A WALK IN THE PARK – Jim Moormann walks through Sitka National Historical Park this morning, as he has every day for the past two and a half years. This Saturday is National Trails Day, an annual event which began in 1993 to honor the National Trail System. In normal years volunteers help with trail maintenance in parks across the country. This year there will be no organized cleanup in Sitka and, without tour ship visitors, Sitkans will have the park to themselves. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Michael Helmrich Dies; Former Resident was 69

Michael Harry Helmrich

Michael Harry Helmrich, of Doniphan, Missouri, died March 31, one month after a diagnosis of a fast-moving cancer.

The former Sitka resident was 69.

Mike was born July 16, 1950, in Amite, Louisiana, the son of Harry Herman Helmrich and Yvonne Cora Helmrich. He was preceded in death by his father and mother.

Those left to mourn his passing include his beloved wife, Jackie Nigro Helmrich; his brother, Mark Helmrich; Aunt Joyce Perrin; and Jackie’s cousins, Diana Lea Jones and Janine Jones.

Mike attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in business.

In 1987, Mike met his wife, Jackie, in Sacramento, California, and together they lived a life of adventure for 35 years, with Mike leading the way with his unending love for the land, woods, and waters. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Mike and Jackie were musicians, with Jackie singing and Mike playing guitar and also singing with his beautiful voice. He was the musical director for their music. Because of the music, they traveled to Alaska for a gig, and once there fell in love with Sitka, where they settled from 1998 to 2012. Mike lived his Alaska dream, hunting and fishing in the Alaska Wilderness.

Mike and Jackie continued to play music full time in Sitka, and in addition Mike became a boat captain doing fishing charters in the summer.

In 2016 Mike felt the pull to get back to his Southern roots, and he and Jackie moved to Missouri. There they fell in love with their new home, which provided enough land for Mike to be able to enjoy hunting on his own property.

Those who knew Mike knew that “what you see is what you get.” He was always true to himself and had a great sense of humor with a positive approach at life, his family said. He always had a smile and kind word for everyone.


“He will be missed by so many friends and family,” the family wrote. “Mike will be loved forever and never forgotten by his wife, Jackie.”



Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 6-5-20)

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 11:50 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 11

Total statewide – 524

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 48, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

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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