Years Ago

20 years ago in the Homer News

Three Homer residents narrowly escaped certain death when an avalanche came down on them while driving north to Anchorage on the Sterling Highway near the junction with the Seward Highway. Jean Adams, her son Justin, and friend Ryan Szymoniak were heading to a hockey tournament when the boys saw a wall of white fog moving down the mountain toward them.

“Justin and Ryan said, ‘Punch it, Mom! It’s on our butt!’” Jean Adams said.

Adams sped toward the junction stop sign, trying to outrun the slide as chunks of snow bounced nearby. The avalanche was one of several that have hit Alaska over the past month, including one that killed four skiers at Alyeska Resort and another that hit two snowmachiners.

— From the issue of March 25, 1999

30 years ago in the Homer News

A Homer jury convicted Eugene “Gino” Tagala in the Oct. 2, 1988, murder of Dan Stailey. Tagala claimed self-defense in the shooting at the Bayside Lounge parking lot, but jurors said they had trouble with the fact that Tagala shot Stailey three times. It took the jury eight hours to review six days of testimony. The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder was 20 to 99 years.

— From the issue of March 23, 1989

50 years ago in the Homer News

Seldovia’s new road to Jakolof Bay was formally opened on March 23, Homer News correspondent Dana Stabenow reported. A caravan of 16 cars drove all the way to the logging camp from Seldovia. Two Seldovia High School seniors, Chris Knight and Lora Chamblin, cut the ribbon that opened the new Barabara Creek Bridge. Red Olson, the engineer in charge of building the road, gave a short speech, and doughnuts and coffee were served by the logging camp cook.

— From the issue of March 27, 1969