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)

Norma Wilma Schumacher Passes Away in Illinois at 93



Norma Wilma Schumacher

Norma Wilma Schumacher of Urbana, Illinois, passed peacefully on to the next phase on April 22, 2019. She was age 93.

Norma Wilma Schallert was born July 5, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Laura and Joseph Martin Schallert.

She graduated from Beaumont High School and took night courses at Washington University in St. Louis while working.  Among the companies she worked for in St. Louis were Woolworth, Famous-Barr, Hawkeye Insurance, General American Insurance and Navy Brand, as well as for the University of Missouri Medical Center in Columbia, Missouri.

The second half of her career was spent working in the Assessor’s Office for the City of St. Louis, for more than 20 years.

Despite being afflicted with polio as a child in the late 1920s, and cancer in 1993, she persisted, and prided herself as being a survivor her entire life.  She had a great empathy for less fortunate souls and contributed to numerous charities.

Among her favorite hobbies were fishing, crocheting, reading, gardening, and watching St. Louis Cardinals baseball. She was a lifelong, highly-knowledgeable fan of the Cardinals, and a St. Louis girl through and through.   

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Joe and her sister Laura.

She is survived by her son, James Alan (Jake) Schumacher of Champaign, Illinois, and daughter-in-law Mary Leandra Baker of Chicago. Both Jake and Mary are former Sitkans and were with Raven Radio from before sign-on in 1981 until 1994, she as a production director, he as music and operations director.

Also surviving are numerous beloved nephews and nieces, and dear friends, especially Carrolle Caro and Roger Cooper.

In lieu of flowers she would have preferred donations to her favorite charity, Doctors without Borders.


She will be buried in a private service at Lake Charles in St. Louis, next to her parents.  Arrangements for a memorial service are pending.



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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