SPLASH – An SUV makes a tremendous splash as it drives through a puddle on Lake Street Sunday morning.  A storm front Sunday and Monday morning brought with it torrential rain, thunder,  lightning and a power outage, but no major damage. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Anchorage Daily News Wins Pulitzer Prize

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica won the Pulitzer Prize in public service today for illuminating public safety gaps in Alaska, revealing that a third of villages had no police protection.

The “riveting” series spurred legislative changes and an influx of spending, the judges noted in an announcement  postponed several weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The New York Times won the investigative reporting prize for an expose of predatory lending in the New York City taxi industry and also took the international reporting award for what the judges called “enthralling stories, reported at great risk,” about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

The Times also was awarded the commentary prize for an essay that Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote as part of the paper’s ambitious 1619 Project, a wide-ranging examination that followed the throughlines of slavery in American life to this day. 

The Washington Post’s work on the environmental effects of extreme temperatures was recognized for explanatory reporting. 

In a development that recognized how podcasting has brought new attention to reporting aimed at listeners rather than readers or viewers, a first-ever award for audio reporting went to “This American Life,” the Los Angeles Times and Vice News for “The Out Crowd,” an examination of the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” immigration policy. The judges called the reports “revelatory, intimate journalism.”

In a photograph of a computer screen during a staff Zoom call reporter Kyle Hopkins, bottom, and other staff members of the Anchorage Daily News receive word of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service today in Anchorage. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

In another prize for the Los Angeles Times, Christopher Knight won the criticism award for what the judges called “extraordinary community service by a critic” in examining a proposal to overhaul of the L.A. County Museum of Art. 

The staff of The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, took the breaking news reporting award for unpacking racial disparities and other issues in a spate of governor’s pardons. 

Two different projects — ProPublica’s look at deadly accidents in the U.S. Navy and The Seattle Times’ examination of design flaws in the troubled Boeing 737 MAX jet — won the national reporting award.

The local reporting award went to The Baltimore Sun for shedding light on a lucrative and previously undisclosed financial relationship between the mayor and the public hospital system, which she helped oversee.

The New Yorker took the feature reporting prize for Ben Taub’s piece on a detainee at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with judges saying the story offered “a nuanced perspective on America’s wider war on terror.”

New Yorker contributor Barry Blitt got the editorial cartooning award for work that “skewers the personalities and policies emanating from the Trump White House,” as the judges saw it.

The Associated Press won the feature photography prize for images made during India’s clampdown on Kashmir, where a sweeping curfew and shutdowns of phone and internet service added to the challenges of showing the world what was happening in the region.

AP photographers Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand snaked around roadblocks, sometimes took cover in strangers’ homes and hid cameras in vegetable bags to capture images of protests, police and paramilitary action and daily life. Then they headed to an airport to persuade travelers to carry the photo files out with them and get them to the AP’s office in New Delhi.

Reuters won the breaking news photography award for its coverage of protests that shook Hong Kong.

While big outlets and collaborations got plenty of recognition, the small Palestine Herald-Press, in East Texas, got a Pulitzer of its own, for Jeffery Gerritt’s editorials on the deaths of jail inmates awaiting trial. Judges said Gerritt “courageously took on the local sheriff and judicial establishment, which tried to cover up these needless tragedies.”

In the arts categories,  Michael R. Jackson’s musical “A Strange Loop,” about a man trying to write a musical, won the drama prize. And Colson Whitehead’s “The Nickel Boys” won the fiction prize; he also won in 2017 for “The Underground Railroad.”

The Pulitzer board also issued a special citation Monday to the trailblazing African American journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, noting “her outstanding and courageous reporting” on lynchings.

Wells was a journalist and publisher in the late 1800s and later helped found civil rights and women’s suffrage groups; she died in 1931. The board said the citation comes with a bequest of at least $50,000 in support of Wells’ mission, with recipients to be announced.

The initial Pulitzer ceremony, which had been scheduled for April 20, was pushed to give Pulitzer Board members who were busy covering the pandemic more time to evaluate the finalists.

The awards luncheon that is traditionally held at Columbia University in May will be postponed, as well. Details of a fall celebration will be announced at a later date, the Pulitzer Board said.

The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism were first awarded in 1917 and are considered the field’s most prestigious honor in the U.S.


Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela contributed to this report.


August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff


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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 9-28-20)

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 11:50 a.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 115

Total statewide – 7,597

Total (cumulative) deaths – 56

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (11 resident; 9 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 44 (37 resident; 7 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 286.

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. 




September 2000

Sitka Open Golf Tournament winners are: Men’s Division – Semisi Funaki, Tom Mattingly and Gregory Martin. Women’s Division – Janet Schwartz, Judy Sudnikovich and Liza Martin. Youth Division – Elaina Mattingly, Matthew Way and Sidney Wyman.

September 1970

Lions Catch a Bear at Kake. They were on Lions Club business, but Willie Dick and Bill Pasek, Sitka, brought back a bear from Kake. Pasek shot the 6-foot-tall black bear after Lions Club business was ended. He and Dick brought the bear back to Sitka where Larry Ross and Dick Wight helped prepare it for a taxidermist.