Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Oct. 29, 2019


Mary Ann’s Polarrigg sold as storied owner fights cancer, police go all-out to find shoplifter who stole two pairs of socks and errant drivers are fined for using summer tires in September snow.

Mary Ann’s Polarrigg sold to Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions 
One of Longyearbyen’s most storied businesses is entering a new chapter as Mary Ann’s Polarrigg is being sold to Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions, whose owners operate Gjestehuset 102 and numerous tours. The rustic Polarrigg was founded in 1999 by Mary-Ann Dahle, who since last year has been battling a serious case of cancer. Iris Dahle Bjørkmann, Dahle’s daughter, said she expects the sale to Svalbard Wildlife Adventures to be completed by January.

Police hunt down woman who shoplifted two pairs of socks
It was just two pairs of socks worth 99.80 kroner, but Svalbardbutikken’s manager and local police took the matter quite seriously as  surveillance footage was used to identify a local woman in her 50s and search for the missing merchandise at her home. The woman admitted to the theft when police showed up, but they searched her home for other stolen merchandise without finding any. Store employees said she purchased about 2,000 kroner in goods during her visit, so the theft obviously wasn’t motivated by financial need. Store Manager Ronny Strømnes said one of the things that’s “so nice here in Svalbard” is, unlike Oslo, police are inclined to respond to even a minor theft and the store takes them seriously. “Whether the item costs ten kroner or ten thousand kroner does not matter,” he said.

Drivers fined 5K each after vehicles with summer tires slid off road in September snow
Two people have been fined 5,000 kroner each for driving with summer tires in snowy conditions after their vehicles slid off the road following a snowstorm at the end of September, according to Lt. Gov. Berit Sagfossen. One vehicle lost control at where Sjøskrenten intersects with The University Centre in Svalbard, while a few hours later the other other vehicle ended up in a ditch along Hilmar Rekstens Vei where the pointed-roof houses are.