UNLOADING – From left, Kent Barkhau, Linda Behnken and Terry Perensovich unload fish at the Seafood Producers Co-op dock from the F/V Woodstock recently. Behnken, executive director of Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, talked to the Sentinel about an ALFA program to distribute 49,000 pounds of salmon to villages affected by poor subsistence fish returns. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Kelly D. Fritz, Former Sitkan, Dies in Florida

Kelly D. Fritz


Kelly Dianne Fritz, 56, passed away at home in Sebring, Florida, on Thursday, January 23, 2020, surrounded by her loving husband and mother.
She was born in Sitka on June 2, 1963, to Patrick and Carol Ann Welsh.
Kelly is survived by her devoted husband and best friend of 16 years Jay Fritz; sons Patrick Kerley and David Carey both of Missouri; mother, Carol Ann Power of  Sebring; father, Patrick (Florence) Welsh of Sitka; sisters Karin Johnson of Washington,  Anna Maria Welsh of Minnesota, Cory Welsh of Sitka, adopted sister Rachel Ulrich of Sitka; step-brothers: Hal (Rosa) Power of Oklahoma, Sean (Marianne) Power of Missouri, Roy Uber of Sitka; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Kelly was preceded in death by both her maternal and paternal grandparents; brothers Ronnie Welsh, Marty Welsh, and John Paul Welsh of Sitka; and stepfather, Ross Power of Washington.
Kelly was a retired licensed registered nurse, a career she loved. She was a genuine homebody who enjoyed crafts, home decorating, making memories with family and friends to last a lifetime, and she loved animals, especially her own fur babies.
As a teenager, she was a much-appreciated Sitka Daily Sentinel carrier.
Friends and family describe her as a compassionate, caring, feisty, and a courageous woman who overcame many life challenges with a smile and determination.
 Kelly and Jay met at a Little Sturgis motorcycle rally in Kentucky, and they returned to that same rally to have 30,000 bikers witness their wedding.
Kelly was loved by all and will be greatly missed but never forgotten. A family celebration of her life to be held later. In lieu of flowers the family asks that a donation be made in Kelly’s memory to St. Jude’s Hospital.
Arrangements have been by Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Homes in Sebring. Online condolences can be sent to www.stephensonnelsonfh.com.

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 9-18-20)

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 10:30 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 108

Total statewide – 6,658

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 30 (20 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 26 (22 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 257.

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. 




September 2000

Photo caption: First-grader Megan Polasky happily holds a large turnip as she and other first-graders from Baranof Elementary School harvest some of the vegetables they planted last spring as kindergartners behind the Russian Bishop’s House. Park Service Ranger Harvey Brandt, center, watches over the gardening project.

September 1970

The Sentinel adds its congratulations to the following persons listed on the Woman’s Club community calender: Earl E. Smith, Wallis George, Frank Williams, Robert Blankenship, and Frank O. Williams Sr., whose birthdays are today, and Ed and Monte Littlefield, whose anniversary is today.