TRAIL TRIMMING – Dyana Mutchler-Walsh trims trees and shrubs along the Castle Hill ramp this morning. Mutchler-Walsh is one of a half-dozen students building trails and doing trail maintenance this summer through a Southeast Alaska Independent Living program. The program wraps up Friday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Kristi Deckard Dies; SHS Grad Was 42

Kristi Deckard

Kristi (Keiki) Deckard passed away Feb. 20, 2019, in Billings, Montana, after a long battle with cancer.
In her 42 years, Kristi provided those around her with an unforgettable example of living life to the fullest, both professionally and, most importantly, personally.
She was a loving wife and mother; amazing aunt; doting daughter and sister; humorous, compassionate friend – Kristi truly relished every aspect of her life’s journey.
Kristi was born Dec. 15, 1976,  in Everett, Washington, the daughter of Renee Crawford and Tom Petersen.  She grew up and attended elementary school in Lake Chelan and Anacortes, and was a member of the Anacortes swim team in 1991, lettering as a freshman.
She graduated from Sitka High School with the Class of ’95.
She obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Colorado Technical University. She received her master of science in management degree with a concentration in health care management, graduating in March of 2017.  
During her schooling, Kristi began her career at Billings Clinic as a community training center coordinator. She was recognized for her efforts as an advocate to treat early warning signs of heart attacks by the American Heart Association. She taught numerous classes in first aid, training teachers, children, and up-and-coming first responders.
Kristi also was a member of the Blue Creek Volunteer Fire Department, and encouraged her pride and joy, daughter  Enna, to follow in her “boot-steps.”
Kristi had a passion for travel. At a young age, she had the opportunity to travel as a nanny to Scotland, and to Russia with the Sitka High symphonic band.
She was always planning her next adventure in life.  Many of those adventures included her beloved dogs:  Xena, Zeus, Zack, Yogi, Booboo and Trager.  
Perhaps her biggest adventure began on Aug. 14, 1999, when she married her sweetheart, Brian Deckard. Kristi and Brian made their home in Billings, and welcomed their baby girl — Enna. Kristi was a rock for Brian, Enna, Arnie and her extended family, as well as for her friends.  She was always willing to listen, offer advice, or simply give a big hug.  
Kristi is survived by her loving husband, Brian; her precious daughter Enna Renee; her mother, Renee Crawford of California; her father, Tom (Jody) Petersen of Manson, Washington; her brother Arnie (Nicole) Petersen and their three children, Ava, Thomas and Maggie of Billings; mother-in-law Georgiann Deckard of Billings; sister-in-law Britton (Aaron) Frisbie; and her many aunts, uncles, cousins and countless dear friends.
Kristi wasn’t done. She wanted to help people – it was who she was and what she wanted to do. True to her giving spirit, she was an organ donor and was able to donate her corneas to give the gift of sight.
The family extended thanks to the Billings Clinic ICC nurses for their exceptional care and the Blue Creek Volunteer Fire Department for their vigil throughout the night.    
Visitation will be held at Smith Downtown Funeral Chapel 2-8 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 26. Celebration of life service will be held at Big Horn Resort 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.  Following the service interment will be at Rosebud Cemetery in Absarokee, Montana. Memorial contribution may be made to the Blue Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

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 8-6-20)

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 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

New cases as of Wednesday: 40

Total statewide – 3,484

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 19 (14 resident; 5 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

The city’s solid waste incinerator closed Wednesday, two days after the contract with Sheldon Jackson College for its operation ended. ... The city will ship all municipal waste except biosolids off-island to a landfill in Washington. The biosolids will be buried in the Kimsham landfill, Public Works Director Hugh Bevan said.

August 1970

Ernest Robertson, a Sitka resident most of his life, has moved back here with his family after a five-year sojourn in Anchorage. “Anchorage was just too big,” Ernie said. “It wasn’t like Sitka, where every time you go out on the street you meet your friends.”