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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)

Bill to Solve Indigenous Cold Cases Heating Up

By DAVE KOLPACK
Associated Press
    FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A bill originally meant to help law enforcement investigate cold cases of murdered and missing indigenous women that has floundered in Congress for two years may have the missing ingredients to become law — money and muscle.
    The money comes from an appropriations subcommittee chaired by Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who told The Associated Press that for the first time funding is being directed specifically to murdered and missing indigenous people. The muscle comes from the White House and specifically the Department of Justice, which last week unveiled a plan that would investigate issues raised in the bill like data collection practices and federal databases.
    It adds up to a strong outlook for Savanna’s Act, which was originally introduced in 2017 by Murkowski, Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro and former North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Murkowski and Heitkamp, longtime allies on issues affecting indigenous people, also created the Commission on Native Children, which recently held its first meeting.
    “The great thing about Lisa’s work has been her willingness to not just pass this law but make sure there’s an appropriation for it,” Heitkamp said Friday.

In an Aug. 28, 2017, file photo, a makeshift memorial to Savanna Greywind featuring a painting, flowers, candle and a stuffed animal is seen in Fargo, North Dakota, outside the apartment where Greywind lived with her parents. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack, File)

    The bill is named for Savanna Greywind, a Native American North Dakota woman who was killed in 2017 when her baby was cut from her womb. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired by North Dakota Republican John Hoeven, earlier this month advanced another version of bill to the full Senate for consideration.
    Gloria Allred, an attorney for Greywind’s family, said they are “encouraged by what appears to be the strong efforts of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s commitment to gather support for this bill in order for it to be signed into law one day.”
    Savanna’s Act passed the Senate in 2018 but was blocked in the House by former Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte because he said it would hurt some agencies that have no link to tribal communities. Heitkamp said a new companion piece to the bill, the Not Invisible Act, has helped broaden the scope of the initiative and address concerns raised by Goodlatte.
    “We are making some headway,” Murkowski said. “Not fast enough, but I think we’re making the efforts that are going to make a difference in the long haul. The legislative initiatives that we have used have successfully raised the issue of awareness.”
    Savanna’s Act was introduced in the House earlier this year. Three of its co-sponsors are Native American — Sharice Davids of Kansas and Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma.

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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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