Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

This week in history


December 12, 2019

CURE FOR CABIN FEVER – Freddy Anderson and Kelly McBurney put the finishing touches on a life-sized grizzly bear snow sculpture near their home on Dalton Street Monday afternoon. Early on, the pair thought the sculpture might become a rhinoceros, then later saw the bear take shape.

Dec. 12, 1969

The new Haines School elementary building passed its fire inspection with flying colors, as was reported on Wednesday.

Assistant State Fire Marshall James H. Jaqua was highly impressed by such features of the building as classroom doors which open to the outside of the building, sheet rock walls and ceilings and concrete floors, and the provision for adequate cold air intake for the heating system.

Plans for the building had been approved by the State Division of Fire Protection of the Department of Public Safety before construction started.

The public will be able to get a good look at the building tonight, Friday, Dec. 12, when a special dedication ceremony and coffee hour will begin at 7:30. Robert Isaac, assistant to the commissioner of education, will officially dedicate the building.

Dec. 8, 1994

An internal investigation of drug use and manufacture within the Haines Police Department was concluded this fall without evidence of criminal activity.

The confidential investigation was triggered by allegations from co-workers that Sgt. Sam Smith, the department's second-in-command, possessed and manufactured a controlled substance, crystal methamphetamine.

Smith said he asked for a voluntary demotion to patrolman when the investigation started. The reassignment, effective Nov. 1, lowered Smith's pay by about $500 annually and removed supervisory and training responsibilities. Smith had served as sergeant in the Hanes Police Department more than six years.

This week, Smith said his decision to step down as sergeant stemmed from growing frustration with supervisory responsibilities that weren't matched by disciplinary authority on the job. The choice was the outgrowth of months of consideration, he said.

Dec. 10, 2009

A 19-year-old Haines woman who died in Juneau Nov. 22 was suffering swine flu, state health officials said this week.

Cynthia Phillips was the 12th death in Alaska associated with the flu strain, according to state health officials.

BobbieJo Phillips, Phillips' mother, said she is investigating legal action against Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC).

Phillips said her daughter was seen at the SEARHC clinic in Juneau a few days before her death and released. "They said it was anxiety," Phillips said of the diagnosis.

Michael Jenkins, director of corporate communications for SEARHC, said his office had no information on Phillips. "Our department was never made aware of anything about this woman. So there's nothing I can share with you," Jenkins said.

A final cause and manner of death have yet to be determined by the state's medical examiner, said Greg Wilkinson, spokesman for the state Division of Public Health. A sample taken during the autopsy tested positive for the virus also called "H1N1," he said.

Wilkinson said nine of 12 swine flu deaths in Alaska to date involved a "co-morbidity," or chronic, pre-existing health condition that made victims' reactions to swine flu more severe.


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