park Service as part of its traditional Kake Day.
The Kake Cannery, the only designated landmark cannery in the nation, was made a national historic landmark on December 9th, 1997. To honor the designation, Gary Gauthier, superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park, presented a cast bronze plaque to village leaders on Jan. 8.
The cannery played a significant role in the commercial Pacific salmon fishing and canning industry in the first half of the 20th century.
New Metlakatla mayor sworn in
Sol Atkinson was sworn in as Metlakatla's mayor Monday at the town's municipal building.
Atkinson replaces one-term mayor Tim Gilmartin, who lost to Atkinson and Victor Wellington in the October primary. Atkinson defeated Wellington by 24 votes to win the two-year mayoral term.
Atkinson, a longtime council member and former mayor, said his first priority will be to deal with Metlakatla's unemployment rate, which is hovering between 60 and 70 percent.
``We're looking for ways to bring our community back out of this economic disaster,'' Atkinson said.
The town has been experiencing an economic crisis since the community's largest employer, Louisiana-Pacific, closed its operation at the community owned Annette hemlock mill on Oct. 23.
by Deanna ThomasKetchikan Daily News
Army Corps O.K.'s harbor project
Another step forward toward the building of Heritage Harbor was completed last week with the authorization of the project by the Army Corps of Engineers. The harbor project was submitted to the Corps under the Water Resources and Development Act, which required approval before the end of the year in order to be part of the present two-year construction package.
The next step in the process is for Congress to appropriate funds for construction, action, which will ideally take place by fall of 2000. If appropriated, the federal government will pay for 80 percent of the construction costs of the breakwater, while the city will pay 20 percent. Federal appropriation is needed before any construction work can begin.
by Bonnie DemerjianWrangell Sentinel
Home Office for sale
The owners of The Home Office are selling the 5-year-old business. The office supply and printing store, which is on the market for $298,000, employs four workers. It also offers tax services and rents computer stations and locker space.
The three partners, who have three other Ketchikan businesses, decided to sell because they were being spread too thin, said partner Jacquie Meck. It is the only business that is not in the company's Stedman Street building.
``I'm always running back and forth across town,'' Meck said.
All four of the businesses owned by the investors have experienced a 4 to 15 percent drop in sales since the pulp mill closure, but The Home Office continued to be profitable, Meck said.
by Deanna ThomasKetchikan Daily News
Plaza Shopping Center to be turned over to lenders
The owner of The Plaza Shopping Center is turning the city's largest mall over to its lenders.
The Hames Group also announced Tuesday that it is selling or closing Plaza Sports, which is located in the mall.
The new owners will be the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. and four other pension and trust funds that purchased the mall's mortgage in 1992, said Jim Kelly, director of communications for the Alaska Permanent Fund.
The Hames Group, a Sitka-based family business, built the mall in 1985. Roger Hames, president of the group, said last fall that the mall was struggling financially after its occupancy rate dropped 10 percent over the past few years.
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