WEAR ORANGE – More than 100 Sitkans follow drummers as they march down Lincoln Street this afternoon for the Wear Orange parade. Sitka Tribe of Alaska organized the Sitka event as part of an international observance which will be held on Sept. 30, that began as Orange Shirt Day/Every Child Matters in Canada, to honor First Nation/Indigenous children and families affected by the Native residential school system. The Sitka  event also included a free lunch at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi and a short program. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Wedding Ring Found After Dog Gives it Up



Sentinel Staff Writer

The Balovich family’s mastiff Halli has a habit of scooping up small items in her droopy lips.

So when Nikki Balovich’s platinum wedding band went missing in January her thoughts went right to the 90-pound puppy.

The dog regards household items that end up on the floor as her toys, Nikki said. “She picks them up, and carries things around – hair clips, rocks, hair ties. She’s always spitting them out.”


Nikki Balovich shows her recovered ring. (Sentinel Photo)

Nikki was pregnant at the time, and would take her rings off at the end of a long day when her fingers would be swollen.

“My husband was always saying, put them away, put them upstairs – you’re going to lose them,” she said.

Nikki looked everywhere for the missing wedding band, including in Halli’s poop when they took the dog outside, but she knew that it was a long shot.

“I gave up, I thought it was long gone,” she said. “We take the dog everywhere with us, on hikes, on the boat – what were the chances we were going to find it?”

But on Tuesday this week she saw a Facebook post on Sitka For Sale: “FOUND! Beautiful wedding type band. If u have lost a ring, no matter where, call and describe! Found in an unusual place.”

“It’s been so long, but I had a gut feeling,” she said. “I thought I’ll call, why not?” On Wednesday she made the call, and described her ring –  a platinum band with 10 round diamonds – and sent a photo to the person who posted the message, Bob Potrzuski. (He and his wife had already tried without success to find the owner by calling the police department, putting an ad in the Sentinel and going on Problem Corner.)

It turned out that Bob’s wife, Carol, and her friend Julie Schmitts, a few weeks ago decided to do a good deed, and were picking up dog poop on the ballfield behind Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary, in preparation to the start of the baseball and softball seasons. As they made their rounds, Carol spotted something glittery in the waste, and it turned out to be a ring with diamonds. 

As for how it got there, Nikki Balovich explained that she was also volunteering at the ball field recently, organizing the equipment shed in preparation for the season, while the dog ran around.

“I feel very lucky,” Nikki said.

It was also the same day as her husband’s birthday, making the find a nice birthday surprise for him as well, since the couple had been considering buying a replacement.

Nikki collected the ring from Carol on Thursday, put it on, and said it will take some convincing to get her to take it off again.

“It’s been on my hands ever since – my hand was feeling naked without it,” she said.






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At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

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 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

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

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






September 2003

Photo caption: Rescue K-9 team leader Karen Royce holds Alyeska, next to Mike Motti and his German shepherd Stryker during an agility drill on Alice Island. ...The Rescue K-9 team is part of the Search and Rescue team, a division of the Sitka Volutneer Fire Department.

If Sitka voters don’t re-authorize the existing 1 percent sales tax in an Oct. 7 referendum, the Sitka School District could be in a desperate situation, Superintendent Steve Bradshaw said at the Chamber of Commerce meeting.



September 1973

Conrad P. Baines Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Baines, Mt. Edgecumbe, has been graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a master’s degree in public health. He is a 1966 graduate of Sitka High.

By a margin of five to one, members of striking local 962-T of the United Paperworks International Union, AFL-CIO voted Thursday to accept a proposed contract. ... The 70-day strike was the second in ALP’s 13 years of operation. Mill personnel director Lloyd Rice said the mill is expected to be in full operation by next week.


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