Brothers Tyler and Dylan Swinton led Alaska Sport Shop to a championship in the open division at the recent Mount Edgecumbe Invitational basketball tournament in Sitka. Haines-raised Andrew Friske helped the Swintons recruit some local players to round out the squad.

Sport Shop beat six other teams in the division, notching four straight victories including a match-up in the finals against a Hydaburg team. Tyler was named tournament MVP and Dylan was named to the all-tourney team. Tyler also organizes men’s city league basketball in Haines. To play or for more information, reach him at 907-314-3334.

Joe Filancia is the new pastor at the Haines Assembly of God Church. Filancia arrived in Alaska in 1969 and has served churches throughout the state. He’ll serve here for at least five months. The church is holding a soup and rolls social at 6 p.m. Wednesday, featuring the film series “The Chosen.” Valencia is the church’s first pastor since Wayne and Jane Cowart retired three years ago. Joe hails from New York. He and his wife Jane have a permanent home near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Dale and Vicky Munden, 547 Small Tracts Road, won a seven-day cruise for two aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship by placing first in the residential category of the Haines Chamber of Commerce holiday light contest. Annette and Sam Smith, # 4 at Officer’s Row home in Fort Seward, took second and Rachelle Galinski, 442 Small Tracts, placed third. Todd Sebens won the “best boat” category for his decoration of The Taz, and First National Bank of Alaska took the prize for best-decorated business. Galinski, Anna Mulyca, and Greg Podsiki won cash prizes in an on-air drawing on Christmas Day at KHNS.

Bladesmith Trevor Barrett of Haines has won a $4,000 grant from the National Association for the Self-Employed to help expand his knife-making company Barrett Knives. The company “demonstrated a well-defined plan for growth ranging from executing new marking initiatives, purchasing new equipment and other creative ways to grow and expand,” said NASE vice-president John Harrell. Trevor is a six-year resident whose fixed-blade, hand-forged, and hand-crafted knives can be seen or purchased at http://www.barrett-knives.com. Trevor used the grant to purchase a specialized grinder.

Elena Saunders spent a month at home with her mom Kate Saunders during the holiday break. Elena is a senior majoring in classical studies at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. Elena graduates in May and is planning to enroll in graduate school. She spent a semester last year in Greece.

Cindy Zuluaga Jimenez is offering free, informal Spanish language instruction at the Haines Brewing Co. Sessions are from 5:15 to 6 p.m. each Tuesday through Feb. 28. Emphasis will be on building vocabulary and flow. All levels are welcome. Cindy hails from Colombia and works for the Haines Economic Development Corporation (HEDC).

Haines teachers offered lessons about Martin Luther King Jr. and his message at the Haines School on Monday in conjunction with the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. Librarian Leigh Horner read, “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King” by Jean Marzollo to kindergartners. Third-grade teacher Kristin White had students write their own “I Have A Dream” statements to be placed under a rainbow artwork at the school’s entrance. Students in Sophia Armstrong’s first-grade class saw a film about King and ate Oreo cookies. “They’re both black and white, and together, they’re delicious,” Sophia said.

The Tournament of the Readers, a reading comprehension competition for Haines School students continues at 10:30 a.m. daily at the school library through Feb. 9. Twelve teams of four students each from grades 3-6 are competing in the double-elimination contests. Students must answer questions about eight books. The questions are compiled by quizmaster Karen Garcia, children’s librarian Holly Davis, and school librarian Leigh Horner.

Cliff Miller and two friends completed the 2,652-mile ocean crossing from New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti on Nov. 19, reports his wife Giselle Miller, who spent the holiday break from her job as the Haines School art teacher touring Polynesia islands with him. He’s waiting for a slip opening to leave his sailboat there and get back to Haines early next month.

Pearl Dare Greenhalgh was born to Coral Jacobson and Kyle Greenhalgh at 7:21 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14 at Bloom Waterbirth Center in Ukiah, Calif. She weighed 11 lbs. and measured 21 inches and arrived after a quick 4.5-hour labor. Her birth was attended by grandmother Jen Reid and dad Kyle. Pearl joins a brother, Dean Greenhalgh, age 4.