January is race month in Bethel, and cold temperatures with strong north winds prevailed for most of the month. The wind chills bottomed out at about -65, and that happened Saturday morning on the weekend of the Kuskokwim 300. Myron was racing the Bogus Creek 150 at that time, and he encountered enough problems to withdraw from the race after about 60 miles. The other team from Old Friendly Dog Farm, raced by Mike Parker, took second in that race, winning over $5,000 in the largest payday in years for OFDF.
Two weeks later, her first wins ever as a dog racer. The first win was in the delayed Holiday Classic, a 50 mile race which followed part of the K300 trail. She won that event with a time of 4:12. The next day, the Bethel sprint club sponsored a race over the same trail, and Casie won again with exactly the same team, in the same time. For full results, check k300.org, or become a friend of Kuskokwim 300 on Facebook. A good photo spread of all the races can be found on Ian Foulds Flickr page.
ALO resolved two cases in January. One involved a man who suffered a broken finger at the Bethel jail which healed poorly and will likely have to be amputated. The complaint against the jail alleged poor medical care for missing the break in the finger until it started healing. The other settlement involved a potential appeal by a Bethel man who was on the losing end of a recent jury trial. ALO's client sought payment of legal fees from the opponent, which is allowed under Alaska law. The opponent elected to pay a portion of ALO's fees, and agreed to drop any appeal, to end the case.
Another legal case resolved, this one not directly involving ALO. The case against former K300 race manager Staci Gillilan finally moved toward completion as she entered a guilty plea to a felony theft charge. She agreed to pay restitution in an amount yet to be determined to the K300, in addition to any amounts owed to Kilbuck school yearbook purchasers who paid money to her three years ago and also to a trust fund were Gillilan was paid to assist a young girl who was deemed unable to manage her own money. The case against Gillilan dragged on for almost two years before the plea. Sentencing is set for March. Meanwhile she is employed as a legal assistant at the law firm representing her, Power Brown. Some callers to ALO have recognized a form of symmetry in that situation.
Dean Painter of Nulato came to the Dog Farm to help with racing during January and someone dug up a clipping from December of 1978 which tells an interesting story about dog training on the Kuskokwim. a Minnesota weekly paper from Myron's home town. Dean's first name is obviously reported incorrectly, but the rest of the story is fairly accurate.