OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Regents Approve $277M For UA Budget request

    ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska university board regents approved a $277 million operating budget request following a plan previously negotiated by university leaders and Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
    The University of Alaska Board of Regents voted unanimously Friday to cut the university system’s budget request by $25 million for the 2020-21 school year, school officials said. The decrease is part of a three-year plan to reduce the budget by $25 million this academic year, an additional $25 million next year and by $20 million the following year.
    Under the recent approval, the University of Alaska Anchorage is set to lose $9.1 million in direct state support, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is set to lose $12.3 million and the remaining cuts would be received by the University of Alaska Southeast and other remote campuses, officials said. It is not clear what programs or staff would be affected by the decision.
    “The compact agreement actually benefited the university over a three-year period by $260 million,” University President Jim Johnsen said compared to Dunleavy’s original one-year cut proposal. The budget cut is also subject to state Legislature approval.
    The board originally planned to vote on a proposed 5% tuition increase for the coming fall semester but unanimously agreed to postpone the vote until January after student opposition, regents said.
    The Anchorage and Fairbanks universities were also told to continue with their individual athletic programs for the 2020-21 season, following an October announcement to table the idea of consolidating into a single-accredited university until 2021, officials said. The future for both athletic programs after the 2020-21 season remains uncertain.
    The next full board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17 in Anchorage.
   

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

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

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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

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

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 sitkasentinel.com. 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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