NO MOORE CLINIC – Contractors from CBC Construction use an excavator to tear down the  Moore Clinic building this morning. The building, which was most recently owned by SEARHC, was built in the mid-1950s by Dr. Phil Moore. Moore was a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who came to Sitka after WWII to open a clinic to treat tuberculosis patients from around the state on Japonski Island using vacated Naval base buildings. He helped develop new treatments for TB which was devastating Native communities. That operation evolved into SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital. Moore also helped establish Sitka Community Hospital in the 1950s. The cleared clinic lot will likely be used for building housing by SEARHC. ( Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Midair Plane Collision Kills 7 Near Soldotna

By MORGAN KRAKOW
Anchorage Daily News

Investigators are trying to figure out what exactly occurred when two planes collided in midair near the Soldotna airport on the Kenai Peninsula on Friday, killing seven people including a Kenai lawmaker.

The single-engine de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver involved in the crash carried six people: 57-year-old pilot Gregory Bell, of Soldotna; 40-year-old guide David Rogers, of Kansas; and South Carolina residents Caleb Hulsey, 26, Heather Hulsey, 25, Mackay Hulsey, 24, and Kirstin Wright, 23, Alaska State Troopers said.

The only person in the other plane, a single-engine Piper PA-12, was 63-year-old state Rep. Gary Knopp of Kenai, troopers and federal aviation officials said.

Six people were confirmed dead at the scene while one person died on the way to Central Peninsula Hospital in an ambulance.

The federal National Transportation Safety Board was recovering the two planes, NTSB Alaska chief Clint Johnson said Saturday. The agency hoped to be finished with recovery efforts by the end of Saturday, and the goal is to bring the two planes to a secured location in the Wasilla area, Johnson said.

In the next two weeks the agency hopes to “be able to piece those airplanes back together” to understand how the two planes came together, Johnson said.

He also said it’s “way too early to discuss cause at this point. We are definitely just in the preliminary stages and information gathering stages.”

Bell, the Beaver’s pilot, was part of a family that owns and operates High Adventure Air Charter, based on Longmere Lake in Soldotna. The business offers fishing, hunting, bear viewing and glacier tour trips as well as custom charters.

The charter plane, which was equipped with floats, took off from Longmere Lake and was headed to the west side of Cook Inlet, Johnson said.

The Piper PA-12 was equipped with wheels and took off from the Soldotna Airport, he said, but investigators do not yet know where it was headed.

How exactly the two planes collided is what investigators are trying to learn.

Knopp, a longtime contractor who was also a flight instructor and pilot, was elected to the Legislature in 2016. Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday ordered U.S. and Alaska state flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Knopp for three days, ending at sunset Monday, with flags returning to full-staff at sunrise tonight.

A South Carolina television station reported that Caleb and Mackay Hulsey were brothers. Heather Hulsey was married to Caleb, the station reported. Mackay and Kirstin Wright were planning to marry and had been dating since 2011.

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Daily News reporters Zaz Hollander, James Brooks and Paula Dobbyn contributed.

 

 

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 9-25-20)

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 1:10 p.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 127

Total statewide – 7,254

Total (cumulative) deaths – 51

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (8 resident; 12 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 41 (37 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 277.

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. 

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20 YEARS AGO
September 2000

School Superintendent John Holst, Police Chief Bill McLendon and Magistrate Bruce Horton are among panelist confirmed for a community forum on teen alcohol and drug use and the new random drug testing by police in the schools. Other panelists are to be Tribal Judge Ted Borbridge, Nancy Cavanaugh, R.N.,  Asst. District Atty. Kurt Twitty, Tami Young, Trevor Chapman and School Board member Carolyn Evans.

50 YEARS AGO
September 1970

Mark Spender, son of Dr. and Mrs. Ed Spencer, and David Bickar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Bickar, are among 14,750 high school seniors honored today be being named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

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