Focal Point

Focal Point is an evolving blog from the ADN photo staff, Bob Hallinen, Erik Hill, Marc Lester, Bill Roth and photo editor Anne Raup. Email your ideas and news tips to | About the blog

Mobile kitchens draw lunch crowds to Spenard - 6/11/2013 11:08 am

Hundreds gather to show support for family of slain Cambodian couple - 5/29/2013 9:37 pm

Party like it's 1922 at Sullivan's Steakhouse - 5/24/2013 10:37 pm

Launching the Classic Sailboat Orca at the Homer Boat Harbor - 5/21/2013 5:54 pm

One of state's best gymnasts headed to Junior Olympics - 5/9/2013 2:37 pm

A train ride across Anchorage - 5/9/2013 10:58 am

A Pool for Pooches - 5/2/2013 10:19 am

An Airports Heights family portrait - 4/13/2013 2:58 pm

Iditarod remembers Takotna's Jan Newton

Jan Newton in 2009.Jan Newton in 2009.Ramey Smyth, Jan Newtwon and Jeff King in 2009.Ramey Smyth, Jan Newtwon and Jeff King in 2009.

When the Iditarod kicks off in downtown Anchorage, one of the race's most well known volunteers will be honored as the first dog team heads east on 4th Avenue. Newton, who died in summer 2012 at age 75, has been the central figure, baker and volunteer organizer at the checkpoint most famous for its hospitality. She was known to many as the pie lady. Delicious desserts abound at the Takotna community hall for the mushers, helpers and passers-through. It might make good race strategy that so many racers spend their mandatory 24-hour layover in Takotna, but the warm and satisfying atmosphere that Newton helped create certainly played into that decision. Her four decades of work earned her a place in the Anchorage Daily News' Iditarod Hall of Fame in 2008.

I spoke with Jan Newtown about her famous pies during the race in 2009. Listen below.

Iditarod spokesperson Erin McLarnon says this year's Teacher on the Trail will ride in the first sled of the ceremonial start in Newton's memory. Read more about Jan Newton here.

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