FULL FIELD – Bathtub toy ducks float down Granite Creek toward a finish line at Halibut Point Recreation Area Saturday afternoon during the annual Sitka Rotary Club duck race. First place, two Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, were won by Ron and Leah Kari. This year all 3,500 ducks were sold by June 14. Money raised at the event is donated to dozens of Sitka non-profits. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Anchorage Police Still Cite Minors for Having Tobacco

    ANCHORAGE (AP) — The Anchorage Police Department has continued issuing citations to minors for possession of tobacco and vaping products despite a new ordinance ending the penalty, officials said.
    The Anchorage Assembly passed an ordinance in July called Tobacco 21 to help reduce teen smoking, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
    The ordinance included a change that went into effect Aug. 20 to stop issuing citations to minors in possession of tobacco and vaping products.
    Anchorage police have not followed the intent of the city’s legislative body and have instead relied on state code to continue penalizing minors in possession, officials said.
    Officers issued 23 citations for minors in possession of tobacco or vaping products between Aug. 29 and Oct. 30, department spokeswoman Renee Oistad said.
    Prior to the assembly’s decision, police usually used state code anyway. From Jan. 1 to July 1, officers wrote 44 citations under the state code and two under municipal code, Oistad said.
    Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance was surprised by the police action.
    “I definitely need to go to APD to understand that perspective, because that’s not what my intent, the intent of Tobacco 21, is. It’s deliberately not punitive toward young people,” said LaFrance, who co-sponsored the ordinance with assembly members John Weddleton and Austin Quinn-Davidson.
    Tobacco 21, which officials said was modeled after national policy created by health organizations, passed in a unanimous assembly vote.
    The assembly initially considered increasing the possession penalty, but research showed that approach to be ineffective. The members voted to increase the penalty for selling to minors, LaFrance said.
    “Removing the section that had to do with minors in possession was very deliberate,” LaFrance said.
 
   

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-6-20)

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 1:25 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 28

Total statewide – 1,166

Total (cumulative) deaths – 16

Active cases in Sitka – 6 (3 resident; 3 non-resident)

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 74.

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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