OPEN AIR CONCERT – From left, musicians Ross Venneberg, Brian Neal, Wade Demmert and Roger Schmidt perform an outdoor brass concert for residents of the Pioneers Home Monday. The professional musicians, who are hunkered down in Sitka, are regulars at the annual Holiday Brass Concert. The Pioneers Home has been closed to visitors during the pandemic. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Leslie Sewell

Services have been scheduled for Leslie Earl Sewell, a Pioneers Home resident who died Feb. 8.
Sitka Christian Center will hold a memorial service 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16, at the Sitka Pioneers Home chapel.
 Les was born on April 12, 1936, in Prattville, Ala. Right after Alaska became a state, in 1959, he and his brother Frederick went to Fairbanks, where they had a printing business, with government contracts at Ft. Wainwright and Elmendorf Air Force bases.
Les moved his wife and four children from Alabama to Fairbanks to make their home, later settling on Badger Road in North Pole.
Les was a great fly fisherman, upholsterer, gardener and woodworker, carving such pieces as walking canes from diamond willow, his family said. “He truly made his own kind of music under the Midnight Sun,”
Les joined the Sitka Pioneers Home family on March 21, 2002.
Family connections were important to Les and he kept in touch with family members by phone and mail, sharing his counsel, advice and love.
He was also very connected with his Sitka Christian Center “family” and really enjoyed going to church mid-week and Sunday.
He was an active member of the Pioneers of Alaska.
He highly respected children and never wanted to hear people calling them “kids,” which he deemed disrespectful.
Les was gracious to others and appreciative of what others did for him. He enjoyed taking trips to the White Elephant Shop, in addition to roaming the Pioneers Home in his electric wheelchair and socializing with other residents.
“His artistic creations, generous spirit, friendly smile and genteel attitude will be missed by everyone who knew him,” friends at the home said.
Les was preceded in death by his loving wife Jackie and a son, Stephen.
He is survived by his daughters, Valerie Cugini, of Denver, Colo., and Nita Armstrong of Fairbanks; son Clarence (Ellen) Sewell of  Purcell, Okla.; grandchildren Steve, April, Kent, Josh, Tamara, Jackie and Kelsey; and five great-grandchildren.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 7-7-20)

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 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Sunday: 19

Total statewide – 1,184

Total (cumulative) deaths – 17

Active cases in Sitka – 8 (3 resident; 5 non-resident)

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

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 78.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

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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

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

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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