MASKED UP – Mt. Edgecumbe High School students receive prizes for their costumes this afternoon outside the school library. This year’s Halloween costume contest was held outdoors with everyone wearing masks in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Sitkans are trying to have a degree of normalcy while acting responsibly during the pandemic. Businesses are having Halloween-themed  sales over the weekend. Also, Sitka merchants will be hosting the downtown Trick-or-Treat event Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. with everyone asked to observe social distancing recommendations. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Roger C. Sams, Juneau, Dies in Anchorage at 81

Roger C. Sams

Longtime Juneau resident Roger C. Sams, 81, passed away August 25, 2020, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. No services will be held.

Roger was born July 2, 1939, in Fairview, North Dakota, to Laura and Dorsey Sams. He moved to Portland, Oregon, at a young age, and he graduated from Franklin High School in Portland in 1957.  He completed his journeyman lineman apprenticeship in 1966 and worked for Portland General Electric until 1969.  

He married Barbara Wisdom on September 5, 1969. They honeymooned on the Alcan Highway, moving to Juneau, where he worked all phases of power line work (AEL&P, Northern Construction, Glacier Highway Electric Association and other contractors).

From 1981 to 1985, he was the assistant business manager for Unit 103 of Local 1547 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and a Trustee for the Alaska Electrical Apprenticeship Training Trust. From 1987 through 1990 he worked in Anchorage as a business rep. From 1990 through 1999 he worked as the Southeast Electrical Inspector for the State of Alaska.  He retired in 1999.

He enjoyed hunting in Alaska. Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and  also fishing, traveling and cutting wood.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, of 51 years; sons Dale (Lori Nottingham) of Juneau and Mark (Melody Collins) of Wasilla; grandson Jason (Nicole Thieme) of Acme, Washington; sister JoAnn Bailey of Sitka; nieces Paige Bernhardt (Gary) of Sitka and Jill Bailey of Portland, Oregon; and cousin Larry (Connie) of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents Laura Sams Dykstra and Dorsey Sams, grandparents, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends.


“He is missed but we know he is in a better place.”

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 10-30-20)

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 9:40 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 380

Total statewide – 14,837

Total (cumulative) deaths – 81

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (14 resident; 3 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 62 (49 resident; 13 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 430.

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. 




October 2000

Photo caption: Their Halloweeen party over, Sitka Tribe of Alaska staff members and their families turn heads as they stroll down Katlian Street Friday. Several Halloween events were held over the weekend. This afternoon kids were invited downtown to trick or treat at businesses; and tonight parties and more trick or treating expeditions will bring out more ... whatever.

October 1970

The only method through which the United States will adopt a 200-mile limit for its contiguous fishing zone is by a change in international law which would require consent of two-thirds of the nations at an international conference, the assistant Secretary of State for Fisheries and Wildlife told fishermen in Sitka.