USS Arizona Memorial gets new superintendent

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HONOLULU (AP) — The National Park Service on Friday said it was naming the superintendent of national parks in the Seattle area to oversee the USS Arizona Memorial, which has been rocked by alleged ticket sales even though people aren’t ever supposed to pay to visit the solemn site honoring World War II dead.

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HONOLULU (AP) — The National Park Service on Friday said it was naming the superintendent of national parks in the Seattle area to oversee the USS Arizona Memorial, which has been rocked by alleged ticket sales even though people aren’t ever supposed to pay to visit the solemn site honoring World War II dead.

Jacqueline Ashwell, who currently leads the Seattle unit of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and other park service sites, will assume her new role Oct. 19, the agency said in a statement.

She will replace Paul DePrey, who was at the helm during the alleged ticket sales. Internal National Park Service reports released last year said tour companies sold tickets for boat rides to the memorial with the knowledge of park officials.

The park service in January adopted a new ticketing system to more clearly lay out the terms and conditions of the permits commercial tour companies operate under.

DePrey is now superintendent of Salem Maritime Center and Saugus Ironworks national historic sites in Massachusetts. He told The Associated Press in April, before leaving for his new post, that the road wasn’t always smooth during his seven-year tenure in Hawaii starting in 2008. But DePrey said he believes he addressed many of the concerns people had about improving visitor experiences.

The Arizona Memorial is an open-air structure honoring the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed when their battleship was bombed by Japanese planes on Dec. 7, 1941. The memorial sits atop the sunken hull of the vessel in Pearl Harbor.

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Ashwell will also lead the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which includes the newly created national monument for Honouliuli, a camp outside Honolulu where Japanese-Americans and prisoners of war were held during the war.

Ashwell is a 22-year-park service veteran. She was chief ranger of Sitka National Historic Park in Alaska in 2009 and worked at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway, Alaska from 2004 to 2009.

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