EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Phoebe Survives Fireworks, 3 Days Alone

By Sentinel Staff

The coronavirus pandemic is destroying lives and the economy, the struggle over racial injustice is roiling the globe, divisive politics is tearing apart the country.

But today, there’s Phoebe.

Phoebe (Photo provided)

She’s a 4-pound chihuahua who went missing on the 4th of July, slipping out the door of her home on Baranof Street while fireworks were going off.

This morning her owner, Nikki Audette, called the Sentinel to see about running a “lost dog” notice: “Her name is Phoebe. She’s all white with two brown eyes. She’s 10 years old, about 4 pounds and is very skittish. She’s been lost since the evening of the 4th. We miss her very much and would love to have her home with us.”

Audette sent the paper a couple of photos of Phoebe, and the Sentinel crew composed a notice and sent it, along with sympathy, to her to proofread.

But minutes later Audette sent an email: “Phebs was just found!!!”

Turned out a passerby, Kevin Knox, had heard her crying somewhere among the rocks at Crescent Harbor, had called police, who called the animal control officer, Ken Buxton, who went looking for her in the rocks.

Meanwhile, Knox texted Byron Hunt, Phoebe’s other owner, who immediately went to the harbor. (Audette is in Anchorage; gets home Wednesday.)

It took awhile for Buxton to find Phoebe – “She goes quiet, she gets scared,” Hunt said.

But Hunt said Buxton finally spotted her and cried, “I got her!”

Phoebe was handed to Hunt, who said she was scared at first but once they got in the truck “she wouldn’t leave me.”

Hunt made a video of her when he got her home. Her tail waving happily,  she can be seen  running back and forth from her food and water dishes and around the room. Hunt sent Audette the video and she posted it on Sitka Chatters.

Hunt said he and Audette have no idea where Phoebe was for the past three days.  He said he and 10 or so others had walked all over looking for her.

But now she’s home, a happy ending to at least one news story today.

“She’s snoozing away,” Hunt said.



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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 8-7-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 non-resident) *

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 141.

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. 




August 2000

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.