NEW TRAIL – Asa Dow wears a mask as he cuts a branch placed at the exit of the new 907 single-track mountain bike trail loop off the Sitka Cross Trail to officially open the trail Monday afternoon. Dow was one of about a dozen volunteers who built the trail, the first of its type in Sitka. The single-lane trail is exclusively for bikers and runs south to north. The Sitka Cycling Club, which organized the construction, will be building a second bicycle trail off the Cross Trail. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Sitka Schools Plan Free Lunch for Kids

Sentinel Staff Writer
    Free breakfast and lunch will become available to Sitka students, and everyone else under age 18, starting Monday, the Sitka School District announced today.
    “The district is planning to distribute grab-and-go breakfast and lunch once a day at community locations... Meals will be free to all children 18 and under, regardless of school enrollment,” the district announcement stated.
    The distribution centers have not yet been decided on, but it’s likely that Sitka High School will be one, said Phil Burdick, co-assistant superintendent of the Sitka School District.
    Outlining the process to the Sentinel, Burdick said, “For instance, you have a student that goes to one of the Sitka School District schools, but then you also have three kids who don’t. This waiver allows us to feed every (minor) member in the family.”
    He said a primary goal is to ensure that the free meal service can begin by Monday, the day students normally would have returned from spring break.
    Schools throughout the state are shuttered until at least March 30 to contain the spread of the respiratory virus COVID-19. The free breakfast and lunch program is the local response to the concern of educators across the country about meeting the nutritional needs of students who depend on free and reduced-cost meals at school.
    Burdick said the school district is also focusing on the best way to deliver school lessons to students during the closure of their classrooms.
    “We’re asking families what they have in terms of technology in their household if and when we go to remote learning,” he said. “Do they have the supplies to be able to meet those assignments requirements? And if not then we’ll probably use this (meal) distribution system to support families that way as well.”
    The district asks that those interested in the free meals sign up at tinyurl.com/SSDCovidNeeds. The survey also inquires about a family’s technological abilities and access to school supplies.
    Those without internet service can fill out the survey by calling the school district office at 907-747-8672.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-3-20)

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 11:10 a.m. Wednesday.

New cases as of Tuesday: 18

Total statewide – 505

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.



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



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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