Tin Cup Kelly talks with Chilkat Valley students in Skagway during their field trip around the Golden Circle. (Tracy Getchell/Courtesy photo)

A group of nine fourth-graders recently finished a two-day trip around the Golden Circle through Skagway and Whitehorse. Ten-year-old Piper Carlson said it was a good trip. “We did a lot of driving, but it was really fun and we got a lot of candy and sugar.”At one point Izzy Sweet was squirting a “weird Canadian brand” toothpaste candy mixed with spicy Takis, into the mouth of Jennessa McCall. “We were so crazy because we had so much sugar in us,” said Carlson. “It was really funny.” Carlson said that amazingly, the chaperones (Patti Carlson, Larry Sweet, Marah Patterson, Matt Hunter, Cami Fullerton and para educator Margaret McLaughlin) weren’t annoyed by the kids’ glucose-fueled antics. (That fact couldn’t be independently verified.) The crew took the ferry to Skagway on May 7. There, they saw the historic Moore House with Tin Cup Kelly and presented on Gold Rush-era personages they’ve been studying since the fall. They drove to Carcross, where school principal Cynthia Wagner set up tents in the gym so kids could sleep out of the snow. The next day they visited the Carcross Desert sand dunes. In Whitehorse, they stopped at Walmart and McDonald’s. “The kids were able to bond and form new friendships along the way,” said teacher Tracy Getchell. “They were having so much fun.” 

Thor’s Fitness has a new owner after longtime manager Jen Cowart took over the gym on May 1. Cowart said she was nervous about owning a business, but her sense of civic duty pushed her to buy the Main Street gym. “It’s something that Haines needs, and I figured it needs to stay local,” said the 33-year Haines resident. So far, things have been going smoothly. Cowart said she’s figuring out the basics of running a business including paperwork and cleaning schedules. No major changes to the gym are planned, other than to add an option for online registration and changing the phone number to 713-7356. 

Heather and Asanti Sanborne recently took over Parts Place, the auto parts store on Third Avenue. The couple, who has lived in Haines full-time for about five years, said they weren’t particularly looking for a business opportunity, but decided to take over when they saw Chris Thorgesen was selling. Heather said the couple has been running a seasonal fishing charter business and Asanti had worked as a boat mechanic. “We were attracted by the chance to diversify away from tourism and do something that serves the community year-round,” said Heather. Longtime manager Tyler Scovill will continue to work at the store after 37 years there. “He’s great. He’s one of the people in Haines that keeps us all running,” said Heather. The couple doesn’t have any big changes planned for the store, but said they hope to figure out ways to reduce prices for customers, and maybe start offering services like oil changes. For now, the couple is still getting used to being the owners. “It’s a little surreal walking into the store, it’s a strange feeling,” said Asanti. 

Sheri Loomis of home goods shop White and Willow held a drawing for a Mother’s Day gift basket on May 11. Amanda Brandon won a basket of goodies which included a gift certificate for a massage.  

Haines got its third surprise cruise ship of the year on Mother’s Day when the Grand Princess docked bearing about 3,000 passengers. Tourism director Rebecca Hylton said she got a text around 5:30 a.m. letting her know. She sent messages to staff and posted on Facebook before heading into the office to email businesses. She said despite the light rain, the business community rallied, with most storefronts able to open up. “I was super impressed everyone rallied, especially on a Sunday, on a holiday, last minute,” said Hylton. 

Leigh Horner recently returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon where she traveled to attend her aunt Evelyn Corkum Boys’ funeral. She also visited with her brother Greg Corkum, stayed with her aunt Kay Cooksley, and went to Cannon Beach to see former Haines resident John Hunt who runs The Other Brothers bar.  Then, she went to a childhood beach cabin with a cousin where she’s been going for 60 years. “It’s a beautiful thing,” she said. 

JC Davis jumps during the Capital City Invite on May 11, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbattini/Juneau Empire)
JC Davis jumps during the Capital City Invite on May 11, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbattini/Juneau Empire)

Glacier Bears track and field notched a slew of personal records at the Capital City Invite in Juneau over the weekend. “It was supposed to be really rainy and we actually had two sunny days and lots of sunburns.  And the kids ran really well,” said coach Jessie Sanders. Sanders highlighted a 1:11.6, six-second personal record by freshman Sydney Salmon in the 400-meter, the eighth fastest time of the meet. JC Davis had a second place, 18.2-second personal record in the 110-meter hurdles. The Bears had two individual wins: Ari’el Godinez Long took a win in the triple jump with a 29.4-foot leap and Gracie Stickler won the shot put with a 31.6-foot personal record. “Everyone is getting hot at the right time.  We’re just gearing up and getting ready for regionals this weekend,” said Sanders. The Bears head to Ketchikan for regionals on Wednesday as part of their always-grueling travel schedule. “They’re tired…almost all our kids are multisport athletes. They don’t show it, but I know they’re exhausted because I’ve been in their shoes before,” said Sanders. 

Martin Goldberg was home for a few days waiting for his next assignment on the Alaska Marine Highway. He started his two-week training in Ketchikan mid-April, then went to work on the Kennicott for several Bellingham runs. He has been cooking and changing out rooms, among other duties. He is enjoying making new friends and learning how to be a line cook, said mom Donna Cattoti. Plus it is nice to “get out of Dodge” and see new places. His first priority at home? A nap, Cattoti said. 

Haines Huts and Trails won a $250 People’s Choice Award grant during the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation’s First Friday event May 3. Twenty-eight people nominated a total of 18 different nonprofits for the award. Huts and Trails, which is working to develop more outdoor recreation access in the Chilkat Valley, was nominated by four different participants. 

The Kluane-Chilkat International Bicycle Relay is officially full, according to a press release. Three hundred twenty-five teams plus 94 soloists signed up for the June 15 competition, which takes riders from Haines Junction to Haines. Participants this year are coming from as far away as Australia with strong representation from the Yukon, Alaska, New York, Washington, and San Francisco.