VIGIL – More than 300 people share seven minutes of silence on Totem Square during a vigil for George Floyd, who died last week while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The large turnout for event made it difficult for participants to maintain the six-foot social distance that organizers had hoped for. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Dena Marie Williams

Dena Marie Williams
Dies in Denver at 39

Dena Marie Williams, 39, passed away August 15, 2017, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver following a massive stroke.
Dena was born in Rangely, Colo., the second of four children of Dennis and Judy Williams. 

Dena Marie Williams

Early in life Dena joined the ranks of the adventurous and the curious. Her free spirit led her to live many places, meet many people, and experience life through many lenses. Dena ultimately found a kindred connection to wild and beautiful Southeast Alaska, where she became a commercial fisherwoman, and a loving, giving friend to that community.
The greatest moment in Dena’s full, yet far-too-short life, was certainly the birth of her sweet son Wesley Dale Burkhart in 2013. Dena channeled her passion, her spirit, and her wisdom into being an extraordinary mother.
She shared her love of the great outdoors, gardening, camping, hard work, and family values with her son. She showed him daily how to love without restraint, trust without fear, and how to take risks. By example, she imparted the value of rescuing animals, giving to the poor, and sacrificing for those less fortunate. Wes in turn, every day of his 4 years, gave Dena the priceless joys of laughter, wonder, and love beyond all measure.
Dena is survived by her son Wesley and his loving father, Allen Burkhart, of Durango, Colo.; grandparents Almira and Ray LeClair of New Jersey; parents Dennis and Judy of Grand Junction, Colo.; sister Vanessa (Jeff) of Littleton, Colo.; sister Adriann (Billy) of Phoenix;  brother Casey (Lynette) of Memphis; and numerous loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dena will be deeply missed by her family, and the countless people whose lives she has touched and enriched in her lifetime. “You know Dena would wish that you not grieve, but rather invest those emotions into something positive and meaningful,” her family said. “Accept others without prejudice, speak to strangers and neighbors, share a meal with the hungry, revere your elders, and protect our innocent animals from abuse or neglect.”
Services for Dena will be held privately in cities and towns in Colorado and Alaska.  Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made in Dena’s name to a local Humane Society.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-2-20)

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 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 20

Total statewide – 487

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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