Valdez Star photo
Ed Mangena, Seventh-day Adventists pastor.
New pastor tends small flock in Valdez
Glennallen faithful also served by volunteer for Seventh Day Adventists
A new pastor has been quietly tending a small flock of believers in Valdez.
"I came to Valdez in January," said Ed Mangena, the volunteer pastor for the congregation of Seventh-day Adventists in Valdez and Glennallen. "I came up to Alaska in 2006."
Mangena, who is originally from Zimbabwe, came to the US in 1997 to study for a master's degree in religion. In 2001 he graduated from Andrews University in Michagan.
He was active in the church well before then.
"I've been in the ministry since 1991," he said.
Mengena said he continued to volunteer and work with the church when he relocated to Alaska, and did not stop when he arrived in Valdez, despite the fact the church is not large.
"The church here is small," he said, "Twenty to 25 members."
He also serves 12-15 members in the Copper Valley.
While the faithful of this Christian faith is small, Mangena's message is big.
When asked what he would like others to know about him, he spoke instead about Jesus – and his love of humanity.
The congregation meets on Saturdays.
Mengena has a day job as a mental health counselor for the Valdez Counseling Center.
Fire damages fourplex on Jago Street
Several people displaced but pets okay, including missing cat
Tenants of a Valdez apartment complex were displaced after a fire tore through the upper half of their building last week.
The Valdez Fire Department received the call of the blaze around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning from a fourplex on Jago Street. Crews arrived on scene to find the fire mostly burning on the second floor of the building. Valdez Fire Chief Georg Keeney said the fire originated in the building's attic.
"We actually more or less kept it in the attic area itself and caught it there," said Keeney. "It did take the roof out."
The cause of the fire is under investigation but Keeney said it appears it may have originated from the electrical wiring of a bathroom fan.
He said the owners of the building were planning to renovate the roof at the time of the fire.
"It did take the plywood off," Keeney said. "When we saw it you can actually see the plume of smoke and fire coming up out of that roof when they pulled out. It was definitely going good when we got there."
The tenants of the building were safely evacuated from the building without any injuries. A dog and two parakeets were also rescued. Most of the tenants were able to find places to stay while cleanup work was being done at the apartment. Red Cross assisted one of the tenants.
A missing cat returned home after the fire according to Mike Lindquist, animal control officer.
"It snuck back into the house," after the fire, he said. "The cat's fine."
Kids Pink Salmon Derby action the Saturday
Young anglers welcomed to drop a line during special event
Halibut fishing has been good in Valdez, but anglers are thrilled with the trophy size lingcod and bottom fish they have been pulling in. Scott Hebig of Wasilla is still leading the Valdez Halibut Derby with the 203.6 pound fish he caught June 20. Scott Banker of Clinton, Iowa broke into the Halibut Derby standings Sunday at second place place with the 161.8 pound halibut he caught aboard the Dan Orion. Steve Huisman of North Pole dropped to third place with the 158.2 pound halibut he caught July 3.
An alert reader submitted this update to the ongoing story regarding the fugitive marmot: I've been in contact with the marmot in recent days as you can see by the photos. He assured me that he has no interest in turning himself in until he's tried a least half the flower pots that have been planted this year. He sends his regards to the chief of police and that pesky trapper.
The Kids Pink Salmon Derby is this Saturday, July 19. It is a free event that's open to kids age 5 to 16. Young anglers will need to weigh in their fish at the derby weigh-in station by 5 p.m. to be eligible for prizes.
To participate, kids simply need to go fishing and weigh in their fish at the Valdez Fish Derbies weigh-in station located right next to the Harbormaster's Office at the Valdez Harbor before 5 p.m. Participants and their families and friends are invited to a free barbeque at Dock Point immediately following the closing of the weigh in station. There are t-shirts available to kids who fish in the derby at the weigh-in station, while supplies last.
There are four age divisions, each with a first, second and third place prize. Last year the pinks were small but plentiful. Theron Lee of Winfield, Alabama took top honors in 2012 and has the distinction of catching the biggest pink ever in the Kids Pink Salmon Derby, a 7.92 pound salmon.
The Valdez Silver Salmon Derby also starts this Saturday.