OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Kathy Van Horn Dies; Former Sitkan was 61

Kathy Van Horn

Kathleen (Kathy) Ellis Van Horn passed away peacefully on Feb. 18, 2019, with her family by her side in Reno, Nevada. She was 61.
 She is survived by her husband, Victor Van Horn, of Reno; her children Victor Van Horn Jr. (Beth) of Reno, Justin Van Horn (Talli) of Great Falls, Montana, Christine Van Horn (partner Kevin Barnes) of Reno, and Casey Van Horn of Reno; and grandchildren Hailey Krebsbach of Phoenix, Arizona, Cole Azar of Great Falls, and Chance Barnes of Reno.
She is also survived by her siblings, Thomas L. Ellis (Charlotte) of Rathdrum, Idaho, Betty Ellis (partner Larry Hill) of Spokane, Washington, Lawrence Ellis (Joan) of Washougal, Washington, Chris Ellis (Judy) of Conrad, Montana, Pat Ellis (Susan) of Bozeman, Montana, and brother-in-law Art Westwell of Dallas, Texas.
Several nieces and nephews also survive her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas H. and Helene (Whitney) Ellis; her sister Laura Westwell; and her maternal grandparents Charles and Rachel Whitney and paternal grandparents John Harry Ellis and Gertrude Loney.
She also leaves behind on her father-in-law Bill Campbell, Dutton, Montana; sister-in-law Rosemary Younce of Kuna, Idaho; brothers-in-law Carl Younce (Carla) of Cross Lake, Minnesota, David Van Horn of Dutton, Montana, Paul Van Horn of Great Falls,   Joe Campbell (Cathy) of Choteau, Montana, and sister-in-law Lynne (Ben) Knobel of Conrad, Montana.  She was preceded in death by her mother-in-law Vivian Campbell and brother-in-law James Younce.
Kathleen was born in Conrad, Montana, Feb. 17, 1958, and graduated from Conrad High School in 1976.  She attended Montana State University where she met and married her husband, Victor Van Horn. In 1978 they and their newborn son Victor Jr. moved to Sitka, where she worked as the head administrative assistant at Sitka High School for 20 years.  During those years they had two more children, Justin and Christine.
After retirement the family moved to Reno, Nevada.
Kathleen was an avid reader of murder mysteries and loved to share stories with her loved ones. She loved animals, especially cats, and adopted many during her lifetime.  Kathleen was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church.
A viewing will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Conrad.  Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday, March 1, at the church with a viewing beginning at 10 a.m.   Burial will be at Hillside Cemetery.



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

Recovered cases in Sitka – 12 (10 resident; 2 non-resident)

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

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 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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