FULL FIELD – Bathtub toy ducks float down Granite Creek toward a finish line at Halibut Point Recreation Area Saturday afternoon during the annual Sitka Rotary Club duck race. First place, two Alaska Airlines round-trip tickets, were won by Ron and Leah Kari. This year all 3,500 ducks were sold by June 14. Money raised at the event is donated to dozens of Sitka non-profits. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Janis Hahl, Former Sitkan, Dies in Oregon at Age 77

Janis Hahl

Janis Mae Hahl, 77, formerly of  Sitka,  passed away Aug. 4, 2019, at Riverbend Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, from complications of a head injury incurred in a car accident July 29.
The cause of the accident is unknown, the family said. Doctors suspect she fell asleep or possibly fainted at the wheel. Family stayed near her side during her final days, and her granddaughter was with her when she passed.
She was in good health, driving home from celebrating her 60th high school reunion, at the time of the accident.
Janis was born in Elk City, Oklahoma, on Nov. 17, 1941. She moved with her parents, June and Daniel, and siblings Lucille, Betty, Ruth, and D.E. Hartman, first to Blythe, California, then to Turner, Oregon. Janis excelled at school, participated in cheerleading  and was a member of Future Homemakers of America. She graduated from Cascade High School, where she met her first husband, Jerry Lewis.
Jerry and Janis were married for 22 years. Janis was a dedicated wife and mother, staying home with her children while Jerry traveled for work. Janis later worked with Jerry preparing paperwork and log scales for his contract logging company. After more than 30 years of separation, Jerry moved in with Janis after she was widowed, and the two operated again as family.
Janis was known for keeping a comfortable home, and showing compassion toward others. She was a skilled painter, seamstress, and chef with a unique knack for hospitality, gardening, and organization. She will be missed dearly, and remembered as a caring mother, grandmother, and friend.
Janis and her husband Jim Hahl lived in Alaska for more than 20 years. Together they explored the coast of the Pacific Northwest, and enjoyed fresh seafood on their 25-foot sailboat. In Sitka, Janis worked as a manager at Mountain Miss, a rugged gear retail store, where she was known for her diligence and kindness. 
Janis returned to Florence, Oregon, from Sitka in 2013 after her husband, Jim Hahl, passed away.
Upon returning to Oregon, Janis was greeted with the birth of her only great-grandchild. She rekindled connections with her friends and family in the area including her two children, granddaughter, best friend, and first husband.
Janis was a resilient woman who maintained a loving demeanor despite the challenges she faced. She overcame polio as a small child, and was a two-time breast cancer survivor. She endured much loss including two children, first a stillborn infant in 1962, and her eldest child, Valerie Vadakin, in November 2017; her husband, Jim Hahl, in August 2012; her best friend, Dorris Cox, in January 2019; and her eldest sister, Lucille Smith, in July 2019.
Janis is survived by her son Brian Lewis; granddaughter Chelsea Vadakin; great-grandson Owen Burris;  brother Daniel Hartman; and former husband Jerry Lewis.
Memorial services will be held 4-7 p.m. Oct. 19, 2019, at Driftwood Shores Resort in Florence, Oregon.  For information about where to address condolences or questions about the service, please contact Chelsea at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-6-20)

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 1:25 p.m. Monday.

New cases as of Sunday: 28

Total statewide – 1,166

Total (cumulative) deaths – 16

Active cases in Sitka – 6 (3 resident; 3 non-resident)

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 74.

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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