EXPECT DELAYS – Lines of traffic move slowly down Sawmill Creek Road today as a repaving project progresses near the Indian River bridge. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Ketchikan Publisher Lew Williams III Dies

Lew Williams III

   Lew Williams, 62, a Ketchikan civic leader and publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News, died Saturday at age 62.
    A third-generation Alaska newspaperman, Williams and his two sisters owned and managed the Ketchikan newspaper the past 25 years. He was a member of the Ketchikan city council for 32 years, nine of them as mayor.
    Williams had been battling cancer since 2017, but served through his final term as mayor in 2018 and felt well enough to win election to another term on the council last year before having to resign because of his health.
    Llewellen Morris Williams III was born Dec. 7, 1957, in Petersburg. His father and his grandfather before him operated weekly newspapers in Wrangell and Petersburg. In 1966 his father moved the family to Ketchikan to become editor, and eventually owner, of the Ketchikan Daily News.
     He was a 1976 graduate of Ketchikan High School and attended Whitworth College for two years before transferring to Western Washington University, where he graduated in with a degree in journalism. While home on a break from the university he met Vicki Kandt, and they were married in 1980. After graduation Williams worked as a reporter for the Arlington Times in Washington before the couple returned to Ketchikan.
     Rejoining the family business, Williams was sports editor and general assignment reporter, transferring to the advertising department and rising to manager. In 1995 he became co-owner of Pioneer Printing Co., Inc., and co-publisher of the Ketchikan Daily News.
    Williams was elected to the Ketchikan City Council in 1987, later serving three three-year terms as mayor, and compiling a record of 32 years as an elected official.
    A member of the 1970 Southeast Little League baseball championship team, and a college baseball player at Whitworth, Williams was a lifelong sports fan, coaching Ketchikan basketball and baseball teams for many years.   
    He is survived by his wife, Vicki Williams; mother, Dorothy Williams; daughters, Kristena (Andrew) Berntson, and Jodi and Melissa Williams; sisters, Kathryn and Christena Williams; and grandchildren, Milan Browne, and Newt and Harper Berntson. All live in Ketchikan except for Jodi and Milan of Enumclaw, Washington.
    He also is survived by a sister-in-law, Jenelle (Dean) Henrick of Ketchikan; brothers-in-law, Kenneth (Diana) Kandt of Augusta, Georgia, and Keith (Elizabeth) Kandt of Darrington, Washington; and numerous nieces and nephews.
    A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday,  Jan. 11 at Ketchikan First Baptist Church. A celebration of life reception will follow at 4 p.m. at Ted Ferry Civic Center.
    Memorials may be made to First City Council on Cancer or Lew Williams III Baseball Field Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank.

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.

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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 8-7-20)

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 11:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 53

Total statewide – 3,536

Total (cumulative) deaths – 25

Active cases in Sitka – 20 (14 resident; 6 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

High prices for chum salmon, low pink returns, and record numbers of fish in Deep Inlet have turned the Sitka fishing grounds into Route 66 this summer. “Overall it’s been a fantastic season so far,” said Steve Reifenstuhl, operations manager for the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.

August 1970

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will head a gathering of Orthodox prelates from North American and abroad in ceremonies canonizing the first American Orthodox saints, Father Herman of Alaska. A group of Sitkans will fly to Kodiak for the event.