Jake North Hedrick was born to Samantha Fink Hedrick and Luke Burkhart Hedrick at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Conn. at 11:06 a.m. Tuesday, March 7. Jake weighed 9 lbs., 2 oz., and measured 21 inches. He is the couple’s first child. Grandparents are John and Bonnie Hedrick of Haines and Steven and Judy Fink of Purchase, N.Y. Jake’s middle name is a reference to Alaska and a tribute to Sam’s paternal grandparents, Norman and Theresa. Luke and Sam live in Irvington, N.Y.
Haines golfers have been stopping by the brewery to speak with Jeanne Kitayama about her nephew Kurt Kitayama. Kurt notched his first PGA tour victory by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational Sunday in Orlando, Fla. With a 50-foot putt on the final hole that stopped at the edge of the cup, Kitayama earned a $3.6 million purse. The win made him the 19th highest-ranked golfer in the world. Kurt is the son of Jeanne’s older brother Clifford Kitayama and his wife Rumiko of Chico, Calif. Kurt lives in Las Vegas, Nev.
A memorial service for longtime resident Helen Bergstrand Tengs will be held 1 p.m. Sunday, March 12 at the Presbyterian Church, with a reception to follow at the Pioneer Bar. Tengs died Sunday, March 5 at the Juneau Pioneers Home surrounded by family members. She was 96. Helen arrived in Haines in 1951. Surviving family members include daughter Christy Tengs Fowler of Haines and Tony Tengs of Juneau. A full obituary is planned.
Haines businessman Mike Ward, daughter Caroline Bangs, and son-in-law Travis Bangs were featured on the front page of the Feb. 23 Petersburg Pilot newspaper for purchasing Trading Union, a 100-year-old grocery story there. Besides owning Howsers, Caroline’s Closet, Outfitter Liquor Store, Outfitter Sporting Goods, and Alaska Liquor Store, the Wards bought Bob’s IGA in Wrangell in 2018, renaming it Wrangell IGA. Caroline and Travis have been managing that store since. They have renamed their new store Petersburg IGA.
Eric Stevens, Jeff Moscowitz, Brian Rougeux and Bartek Pieciul recently spent three weeks skiing the legendary powder on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. The trip involved renting an RV and taking advantage of roadside amenities like restrooms and vending machines set up for roving, backcountry skiers. Highlights include dipping in hot springs, dining at fine restaurants, and skiing to a Zen shrine and to a hermit’s shack. Contrary to similar claims by the state of Utah, Hokkaido boasts the best snow on Earth, Stevens said.
Sue Libenson and Bill Holton are back from a skiing vacation in southern Colorado where they visited Mark Brower and his daughter Anna Rose and spent time with former resident Lee Close. Bill and Sue were hired as Christmas vacation ski instructors at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Other highlights included trips to Santa Fe to visit Sue’s cousins and to Gunnison, Colo. to see Bill’s nephews and grand-niece Charlotte Holton.
Lacey Clifton and Dan Groeneweg welcomed daughter Akima Go’el G Groeneweg. Big sister Zora and grandmother Cindy Price-Hagwood waited at their home in Anchorage for her arrival which came at 7:19 a.m. on Jan. 30. Akima weighed 8 lbs. 2.5 oz. and measured 21 inches.
Chris Kelly, who worked as a clerk at Haines grocery stores for a decade or more, has died in Haines. No additional information was available at press time.
The Haines Avalanche Center is sponsoring free youth and adult backcountry safety and fundamentals classes this weekend. The classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 25 Mile, March 11-12. Topics will include backcountry preparedness, trip planning, weather, snowpack, terrain management, human factor and decision-making, and companion rescue.