Aaliyah Michelle Houghton-Bynum was born on Jan. 16 in Anchorage to Karlie Spud and George Houghton-Bynum of Klukwan. She was 5 pounds 9 ounces and 18 inches long. Her Tlingit name is K’aanakéek Tláa after her great-great-great grandmother and her Cup’ig name is Panigkiun after her great grandmother. Local grandparents are Charlie and Joanne Spud of Klukwan and paternal grandparents are Victor Bynum and Mary Houghton. 

Sam Clay submitted an audition video to the popular NBC show “The Voice.” She sang “Son of A Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield and made it through the open call to the next round. Unfortunately, her second song, “Stay” by Sugarland, didn’t make it through to the live callbacks.  Sam said, “I am proud I put myself out there and I am honored to say I am from the beautiful town of Haines! I will keep singing, writing, and seizing opportunities. Thank you all for your love and support.” She continues to livestream her music on Facebook. 

Hailey Sanders is Haines’ new kindergarten teacher. She and husband Jessie Sanders recently moved to Haines from Billings, Montana. Hailey graduated from Rocky Mountain College with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in elementary education. She was a student athlete, playing four years of collegiate volleyball. After graduation she spent two years as a preschool teacher. She and Jessie were married last summer. 

The pair fell in love with Alaska while working at her father’s fishing lodge in Excursion Inlet for six summers. They decided they wanted to move to Alaska permanently and received a lot of encouragement from her sister and brother-in-law who had completed a similar move to Alaska in 2019. They bought a 1970 Kit Companion trailer and a truck and traveled 2,000 icy miles through Canada. Hailey said five flat trailer tires later they landed in Haines on Nov. 2. 

After quarantining, they both immediately completed substitute paperwork at the school. Hailey was scheduled to substitute at the school the week of the December storms. She reports that moving into the kindergarten position long term has not been an easy task but she was grateful for the opportunity to support the children, school and her new community. 

Sarah Beth Segars recently moved to Haines from the Sierra foothills of California. She joins her brother Carlos Jimenez and his family including mother Susan Tandy, daughter Liz Segars, and son Austin Segars with his wife Liz. Sarah Beth says she has always enjoyed her visits to Haines but a Facebook video of David Simmons expressing his love for Haines spoke to her and that was the deciding factor to relocate. At the time she had no idea who David was but he inspired her, she said, and that she could feel his passion for the community. The next day she purchased a one-way ticket to Haines. David was lost in the December landslide. Sarah Beth said, “I cried with my friends back home, not even knowing him, but I knew Haines was where I belonged and am thankful to David for showing me that.” 

Sarah Beth is taking some time to settle and then intends to start looking for a job. She was the project manager and main liaison for a two-year renovation project of a bourbon bar turned into a multi-complex beer garden and entertainment facility. She is proud to call Haines her new home and credits David for motivating her spontaneous decision. She hopes to do a lot of hiking with her pup Tess next summer. 

On Jan. 12, Mandy Ramsey started a Masters program in yoga studies and mindfulness through Prescott College. She is also participating in an independent study with Shiva Rea and the New Mexico School of Ayurveda and Yoga. All courses are currently online. Visit her website http://www.mandyramsey.com to participate in one of her yoga zoom classes on Monday or Friday at noon. 

The Haines Borough brought Scott Hansen on as an emergency hire to fill in as planner until the end of March. Hansen, who currently works as part of the assessment crew in the lands department and previously served as planning and zoning tech, will fill in for Libby Jacobson who has, at least temporarily, relocated to Montana. Interim manager Alekka Fullerton said hiring Hansen to fill Jacobson’s role was critical because the borough was understaffed even before Jacobson’s departure. Fullerton is currently serving as both interim manager and clerk.