Melissa and Michael Ganey arrived home in Haines Monday with daughter Brinley, who was born Oct. 10, and Brinley’s siblings KaedenAshlyn and Taylor. Brinley was born prematurely and released from the hospital Sunday. The Ganeys kept their return to Haines a surprise for friends and family. Once in Haines, they first stopped in to see Melissa’s sister, Kaitlin Combs, who hadn’t seen Melissa since she was sent to Anchorage months ago. The family then surprised Melissa’s parents, Teri and Greg Podsiki, who didn’t expect that they would be home by Thanksgiving. “I just couldn’t believe it,” said Teri. “Brinley looks beautiful, we all got to hold her. Melissa has such a good attitude.”

Donna Catotti has placed donation jars at the American Legion, Bamboo Room restaurant and Mountain Market to benefit Aurita Maldonato, who contracted a parasite that left her temporarily paralyzed. Aurita was a contestant on a survival reality show on a tropical island recently. Aurita believes she contracted the parasite when she ate a slug for sustenance. Following the taping of the show, she was traveling with boyfriend John Binger and began to feel sick. Multiple misdiagnoses delayed her treatment. The parasite larvae were diagnosed as Rat Lung Worm, which caused eosinophilic meningitis, an infection that can lead to paralysis and death. Aurita is currently in recovery, and working on physical therapy. According to John’s Facebook post, “what was an almost comatose, nonsensical, paralyzed, Aurita, is now a clear speaking, joking, wide awake, and hungry, Aurita.” She expects to be in the in-patient rehabilitation program for another two weeks. Cards can be mailed to Aurita c/o Tammie Queen, 8881 San Angelo St., Goodyear, Ariz. 85338.

Parents as Teachers supervisor Kim Phillips attended a PAT conference in St. Louis, Mo. She was impressed with keynote speaker Temple Grandin, an autism advocate and author. She is the author of “The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s.” Kim, who has read several of Grandin’s books, said she was impressed with the woman who “represented all of the children that get bullied and are different. It’s so wonderful to see someone like her stand up and speak to all of us.” Kim was also moved by the keynote address of Roland C. Warren, leader of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Kim stopped in Portland on her way home to visit with daughter Vanessa Salmon and her family. She spent three days with her grandchildren, Sydney and Oliver, making crafts and visiting parks. She said Vanessa and husband Ryan are working hard to balance school and family life.

Volunteers gathered Saturday to decorate the library for the upcoming holiday open house, Saturday, Nov. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. Larry Jurgeleit brought in the 16-foot spruce tree, with the help of Bill Broste and Rodger Tuenge. More than a dozen volunteers turned out to string lights, place ornaments and hang decorated garland along the lobby of the library. Saturday’s open house will include a raffle for a decorated Christmas tree, and a silent auction to benefit the Friends of the Library.

This year’s Thanksgiving Turkey Trot will include a yoga session before the 5K run/walk. Yoga begins at 8:30 a.m. at the school, followed by the 5K event at 9:45 a.m. According to Wisewoman’s Kathy Friedle, “There will be prizes and hot chocolate, so bring the family and come join the fun!” The turkey trot is suitable for all ages. Yoga is limited to ages 16 and up.

The ice is ready at the hockey rink located at Raven’s Arena at the Southeast Alaska State Fair. Families tested the ice over the weekend, and an open skate is set for 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23. Organizers Daymond Hoffman and Greg Schlachter promise “music, bonfire and lights.” Greg is also offering skate sharpening at his Second Avenue office for $10 a pair. All proceeds benefit Haines Amateur Hockey Association.

Evelyn Badgley died Monday in Baytown, Texas. She was 95. Badgley lived here seasonally more than 30 years. An obituary will be published in an upcoming edition.