Corvus Bruce Rodney Benassi was born 2:31 a.m. Saturday at Juneau’s Bartlett Regional Hospital to parents Cassie Miller and Josh Benassi. He weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 21.75 inches. Grandparents include Christine Hutchens of Portland, Sandi and Bruce Ryan of Colorado Springs, Colo., and residents Craig Miller, Trudi Blume-Miller and Natalie and Mario Benassi. Hutchens, Blume-Miller, and Miller were present for the birth, along with aunts Aliza and Gabi Miller and Lilianna Benassi.
Maxim magazine profiled Parker Schnabel in a six-page article in its December 2013 issue. The Haines-raised star of the Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush” is pictured hanging onto and operating mining equipment and spending time with grandfather John Schnabel. Maxim reporter Julian Stern shadowed Parker at Scribner Creek gold-mining claim near Dawson, Y.T.
Judy Jacobson said that most Haines people are honest, but maybe not the person who stumbled upon her missing $1,000 cash. Jacobson lost a small navy blue purse containing the money last month. She’s disappointed by her loss, but said she still has faith in the community: A resident returned a wallet to a Juneau friend who had lost his wallet aboard the ferry.
Jessica Edwards, husband Andy Hedden, daughter Sophia, and mother Marilyn Harrold described as “paradise” the weather on a recent trip to Hawaii. The family stayed on the sunny side of the Big Island, south of Kona. They visited beaches and went boogie-boarding and snorkeling. Wildlife sightings included whales, turtles, and fish. Sophia, who didn’t like big waves, enjoyed toddler-friendly beaches. While snorkeling north of Kona, Hedden unintentionally recorded whale songs on his GoPro underwater camera. They also visited Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and enjoyed fresh fruit and local coffee. They saw Scott and Mandy Ramsey and daughter Lily, as well as Russ Lyman and Cynthia Allen, who are building a house on the island.
Longtime residents Henriette and Gary Arenson are leaving Haines after 21 years. The couple is ferrying out of town Monday. They are moving to Fairmount City, Penn., to live with Henriette’s sister, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Henriette worked as an accountant for the Sheldon Museum, Haines Borough, school district, and radio station. Gary sold cutlery. She said they’ve particularly enjoyed cross-country skiing, kayaking, and fishing here. Everyone is invited to a farewell party starting 5 p.m. Friday at the Sheldon Museum.
The Haines bank is displaying a collection of art ranging from dark, medieval works to local landscapes and a pet dog portrait. The artist is Marty McWilliams, who moved to Haines from Georgia in October with wife Joellen and dog Molly. The exhibit includes a large, fierce-looking, sculpted dragon head. “(The tellers) get to look at it all day long and pray he’s not hungry,” McWilliams said. Other works include paintings of a dragon in flight against a full moon, a castle, suits of armor, and a sculpted pedestal holding a globe. McWilliams is a SEARHC behavioral health clinical supervisor who is also a musician.
Haines basketball players competed in Sitka’s eighth annual Mount Edgecumbe Invitational Basketball Tournament Jan. 15-18. Jesse McGraw and James Hart competed, as did former Haines High School players David Buss of Juneau and Sitka residents Carl Blackhurst, Jeremy Strong, and Andrew Friske. Andrew’s dad Terry Friske of Sitka also competed. Andrew said the team with the Haines players placed third of eight in the men’s open division. He said the tournament drew 800 spectators to championship games. Nineteen Alaskan teams competed.
Carlos and Sierra Jimenez and sons Hayden and Asher returned from a two-week trip to Mexico and Disneyland. The family stayed in central Mexico’s city of San Miguel de Allende. At Friend’s Ranch, they took a four-hour horse ride, down a steep canyon trail. The foursome also “ran rampant” through water parks. Hayden took formal art lessons, and after returning to Haines, the 7-year-old is continuing the artwork, pulling out his art supplies as early as 5:30 a.m. Carlos golfed and Sierra trained for an upcoming marathon with long runs on country dirt roads. In Disneyland, Hayden was told he was a half inch too short to go on the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. The next day, he made it on wearing shoes his parents stuffed with socks at the heels.
First National Bank Alaska employee Inez Gross celebrated 25 years of Haines branch employment at a bank open house organized by coworkers last month. Visitors enjoyed cake and Russian tea. Gross, who started as a teller, is now operations supervisor. She said the best part of her job is successfully helping customers who come to her with problems.
Margaret Piggott traveled to Australia and New Zealand at year’s end. She went by train down Australia’s East Coast and visited Heron Island on the Barrier Reef. There, the black noddy terns made nests on the pisonia tree over her head, and turtles laid eggs on sandy beaches before dawn. In Sydney, she went to the Opera House where she saw the ballet “Cinderella” by Sergei Prokofiev. In New Zealand, she visited Milford Sound, and saw a couple of keas on Arthur’s Pass. The gorgeous parrots fancy windshield wipers, and make a meal out of your lunch, she said. She hiked over Wanaka Lake on South Island and traveled to the Gloworm Caves in Waitomo. On the North Island above the coast of Napier, she saw gannets nesting with their chicks.