SMOOTH SAILING – A troller cruises across Sitka Sound during a hazy sunset Friday evening. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Family Adopts Cat, Gets Bonus

Sentinel Staff

After adopting a toddler-friendly cat May 30, Evening Star Grutter woke up early the next morning to find the cat was giving birth on the bed where her two-year-old son Vinden was sleeping.

“Around five in the morning I heard the cat growling and thought, ‘Oh no, my son’s having a bad dream and the cat doesn’t like it,’” Grutter said.

“I put my hand over to say, ‘It’s OK, Mom’s right here.”

Grutter said her hand landed on the kittens.

“(Sally) the cat was on top of my son, on top of his legs, and the kittens were on his comforter.”

Grutter said Vinden slept through the whole thing, but was excited to discover five kittens when he woke up.

“He’s kind of figured out where baby animals come from – out of the tummies of their mom. He was excited there were little cats inside the cat,” she said.

(Photo provided)


Grutter told the Sentinel Monday that she’s confident the kittens, now a little over a week old, have homes waiting. 

“They’re going to have homes really easily,” she said.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is a concern for her, she added.

“Cats are really susceptible to getting COVID-19,” she said.  

Grutter said she’s being very careful around the kittens, and the soon-to-be owners will need to wash hands frequently and wear masks when around the kittens.

For now, she said, she’s planning to arrange for an outside kitten meet-up when the time is right.

“It’s really hard to keep everybody socially distant with kittens,” she said. “We’re going to take them out in the yard and let (prospective owners) play with them a little bit.”

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 8-4-20)

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 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 59

Total statewide – 3,394

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (12 resident; 5 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 15 (11 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 136.

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. 



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 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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August 2000

The School Board Tuesday discussed district policy on head lice. At present, students found to have head lice are kept from school until all lice are removed. The revised policy allows students who have nits to remain in school, with information on treatment and a nit-removing comb to be sent home with them.

August 1970

Legal notice: Sealed bids will be received ... for furnishing and installation of siding on the City
Garage, located on Halibut Point Road. ... City of Sitka, Alaska Fermin Gutierrez, Director of Public Works.