PAINTING WEATHER – Downtown Sitka is pictured from the vantage point of commercial painter Keith Fredrickson’s 60-foot man lift today. Fredrickson Painting Inc. was taking advantage of the partly sunny weather to get a coat of paint on the Sitka Hotel, foreground, today. (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.”

August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:


On March 30, 2020, 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 5-8-21)

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: 114

Total statewide – 66,120

Total (cumulative) deaths – 343

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 1,508

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

The City of Sitka posted the following update on COVID-19 cases in Sitka as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Active cases in Sitka – 7

Hospitalizations (cumulative) in Sitka – 5

Cumulative Sitka cases – 367 (321 resident; 46 non-resident)

Cumulative recovered – 359

Deceased (cumulative) – 1

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Thursday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 4,898 (70.469%)

Fully vaccinated – 4,486 (64.56%)

Total population (16+) –6,949

Sitka has vaccinated (with at least one dose) 1,249 (84.51%) of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





May 2001

Richard Nelson, Alaska writer and cultural anthropologist, will be speaker at the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus, commencement exercises at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School

May 1971

The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game announced today that the 100-ton herring quota in District 13, outside of the Sitka Sound area, has been harvested. The 750-ton quota for Sitka Sound was taken by April 7.