Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1990-1999
Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star
Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities
- January 5, 1990: After drifting for 15 hours on an icy Bennett Lake in temperatures close to -40, five Carcross residents, Rick Halladay took four passengers, were rescued by an RCMP helicopter Tuesday. Read the entire article here.
- February 1, 1990: Employees of the Yukon Workers Compensation Board are in shock today after learning that 53-year-old Brian Booth, a key player in the board's development for 16 years, was murdered in his 26th-floor Montreal hotel room Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Montreal Urban Community police suspect robbery was the motive for the murder.
- February 5, 1990:The impaired driver who killed Whitehorse resident Mary Jean Fast, who was walking along the side of the Alaska Highway near Hillcrest Drive last Sept. 25, was sentenced Friday in territorial court to 24 years in jail. William George Mitchell, 37, pleaded guilty Friday to the charge of impaired driving causing death, leaving the scene of an accident and breach of a court order.
- February 26, 1990: On this day 25 years ago, a well–known Yukoner, Babe Southwick, burst into Whitehorse with her Destruction Bay dog team to enter the Sourdough Rendezvous dog races. A beautiful, boisterous, 40–year–old woman wearing a parka and mukluks, she added colorful joviality to the festivities. Read the entire article here.
- March 14, 1990: "Martha beats them all" a STAR headline proclaimed in 1963 when Martha Benjamin, an Old Crow skier and mother of five children, became the first Yukoner to win a national skiing title. Read the entire article here.
- March 27, 1990: "An Alaskan man of Korean descent who pleaded guilty Monday to illegally exporting 58 grizzly and black bear bladders from British Columbia was sentenced in Yukon territorial court to a day in jail and fined $5,000." Read the entire article here.
- April 26, 1990: "For what may have been Ted Harrison's last art show in his hometown, a dozen people slept in the new Yukon Gallery Tuesday night to be assured first dibs on the 20 Harrison paintings up for sale. " Read the entire article here.
- June 1, 1990: Women in mining, then and now. Read the entire article here.
- June 16, 1990: Robert W. Service, bard of the Yukon. Read the entire article here.
- June 20, 1990: "Curt Mintz huddled in the bush with his two dogs for 20 minutes waiting for the cow moose to attack. But there was no attack. Instead, Mintz became the adopted mother to a three-day-old female moose calf that now lives at the Yukon Game Farm on the Takhini Hot Springs Road." Read the entire article here.
- July 18, 1990: "Ice Worms & Blue Snow. Whenever there was a lull in local news or the overland telegraph broke down, Star editor "Stroller" White lapsed into memories of the deep south, or "interviews" with local colourful characters whose authenticity was left to the readers imagination." Read the entire article here.
- July 25, 1990: "It's a black day for the Yukon as people throughout the territory today mourn the loss of an irreplaceable piece of their history after the 73-year-old sternwheeler Tutshi burned to the ground early this morning in Carcross." Read the entire article here.
- August 15, 1990: While mining by hand near Keno City on July 30, two Yukon geologists working for Archer, Cathro and Associates stumbled upon some frozen silver. Al Archer says that only one other specimen of this type has ever been found in the world. Read the entire article here.
- August 17, 1990: "At 2 p.m. Saturday, at the S.S. Klondike in Whitehorse, various officials will unveil a special plaque commemorating the Canol Road as a National Historic Site. The plaque will be erected along the road, a reminder to travellers that they are making use of one of this century's largest and most expensive construction projects." Read the entire article here.
- January 2, 1991: Every available firefighter in Whitehorse was called to a fire at the Saan clothing store, with the temperature at -43°C. Read the entire article here.
- January 3, 1991: Fire-fighting at -43 has its challenges. Read the entire article here.
- May 10, 1991: "Marvin Cleave of Pelly Crossing, his wife, Sussie Silverfox, and friend Danny Edwards saw what they truly believe was a Bigfoot between Pelly Crossing and Stewart Crossing, and they have photographs to prove it." Read the entire article here.
- July 19, 1991: "The Dawson City man who represented Canada in boxing at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia was back in the ring Thursday night in front of 1,200 to 1,500 fans at Takhini Arena. George Mason, 32, earned the title as the Toughest man in the Yukon and $1,000 in the 70 kg (154 lbs) and under category." Read the entire article here.
- October 23, 1991: Elijah Smith died yesterday in a head-on crash with a semi-trailer at Km 261 of the Robert Campbell Highway, near Finlayson Lake. Among many other accomplishments, he initiated the land claims fight in 1969. An RCMP report later stated that he lost control of his pickup on the icy road.
- January 2, 1992: On Jan. 11, the postal outlet in Books on Main will shut down. It will reappear under Shoppers Drug Mart on Main Street on Jan. 13. Elaine Smart, owner of both Books on Main and Mac's Fireweed, said today this is only one of several major changes she plans for her stores.
- January 2, 1992: The poor economy is cited as the reason for recent scratches from the field of 1992 Yukon Quest mushers, say race officials on both sides of the border. Four mushers, including William Kleedehn, an Ontario resident who was living and training on the Carcross Road, have withdrawn their names. That reduces the number of entrants to 28, with less than a month to enter.
- March 3, 1992: A domestic dispute that went horribly wrong left Krystal Senyk dead Monday and the police searching the Carcross area for a male suspect, Ronald Jeffrey Bax. Read the entire article here.
- March 4, 1992: "The RCMP hope the public will provide the lead they need to find Ronald Jeffrey Bax, wanted in connection with the murder of Krystal Senyk in Carcross on Monday." Read the entire article here.
- May 4, 1992: "Whitehorse resident Martyn Williams has become the first Canadian to reach both poles of the earth using only skies and a small dog team." Read the entire article here.
- July 28, 1992: The new federal government building on Main Street was officially named the Elijah Smith Building hyesterday. Smith, who was killed in a highway accident last October, is best-known for helping found the Council for Yukon Indians and the Yukon Native Brotherhood, and for his work on land claims.
- September 3, 1992: "It's the bare bones of a beginning, but placer miner Norm Ross hopes the recovery of a 12,000-year-old mammoth from a claim on Gold Run Creek deposits a good image of the industry in tourism promotions." Read the entire article here.
- May 31, 1993: Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon's signing of a Yukon land claim settlement on Saturday was described by onlookers at the three-hour ceremony as the cornerstone for the future for Yukon Indians. Read the entire article here.
- May 31, 1993: Champagne-Aishihik Chief Paul Birckel recalls elders who blazed the land claims trail - the late Elijah Smith, Joe Jacquot and Johnny Johns. Read the entire article here.
- December 24, 1993: Carbon-dating an Ice Age horse's remains found by placer miners on Last Chance Creek near Dawson City this fall shows the Yukon Ass is 26,000 years old. Read the entire article here.
- January 4, 1994: Sally Ross, a 46-year-old Ontario woman, will take over the Yukon College presidency June 1st. With 22 years' experience in post secondary education at three community colleges, Ross brings with her extensive experience in adult educational - in both academia and vocational training - and 10 years' managerial experience.
- January 4, 1994: A 270-metre unladen oil tanker coming through Prince William Sound into Valdez on Sunday hit ice that ruptured its bow and put a hole in a ballast tank, the
coast guard said. Overseas Ohio, chartered by British Petroleum, was about 40 kilometres south of Valdez when it reported the collision at about 5:20 a.m.
- January 4, 1994: Commissioner Ken McKinnon presented the award for bravery to
Bertha Ayers during Saturday's annual New Year Levee at the Yukon government
administration building. Ayers was recognized for assisting Frances Walin to safety during the August 1992 United Church fire at Sixth Avenue and Main Street.
- May 11, 1994: A new series describing the origin of Whitehorse was started today. All 53-articles can be read here.
- May 11, 1994: A husband and wife team from Ontario will job-share the territorial court deputy judge position when Judge Heino Lilles goes on sabbatical for a year. Elizabeth Thomas and Allan Manson will draw one salary between them and alternate with each other on the bench. Justice Minister Willard Phelps says it's cheaper to have deputy
judges move to the territory for a year than to fly them in when needed.
- May 11, 1994: Anvil Range Mining Corp. has been granted exclusive rights by an Ontario Court judge to negotiate a purchase agreement with the interim receiver of Curragh Inc.'s bankrupt lead-zinc mine at Faro.
- July 12, 1994: Well-known musician Herbie Bouwman died suddenly at his Whitehorse
home Sunday the way he lived - playing the piano. Bouwman, 56, first came to the Yukon in 1975 to work at the Frantic Follies during the summer, and moved here permanently a few years later.
- July 12, 1994: Community Services Minister Mickey Fisher wrote to City council Monday to say the government will no longer pursue approval for a quarry next to the proposed Stevens subdivision on the city's northern edge, despite a government-commissioned study that says the subdivision and quarry could co-exist.
- July 12, 1994: City council overtumed a planning board recommendation Monday, deciding to expand the new commercial-residential mix zone from Fifth Avenue to Sixth, between Main and Ogilvie Streets. The decision comes after several presentations to council over the last month by area residents supporting and opposing increased commercial
- February 14, 1995: "A meteorite came zooming down over the Yukon faster than Cupid's arrow this morning before ending its fall to earth near Atlin,B.C." Read the entire article here.
- February 23, 1995: It took him 12 tries to do it, but at 4:40 this morning Alaska time, Frank Turner finally won his first Yukon Quest. He did it in record fashion. No other winner has ever turned in the 10-day, 16-hour performance that the 47-year-old Whitehorse resident did. Read the entire article here.
- March 1, 1995: City council has agreed to rename Two Mile Hill and the South Access Road - but somebody forgot to tell the Yukon government, which is responsible for the two roadway. The South Access Road, council decided Monday night, shall be named Robert Service Way. Jack London Way will be applied to Two Mile Hill.
- March 1, 1995: Funding to several local non-profit groups from the Northern Affairs Program was cut in the new federal budget tabled Monday. Those organizations include the Yukon Chamber of Mines and the Yukon Conservation Society.
- March 1, 1995: Last Saturday's third annual RCMP Centennial Ball in Dawson City served as a kick-off to the force's Yukon centennial year and to its Centennial Patrol, which left from there Sunday morning.
- March 6, 1995: There have been no arrests made following the murder of a Whitehorse woman discovered in the bedroom of her downtown home Friday morning. Rose Louise Boya, 40, was found dead in her fire-stricken 508A Taylor St. townhouse. The cause of death is not being released at this time, Sgt. Pat Finner said today.
- March 6, 1995: Casting will be held Saturday at the Yukon Inn for a CBS Movie of the Week scheduled to be shot in the Whitehorse area next month. "Murder on the Iditarod Trail" stars Kate Jackson, of "Charlie's Angels" and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" television fame.
- March 6, 1995: The RCMP's Centennial Patrol from Dawson City to Fort McPherson, which left Dawson 8 days ago, is on course and on time, says RCMP Insp. Russ Juby. Late last week, they could not be reached by radio because of strong northern lights. The patrol is having a tough go of it, with warm temperatures making trail conditions soft and sloppy, with a lot of overflow.
- June 29, 1995: Edith Josie, a life-long Old Crow resident and Star columnist for 32 years, has been named a member of the Order of Canada. Read the entire article here.
- September 11, 1995: Human remains found along the Long Lake Road Aug. 15 are those of John Brent Moffatt. The Whitehorse youth mysteriously disappeared from the Klondike Inn nine years ago. Read the entire article here.
- November 1, 1995: "The results from a preliminary autopsy reveal that Susan Catherine Klassen died from strangulation. The 36-year-old Whitehorse woman was found dead in her Horse Creek Road home near Lake Laberge last Thursday., and her husband, Ralph Jake Klassen, 44, has been charged with second-degree murder." Read the entire article here.
- December 4, 1995: "The circumstances surrounding what's being called the Yukon's worst-ever highway tragedy early Friday afternoon remain uncertain today. The accident killed six Carcross residents." Read the entire article here.
- January 2, 1996: Like thousands of other people, Mayor Kathy Watson experienced snow-laden residential streets over the holiday season. But she also recognizes that city crews are doing what they can to ease the problem. Snowfall in the city is below average but warmer temperatures have caused normally hard-packed snow to turn into mush.
- June 10, 1996: Harry Allen has died. "In pretty much continuous motion, striving for the recognition of aboriginal rights and title to land, is perhaps how the Grand Chief will be remembered." Read the entire article here.
- July 8, 1996: Christine Courtney, of New Westminster, B.C., was mauled to death by a young grizzly bear Friday morning while she and her husband were returning from an overnight trip in Kluane National Park's Slims River Valley. Read the entire article here.
- July 15, 1996: "Watson Lake is recouping after a vital Yukon government-owned building - home to everything from its local library to the post office - burned to the ground Sunday." Read the entire article here.
- July 15, 1996: "Legendary Crash Survivor Returns To City. The drama of Helen Klaben's and Ralph Flores' survival is one of the Yukons best stories." Read the entire article here.
- December 2, 1996: Ralph Klassen, a jealous husband who strangled his wife with his own two hands and a ligature, was convicted over the weekend of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison. Read the entire article here.
- December 2, 1996: The public reaction to Ralph Klassen's conviction of manslaughter last week has been one of dismay and disgust. At noon today, a long string of citizens began to walk from the law centre to the Yukon Government Administration Building, despite temperatures of -38 C and a thick ice fog covering the city. Read the entire article here.
- December 10, 1996: "The Canadian Polar Commission wants the federal government to set up a program focused on the northern food chain. Ideally, it would monitor the effects on human health of country food that has contaminants in it." Read the entire article here.
- January 29, 1997: "The Old Crow school, its adjacent teachers' residence and a nearby Department of Renewable Resources office have burned down." Read the entire article here.
- February 5, 1997: "Susan Klassen's death came up in the House of Commons Tuesday during a debate over changes to the Criminal Code about the use of personal records in sexual offence cases." Read the entire article here.
- June 13, 1997: "The January blaze that destroyed the Chief Zzeh Gittlit School in Old Crow was caused by tape that caught fire inside the building's plumbing and heating system, the territorial fire marshal has concluded. " Read the entire article here.
- June 27, 1997: "An appeal of Ralph Klassen's five-year prison sentence for strangling his wife in a fit of rage was dismissed today by three B.C.-Yukon Appeal Court justices." Read the entire article here.
- August 11, 1997: "A large grizzly bear was shot in Porter Creek early this morning, and wildlife officials believe it's the bear that's been the centre of concern recently. But because a second grizzly is now on the scene, the Department of Renewable Resources still wants residents to stay off local trails on the west side of the Alaska Highway in the Porter Creek and Crestview areas." Read the entire article here.
- January 2, 1998: Peter Zimmerman was paralyzed in a dogsledding accident last week while training for the Yukon Quest. He moved to the Mayo Road from Alaska last spring and has no medical insurance. It is not clear whether he wil be allowed to remain in the Yukon.
- March 6, 1998: "James Joe Ward Sentencing. Two weeks ago, Ward pleaded guilty to strangling his girlfriend, 15-year-old Maranda Peter, in 1996 and keeping her body under his waterbed for over a year." Read the entire article here.
- March 31, 1998: "Ward trial underway. James Joe Ward choked Maranda Shelly Peter three times on the night he killed her in the basement of his Riverdale house." Read the entire article here.
- March 31, 1998: Faro has been badly shaken by the murder Monday night of a young mother, 20-year-old Sonja Rushton, in the mining community. Read the entire article here.
- April 9, 1998: "After two days of being pinned down by driving snow, Derek Holmes decided last Sunday he would try to compass his way back along the seven kilometres to the Haines Road." Read the entire article here.
- April 20, 1998: Families of murder victims speak out. More than 60 people stood in the gusting wind at Rotary Park Friday afternoon listening to fellow community members talk about their hurt. Susan Klassen, Maranda Peter and Sonja Lee Anne Rushton met violent deaths over the last 2½ years. Read the entire article here.
- April 24, 1998: A Nova Scotia man, Kevin Edward Rushton, 25, whose wife, Sonja Rushton, 20, was found stabbed to death in her home in Faro March 30, has had his charge raised to first-degree murder. Read the entire article here.
- May 13, 1998: Keith Johnson and two of his friends went out on a hunting trip hunting near Kluane Lake recently, but they came home with a very unexpected catch - $780 in old bills they discovered in an old still. Read the entire article here.
- May 21, 1998: A Whitehorse man, Garry Scheer, escaped with scrapes and a possible broken jaw after a cougar pounced on him while he was hiking in the Kusawa Lake area last Sunday. Read the entire article here.
- June 6, 1998: Two RCMP vehicles have been written off and one officer is in hospital suffering from a broken collar bone after an accident on the Alaska Highway in Whitehorse Thursday afternoon. Read the entire article here.
- July 10, 1998: "With the Fox Lake fire continuing to add to its destruction of over 12,000 hectares, the tempers of area first nations chiefs over the handling of the blaze are rising as quickly as the overhead temperatures." Read the entire article here.
- July 27, 1998: "Whitehorse paid tribute to the RCMP with a church parade Sunday as part of the 125th anniversary of the famed force. A memorial service was also held, in honor of the 15 members of the Royal North West Mounted Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who were killed on duty in the force's 103-year history in the Yukon." Read the entire article here.
- August 12, 1998: "Francine Girouard, owner of Centennial Video in Porter Creek, was robbed at knife-point last January, and her life hasn't been the same since. She speaks out about the circle court process she went through Friday with one of her attackers." Read the entire article here.
- August 12, 1998: Five people were killed yesterday afternoon when a minivan with four German tourists in it slid in front a of large motorhome, whose female driver from Texas was also killed. The second-worst traffic accident in Yukon history occurred just south of Haines Junction. The driver of the minivan may have gone to sleep.
- September 8, 1998: Harley Timmers, the 22-year-old Whitehorse man shot during an altercation with a Whitehorse RCMP officer early this morning, is in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Whitehorse General Hospital. He was scheduled to be flown to Vancouver this afternoon for emergency care.
- September 8, 1998: The Klondike Gold Rush commemorative stamp has swept into Skagway, after debuting in Nome a short time earlier. The joint, first-day issue, held Aug. 21, was attended in each location by Sen. Ted Stevens and Postmaster General William Henderson. A total of 28 million of the stamps have been printed; on the first day, the Skagway Post Office received roughly 30,000 of them, and at 8:30 a.m., there were people lined up out the door to buy some.
- October 5, 1998: The intent of the University of the Arctic, a dream-child of eight circumpolar countries seeking to bring new meaning to distant education, is to offer students a chance to earn their degree by taking courses from any participating circumpolar universities, whether it be in Canada or Norway, Yukon College president Sally Ross told a press conference Friday afternoon. It will be a university in name, but without walls.
- October 5, 1998: Yukon Supreme Court judge Ralph Hudson has ruled the Lakeview Resort & Marina on Marsh Lake must be sold and the owners must start to pay back their creditors. Much of the property was destroyed in a fire last December. Dwaine Holt wanted to rebuild with money from California investors, while his business partner Ian Stalabrass wanted to sell.
- October 21, 1998: John Spice, the Yukon's new Chief Superintendent of the RCMP, is happy to be in Whitehorse and is looking forward to his new posting.
- October 21, 1998: Though city planners have made a significant change to the riverfront development plan, opposition to the proposal continued Tuesday as business owners voiced their disapproval with other components - a lack of parking in particular - of the seventh draft made public. The visitors reception centre is still slated to amplify its space over First Avenue toward the riverfront, but First Avenue will no longer be
blocked off by a MacBride Museum expansion toward the waterfront, said senior city planner Lesley Cabott.
- December 1, 1998: Ralph Jake Klassen has been living in the medium-security William Head prison since he was found guilty of manslaughter in January 1997 for strangling his wife, Susan, in their Lake Laberge home. He will remain in custody after being turned down for parole Wednesday. Read the entire article here.
- December 23, 1998: Seven of the blue spruce planted along Robert Service Way at great expense have been chopped down, apparently for Christmas trees. Rep[lacing them could cost as much as $4,000.
- January 19, 1999: Hangar C at the Whitehorse airport burned Monday evening. Seven helicopters, nine airplanes and numerous other pieces of equipment were lost in the spectacular blaze that destroyed the last of the airport's Second World War hangars. Read the entire article here.
- February 1, 1999: "The Year 2000 Problem, also known as the Millennium Bug or Y2K, lies in the dating method used in virtually every aspect of computing. When the year rolls over at midnight on Dec. 31, many fear that date-sensitive systems will cease functioning." Read the entire article here.
- February 26, 1999: "Ramy Brooks, of Healy, Alaska, became the youngest winner of the Yukon Quest, crossing the finish line along First Avenue only 10 minutes ahead of Mark May Wednesday night." Read the entire article here.
- February 26, 1999: "Strange, Tragic and Funny Tidbits from the '99 Quest Trail." Read the entire article here.
- April 15, 1999: The RCMP and veterinarian Dr. Jim Kenyon are warning people in the Hidden Valley subdivision to keep their dogs at home, as 3 dogs seem to have eaten some chemicals or were deliberately poisoned in the last day or two, and 2 have died. Read the entire article here.
- April 19, 1999: "Regina Irena Thyrone was reported missing after she didn't show up for work on April 17. Her body was discovered last Friday behind the Robert Service Way softball diamonds, and Whitehorse artist Daniel Hummel, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder..." Read the entire article here.
- June 22, 1999: As an athlete and coach, there were few opponents Ben Sheardown couldn't beat. Unfortunately, the talented Yukoner couldn't beat cancer. The 55-year-old had spent the last three months in Calgary, but died Friday due to complications from treatment. Read more of the article here.
- June 22, 1999: Teamster Local 31 strikers, who are usually in front of Home Hardware, were out in front City Hall today because they feel city hall has taken a stand against the union by having materials delivered to the city's animal pound by Home Hardware. The union has been on strike against the hardware store for two months.
- June 22, 1999: The funeral for Grafton Njootli, a former Yukon MLA and cabinet minister, is being held in Old Crow this afternoon with relatives and friends from the Yukon, Alaska and the Northwest Territories attending.
- August 24, 1999: "Bill Hanlon, 37, from Sparwood, B.C., was one of the three Dall sheep hunters who found the ancient remains of a person frozen in ice in Tatshenshini Park, just below the Yukon/B.C. border." Read the entire article here.
- August 25, 1999: "Possibly as long as 10,000 years ago, an aboriginal person, possibly a male hunter, was crossing a glacier along a trading path, when disaster struck. Somehow, he died, and his body became trapped in the ice field. On Aug. 14, three school teachers, hunting for sheep in a remote corner of northwestern B.C., found the remains of the body." Read the entire article here.
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