PASSING THROUGH – Orca whales swim near the Indian River estuary Thursday night. A pod of more than a half-dozen adult and juvenile orcas spent the late afternoon in Sitka Sound near shore as people along Sawmill Creek Road photographed and video recorded them. NOAA Fisheries recommends staying at least 100 yards away while viewing whales from boats. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

July 24, 2019, Police Blotter

Police Blotter
    Police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
July 23
    A caller said someone had spit him in the face, but he didn’t want to press charges.
    A Moller Avenue resident said someone had tried to steal a car stereo during the night from her son’s vehicle, and had stolen a pair of sunglasses from hers.
    At 10:23 a.m. a caller said a friend had driven past a vehicle several times on Price Street and seen a man slumped over the steering wheel. Officers detained one person and impounded a vehicle.
    At 1 p.m. Harbors said an intoxicated man was refusing to leave the Mariners Wall. An officer found he was able to care for himself, and he agreed to leave.
    A Harbor Drive business reported a sign valued at $30 was stolen.
    Several callers reported  manhole cover open in the 400 block of SMC. Public Works responded.
    A caller said an employee who had been fired was posting threats against him and his family.
    Multiple callers reported a verbal altercation aboard a fishing boat in the harbor. Officers found it was a father and son arguing about getting the boat ready for fishing, and were fine.
    A caller said she’s housesitting for her sister on HPR and for the last few nights a man in an older vehicle has come up the driveway, parked for a minute and was seen on security tapes looking at the house and cursing. She said she hadn’t noticed until she watched the tapes. Officers told her the night shift would be made aware of the incident, and to call if the man came back.
    A man said someone had apparently been on his boat at Eliason transient dock. The Zodiac on it was flipped off onto the dock, and it’s too heavy for the wind to have blown it.
    A man said he wanted to talk to an officer about discrimination at his workplace. He was told it’s a civil issue.
    At 7:29 p.m. a caller said a man and a woman were stumbling along DeGroff Street. They left before officers arrived.
    A caller reported hearing yelling and screaming from a Price Street apartment. Two residents told officers it was a simple disagreement.
    At 9:26 p.m. a caller said a man walking along the rocks at the skate park had fallen and hit his head. An ambulance took the man to a hospital.
    At 10:27 p.m. a caller said neighbors are hanging a doll – which resembles a real child –  from the ceiling of their home, where all residents of the HPR apartment complex can see it. Officers talked to a man, who said it was his ventriloquist doll and he would take it down.
    A woman said neighbors had tapped her phone and were following her. She was advised of her options.
    July 24
    At 1:55 a.m. a man was reported on a bench in the 500 block of Lincoln Street. He told an officer he didn’t know where he was. After he provided a PBT of .256 and was taken to a hospital.
    At 2:10 a.m. a caller said neighbors had put a ladder on the side of her house, broke into her attic, and were now watching her.
    At 3 a.m. a downtown resident reported being awakened by loud noise from the street, probably bar patrons headed home. Officers were advised.
    At 3:47 a.m. a caller reported a fight in progress in the 200 block of Lincoln Street. One man was taken to a hospital, and one was charged.
    At 5:21 a.m. a caller said two men were yelling loudly at birds in the air and on the ground near Centennial Hall. An officer responded and the men agreed to leave the area.
    At 5:41 a.m. a caller said  two men were screaming at tourists. No location was given in the police report.

Sitka Police
    Aaron Bean, 40, was charged early this morning with assault in the fourth degree, recklessly injure, a class A misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, challenge to a fight, a class B misdemeanor.

Emergency Calls
    Sitka Fire Department received ambulance calls at 8:24 p.m., 8:51 p.m., 9:29 p.m. and 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, and 2:10 a.m., 3:14 a.m. and 3:52 a.m. today.
     An engine was sent to the Coast Guard air station at 9:38 a.m., and another to Flume Circle at 6:53 p.m. Both calls turned out to be false alarms.

Coast Guard
    A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka medevacked a 69-year-old man with medical complications from the cruise ship Regatta Tuesday night and flew him to Sitka.
    The ship was about 50 miles south of Sitka bound for Victoria, British Columbia, when it called the Coast Guard, at 8:30 p.m. It turned around to meet the air crew closer to Sitka.
    “The crew aboard this ship was very skilled and cooperative in helping us prepare this man for a hoist,” said Lt. Kellen Browne, co-pilot for the case. “Thanks to their help we were able to execute this mission seamlessly, and bring this man to the care he needed back in Sitka.”
    Weather at the time of the hoist included 6-foot seas and winds up to 20 mph.




Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-31-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 12:50 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 2,990

Total (cumulative) deaths – 23

Active cases in Sitka – 15 (10 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 133.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 



Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020



For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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July 2000

Clinton Buckmaster shot and wounded a large brown bear Tuesday night when it charged him near his Thimbleberry Bay home in the 2100 block of Sawmill Creek Road. As of press time, the bear was still at large.

July 1970

The city council agreed at a special meeting Thursday to consider the request of Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp No. 1 for redevelopment planning funds for the Indian Village. Cost has been estimated at $12,000.