Madison Grey Olsen was born to Ryan and Renae Olsen at 10:49 p.m. on July 12 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She measured 19.5 inches and weighed 8 lbs 2.9 oz. “We are doing great, absolutely perfect,” Renae said. “Couldn’t have asked for more.”

Past residents John Boswell and Diana Boro-Boswell have been comet hunting in Corvallis, Oregon, where they now reside with their 18-month old child. The comet Neowise is currently visible. “We have been taking turns putting the baby down so the other can go out late at night to see the comet,” Boswell said. “I went first, riding my motorcycle about ten miles out of town to a dark field. The next night, Diana got on her bicycle and didn’t even make to the end of our street before she saw it.” According to, the comet Neowise can be seen this week in the northern hemisphere. It is estimated to be visible from earth again in 6,800 years.

Alisa Beske just completed her last night shift in the Progressive Care Unit at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, which provides care for cardiac patients requiring continuous monitoring. Beske is in her fifth and final semester of nursing school, where she has been performing clinical rotations and classroom learning despite restrictions enacted by the novel coronavirus. “I’m grateful they let us in the hospital,” Beske said. “Last semester clinicals were adapted to learning online.” She said the hospital is testing every patient they admit, and everyone is required to wear masks.

The Salvation Army and the Presbyterian Church are collaborating to supply USDA food boxes of fresh produce and dairy to Haines residents through the end of August. According to Captain Kevin Woods of the Salvation Army, 100-150 food boxes have been distributed for two consecutive weeks. “I’m trying to bump it up to 200 boxes,” said Woods. The boxes include 22 pounds of fresh produce and 12 pounds of dairy and are flown fresh from the USDA program Farms to Families in Sitka. Boxes are picked up on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church, and distribution is geared towards families signed up for the school lunch program.

Jonathan and Betsy Wood celebrated their third wedding anniversary in Juneau. “Every year we hike up Eaglecrest, where our wedding happened.” Jonathan Wood said. “This year Betsy is carrying our first child, due in October.” The couple met in Haines at the wedding of Betsy Wood’s brother, Justin Dohrn, who married Eliza Lende in 2013.

Scott and Candi Bradford celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary camping at Chilkat State Park Campground. “We couldn’t go anywhere, but we could go camping,” said Scott.

Vanessa and Steve Wishstar, along with their children Raven and Hunter, have returned to their home in Haines after a five-week trip turned into a seven-month odyssey. In January, they returned to Juneau, only to have their last leg home unexpectedly cancelled due to the Alaska Marine Highway System service shortage. “After being flopped around with the ferry crisis we couldn’t afford to do anything but turn around and fly back again to Colorado,” Vanessa said. They lived with family in Colorado and bought airline tickets for March. Their return home was again delayed into the hot summer months due to the novel coronavirus. After fixing up an RV, they finally began their trek home. Fourteen days of driving were filled with close calls and adventures which almost turned them around, but they finally made it to Haines. “I still have flashes of thinking how I need to do this and that when I get home,” Vanessa Wishstar said. “And then I look up and realize I’m finally home.”