Two Haines High School graduates met up at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) in New Orleans. University of Alaska Southeast student Esther Bower was there presenting her research on the reproductive biology of the spot shrimp of Southeast Alaska and the sexual differentiation of the protandric species as they mature from reproductive males into reproductive females. Iris Holmes, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, gave a talk about the gut bacteria found in snakes and lizards. The two were able to meet up and Esther sat in on Iris’ presentation.

Savannah AmesJen Bader, Alisa Beske, Sam Clay, Fran Daly, Ice Wangyot and Krista Kielsmeier of the Haines Women’s Basketball team took first at the Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament in Whitehorse winning $900 Canadian. They had a 5-0 record and won games by scores of 53-28; 82-27; 65-27; 68-34; and 51-31. The team crushed the Whitehorse team in the championship game. Beske was named the tournament MVP. Holly Smith was the team chauffeur and Kate Bauer was team photographer and videographer. Steve Daly and Dave Zugel came to cheer the team on.

Sally Andersen, Michael Wald and sons Leo and Nolan Wald are back from a winter ski trip that included Oregon and British Columbia. Their trip started in Bend, Ore., skiing at Mount Bachelor and Hoodoo before traveling north to meet with Jon Hirsch and Rio Ross-Hirsch to ski in British Columbia at Silverstar and Revelstoke resorts.

John and Suzanne Newton spent a week with former residents Tim and Maribeth Walters who moved to the beautiful town of Crossville, Tenn. Tim and Maribeth want their friends in Haines to know they have settled in and are very happy.

It was a march through the south for Annette Smith and Sam Wright for the holidays. Starting in San Diego, they spent a few days with daughter Christina and Evren Baskaya before flying together to spend the holiday with daughter Jade and Eric Scheele, who recently moved to Charlottesville, Va. Jade is now working for Apex, a company developing Wind Energy. Eric recently starting working at Vitae Distillery. Christina and Jade’s father Randy Smith and wife Paulette Carlson joined them in Charlottesville. They enjoyed a visit to Monticello to explore the history of Thomas Jefferson. The trip included a visit to Washington D.C., to see nephew Juge, wife Katherine and daughter Cooper Gregg. They toured the Department of Justice, where Juge works. In Eden, N.C., Sam and Annette spent time with JB and Linda Axsom who have relocated there. Driving to Nashville, Tenn., they celebrated the New Year with Eric, Jade, Randy and Paulette before driving through a thunderstorm to Greenville, Miss. to see Finley and Ruby Edwards. They ended their trip in Tyler, Tex. with Walter and Shelba Johnson. Both couples are frequent visitors to Haines. Finley and Ruby will be back again this summer.

Yuko and Mori Hays spent three weeks in Chikura, Japan visiting Yuko’s mother Miyoko Suzuki and her brother Fumi Suzuki and his family. They enjoyed skiing at Mount Niigata and sightseeing in Tokyo and Yokohama. Mori has been studying Japanese and was able to practice the language and become familiar with public transportation. Ed and Kai Hays took a different route for the holidays and visited Ed’s mother Betty Hays in Loveland, Colo., spending time with Ed’s brothers Dave and Gary Hays and skiing in Winterpark. Going to a shooting range to practice with a Glock 19 was a highlight for Kai who headed home while Ed stopped in Marysville, Wash. to visit former resident Sharon Ford.

Jim and Julie Shook recently toured the Pacific Northwest in their new Subaru. They drove through Washington to Athol, Idaho to see Pat and Wally Perry, helping them on their farm and attending the Idaho State Fair. They then drove to Newport, Wash. to visit Mary and Jerry O’Shea before driving to Beaverton, Ore to visit family. They caught the Oregon State Fair in Salem before returning to Washington for the Puyallup fair. Friend Carol Kurrah came along for the drive up the Alcan Highway, taking time to make stops in Canada that they’ve passed by before.

The rainforest of Dominical, Costa Rica was the site for a family reunion of Sean Asquith, Julia Heinz, Zayla Asquith-Heinz, Quinn Asquith-Heinz, Kimberly Strong, and Sylvia, Chad and Sage Bibberich. The party also included Julia’s family Sharon and William HeinzCharles and Patty Heinz, Brooke Heinz, Danny Heinz and Heather and Bobby Szyperski. Monkeys were their alarm clocks, waking them to days of surfing and hiking.

Natalie Helms is back from visiting her parents Michael and Christine Helms in Erie, Penn. Her brother Ben Helms came from Chicago to join them for the holiday. Natalie and her cousin Melissa Naberhause enjoyed an afternoon at an “Escape House” where players follow clues, codes and locks to escape from a room in a specified time.

Chad and Stacey Clark spent two months on the road, logging 12,000 miles on their Volkswagen Westphalia with daughters Sierra and Payson. The all-highway trip from Haines started in November and included stops in Blacksburg, Va. to visit Chad’s dad Wayne Clark. The family then took a southern route to visit Stacey’s mom Connie Cureton in Tucson, Ariz. In Virginia they also met up with former residents Bill and Michelle Diggins. The Diggins family was en route to a new position as a minister in Connecticut.

The Westphalia held up on trip through six provinces and 18 states, but Chad put heavy duty tires and a new axle on a freight trailer they towed. They drove through a blizzard in Wyoming on their return.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN: