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NEW AGAIN – Amy Rowe-Danielson arranges a display at the Sitka Sound Science Center's newly opened Mill Building on Lincoln Street this afternoon. The reconstructed 1940 building houses Ludvig's Chowder Cart, which opened today for the first time this season to a steady line of socially distancing customers. It also houses the center's gift shop which, like many businesses in town, offers online ordering and free local delivery. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

State Settles Lawsuit Over Alaska Hire Law

    JUNEAU (AP) — The state of Alaska has agreed to pay $50,000 in a settlement with a company that sued to have an employment law declared unconstitutional, records said.
    Colaska Inc. sued the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development in July over the Alaska Hire law, KTOO-FM reported Tuesday.
    The law requires private contractors working on state-funded projects to hire qualified Alaskans as a percentage of their workers.
    The state is expected to pay Colaska interest and other costs related to citations that were dismissed as part of the settlement, Colaska attorney Michael Geraghty said.
    Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson issued a legal opinion in October saying Alaska Hire is unconstitutional, citing previous court decisions against earlier versions of the law.
    Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy encourages hiring Alaskans for jobs in the state, but the federal and state constitutions prohibit laws that mandate hiring Alaskans in preference over others, Clarkson said.
    A spokesperson for Dunleavy referred questions to the Department of Law, which issued a statement that said the settlement with Colaska was a negotiated compromise by both sides.
    Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski was disappointed with the settlement and concerned the state will no longer enforce the Alaska Hire law. The state Legislature can urge the governor to reconsider and, if he refuses to act, “bring a lawsuit and compel the enforcement of the law,” he said.
    “It’s shocking and disappointing,” Wielechowski said. “This is a law that’s been on the books for over 30 years. It’s been a law that probably six or eight different governors have followed and probably eight or 10 attorney generals have followed, Republicans and Democrats and independents.”

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-29-20)

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 10:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 5

Total statewide – 430

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

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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