GRAB AND GO - Library patron Tina Johnson, left, and Joanna Perensovich, information services librarian, wear masks in the Sitka Library this afternoon. The library no longer has couches for patrons, but does have computer desks widely spaced apart for people to access for one-hour periods. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Alberta Hemnes, Longtime Resident, Dies at Age 84

Alberta Hemnes


Alberta Hemnes, a longtime Sitka resident, died March 17, 2020, at the Sitka SEARHC hospital. She was 84.

Alberta was born June 12, 1935, in Bissett, Manitoba, Canada, the oldest of five children of Jonas Anderson and Elsie Irene Walker. Her family moved to Calgary during World War II, and her father served in the Army for six years during the war. When she was 16  her mother passed away, leaving Alberta to help raise her siblings.

Alberta attended Langley Prairie High School in British Columbia, Canada, and Berean Bible College in Calgary for three years. Later, she took nursing aide training in Calgary and worked as an aide at a local hospital. 

Alberta began her missionary work  for Gospel Missionary Union in Kansas City, and was there for 10 years. In 1969, GMU sent her to Sitka to work with children in a Bible club program. She and her GMU partner, Elsie Williams, also opened the Bible Book Store, in downtown Sitka.

She met the love of her life, Jakob Hemnes, here, and they were married on August 22, 1975.

Alberta worked as an aide at Sitka Community Hospital and at the Bed and Bath shop for many years. She had artistic talents and loved to paint, and spent many happy hours painting for Becky Martin at Windsong Designs. Her miniature canvas paintings have been featured in the Pioneers Home Gift Shop the past few years. 

Alberta had a very strong Christian faith and will be missed by her church family at the Nazarene Church. Her home for the last two years has been at the Pioneer Home. Alberta was a joy to many and will be missed by them all.

She is survived by two stepchildren, Joyce Hemnes of Sitka and Kurt Hemnes and two step-granddaughters, of Norway.


A memorial service is planned for later in the summer.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-10-20)

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 noon Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 51

Total statewide – 1,323

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 5 (2 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 13 (11 resident; 2 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 80.

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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