Erin McKinstry - KCAW

Erin McKinstry - KCAW
A white woman with white hair crosses her arms in front of a trailer

For some Sitkans, dream of debt-free homeownership comes in the form of a trailer

When people think of trailer homes, many envision shoddy construction and unhealthy living conditions. But in places like Sitka where construction costs are high and land availability is low, they’re an important affordable housing alternative.

How to get more rural Southeast homes on heat pumps? A special rate could help, study says.

New research suggests there could be a sweet spot for minimizing energy costs to consumers and electric utilities with the growing popularity of heat pumps in rural Southeast Alaska.

New federal program to help 5 remote Alaska communities transition to renewable energy

In Sitka, two awardees are advancing the possibility of a fishing fleet powered by rain water.
Two men in work clothes stand in front of a tyvek home

Portable, Sitka-built ‘mini homes’ could help with Southeast Alaska’s housing crunch

A new “mini-home” project is working to tackle a housing shortage in Yakutat by building the houses in Sitka where costs are lower and then shipping them. The construction company behind the project hopes its idea spreads.
A woman stands holding a baby, while another child lays on the floor.

Community land trust helps Sitka mom build a home of her own

Sitka’s average total rent is higher than any other area in the state, which can make saving to buy a house feel like an impossible dream for many young Sitkans. The Sitka Community Land Trust wants to change that.
An avalanche on a ble sky day

Skier survives avalanche in the crater of Mt. Edgecumbe near Sitka

The man was buried between 5-8 minutes before two other skiers in his group located him with avalanche transceivers.
A whale on its back washed up on the beach

Sitka team conducts first humpback whale necropsy in 5 years

The Coast Guard reported the dead 47-foot female humpback to NOAA on Sunday evening. It had washed ashore on the south end of Kruzof Island.
Workers load a pllete of water pbottles

After weeks of water woes, Angoon gets Coast Guard assist

In Angoon, recent cold temperatures exacerbated ongoing issues with the town’s water supply. The Coast Guard stepped in to help by delivering bottled water to the community of around 450 people
People in rain gear walk up through a muddy gully

Southeast Alaska landslides may leave carbon footprint, researchers say

A researcher found a single storm that triggers multiple slides can move as much carbon stored in vegetation and soils as the annual emissions from 45,000 vehicles. But it doesn’t necessarily go into the atmosphere.
A clearing of trees with sun on the tops

Researchers confirm location of 200-year-old Kiks.ádi fort

A study released this week in the journal Antiquity dispelled doubts about the location of a site where Kiks.ádi held off Russian aggressors for four days.
A broken foot bridge over a river

Around Southeast Alaska, communities assess damage from record-breaking storm

Sitka broke rainfall records on Tuesday, and damage from serious rain, winds and power outages afflicted communities across Southeast.
A partial image of a commercial air jet, with an image that is damaged

Alaska Airlines jet kills brown bear at Yakutat’s airport

Passengers weren't harmed, but a brown bear cub was orphaned.
Two people sit in lawn chairs on a lake looking at a sunset in the mountains

‘We can’t turn this down’: New Xbox game brings Tlingit voices to the forefront

A new Xbox game is loosely based on the real town of Hoonah, a small, predominantly Tlingit community on Chichagof Island.
A beige building with a red metal roof labelled "Sitka Police Department"

Neighbors shaken but unhurt after 4-year-old fires AK-47 in Sitka

Sitka police are investigating a near-tragedy that occurred over the weekend when a small child playing with a high-powered rifle fired shots into his trailer court. No one was injured in the incident, but police say it was a very close call.
A ferry approaches a town next to spruce covered mountains

Tenakee Springs reports first COVID-19 case

The casse was reported in a resident of the Chichagof Island community of 150
A white woman in a blue best poses next to a light blue boat with teh name "Axel"

In a down market, Alaska fishermen avert disaster by feeding families in need

A seafood donation program started by a Sitka organization is helping bring some stability to fishermen and consumers during an uncertain time.
An elder Alaska Native man in a red vest smiles while sitting at a table

One-of-a-kind photo collection documents 75 years of life in Angoon

Cyril George, a Tlingit from the Beaver Clan of Angoon, died six years ago, but his 4,000 photos of life in the village will finally be available to the public.
Aerial image of Angoon, Alaska

Anxious for relief, rural municipalities navigate spending rules for CARES Act funds

Alaska communities have the freedom to decide how they want to spend coronavirus relief money, but following the federal guidelines hasn't been easy.
An aerial image of Angoon shows buildings on a small peninsula next to several other inlets.

Angoon reports its first case of COVID-19

The Admiralty Island village of around 450 people has asked residents to “hunker down and avoid contact with anyone outside of their household until further notice.”
An aerial image of Angoon shows buildings on a small peninsula next to several other inlets.

Angoon mayor issues mask order following first coronavirus case in Kake

Following Monday’s news of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Kake, the neighboring Southeast community of Angoon is now requiring face coverings in most public places.