Haines High School seniors Keanu LynchJosh Stearns, Jordan BadgerTerry Davis and Kyle Canfield and junior Kai Hays earned their Wildland Fire Fighters “red cards” last week after completing a three-part program. Volunteer firefighter Al Giddings also earned a red card, which allows holders to fight wildfires anywhere in the state. The program included classroom instruction, a field day with seven activities, and a “pack test,” in which applicants must walk three miles with a 45-pound pack in under 45 minutes. Fire Prevention Program Manager for the Alaska Division of Forestry Douglas Albrecht facilitated the program. Other locals who earned recertification and helped out with the field day activities included Al BadgleyScott BradfordVince HansenScott HansenRoy Josephson and Greg Palmieri.

Symaron George recently started up an online T-shirt sale to benefit her 21-year-old brother Dalton Legino, who was born with a rare genetic skin disorder called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Dalton is the only person in Alaska with his type of the disorder, which Symaron described as “having third-degree burns” that don’t go away or heal. Because of their fragility, people with the disorder are called “butterfly children,” which is why Symaron’s T-shirt design features a pair of muscled arms coming out of a butterfly. Proceeds from T-shirt sales will go toward Dalton’s medical bills and travel expenses which have been increasing recently due to his deteriorating condition. Contribute at www.teespring.com/dalton-sky-walking-with-eb.

The Annual American Contract Bridge Sectional Tournament brought in three dozen out-of-town players from Whitehorse, Y.T., and Juneau during last weekend’s competition at the American Bald Eagle Foundation. Haines residents Bob and Sally Lix placed first overall; Roger Schnabel and Fred Shields placed second overall. The local bridge club hosted a dinner between sessions on Saturday attended by about 75 people. Gregg Bigsby organized the dinner, and Jim Studley prepared halibut and prime rib. After Saturday’s evening session, players adjourned to the Harbor Bar for a performance by local band Ed’s Plumbing. Band members include Fred, Tully DevineAndy Berry and Greg Horner.

Port Chilkoot Distillery owner Heather Shade and tasting room manager Macky Cassidy traveled to Juneau’s Twisted Fish restaurant recently for the Spirits of Southeast tasting and dinner for the Juneau Chamber of Commerce. The dinner included a salad made with Icy Strait Vodka vinaigrette and a 12 Volts Moonshine demi-glace for the main course. They poured 200, one-ounce samples of Port Chilkoot Distillery products at the event, including the business’s new absinthe.

KHNS news director Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS reporter Emily Files and CVN reporter Karen Garcia attended the Alaska Press Club Conference and Awards Ceremony in Anchorage this past weekend. The Chilkat Valley News won six awards, including first place for Best Weekly Newspaper, first place for Best Crime and Courts Reporting, first place for Best Short Feature, second place for Best Business Reporting, third place for Best General News Story and third place for Best Alaska Outdoors Story. KHNS won three awards, including second place for Best Daily News Program, third place for Best Alaska Outdoors Story and third place for Best Breaking News Story. Emily also won two awards — third place for Best Sports Reporting and second place for Best Single Story Reporting — for work she did while at Ketchikan’s KRBD station before moving to Haines.

Matt Davis attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston, Mass., last week. Matt also cheered on brother Jack Davis, a runner in the 119th Boston Marathon. Jack, 49, completed the 26.2-mile race in 3:30:31. Matt also spent time with brother Andy Davis and Barrow schoolmate Don Nelson. Highlights included eating chowder at Ye Olde Union Oyster House (allegedly the oldest restaurant in the United States), visiting the site of the Boston Massacre and watching the Baltimore Orioles clobber the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.    

About 55 Haines Middle School students spread out through five areas of town last week to clean up trash on Earth Day. Five groups of sixth, seventh and eighth-graders swept Jones Point, Tlingit Park, Small Tracts Road, the Southeast Alaska State Fairgrounds and Fort Seward, collecting 490 pounds of trash in less than 90 minutes. The students found everything from discarded sleeping bags and tents to bags of used kitty litter. Teacher Pete Degen organized the cleanup.

Congratulatory balloons flew inside the Haines Post Office recently to celebrate postal worker Greg Podsiki’s 25th year on the job. Postmaster Genevieve Bell made apple pie for the occasion. Genevieve also presented Greg with a certificate of appreciation from the Alaska District Manager of the U.S. Postal Service.