At a little before 2 p.m. on an overcast Thursday afternoon, the Old Glenn Highway through Chugiak shut down completely. People sitting in lawn chairs and perched on the back of pick-up truck beds lined the normally busy road. Children chased each other on the nearby bike path while a dad tossed a football to his son in the middle of the empty street. Businesses along the road opened up garage doors and set out barbecue grills.
In Iraq they were inseparable, a daring duo whose mission was to seek out dangerous explosives hidden in the desert. But as often happens after a combat deployment, the two friends drifted apart. In the years following Iraq, new assignments and advancing age sent them down separate paths.
Andre White couldn’t wait to get to college. So after graduating Eagle River High School this spring, the 18-year-old immediately moved into the dorms at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. “It’s kind of like a college preview,” said White, who is participating in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) Summer Bridge program, which is designed to give incoming college freshmen a sneak preview of campus life.
The number of Scots in Alaska is on the rise. For the second straight year, a record crowd filled Lions Park in Eagle River for the 32nd Annual Alaska Scottish Highland Games. Last year’s record of 8,000 was topped by about 2,000 on Saturday, June 29, event chair Chris Anderson said.
Being in the running for a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences northwest chapter award was the highlight of filmmaker Kyle Aramburo’s career. “I was super excited just to be nominated,” the 1999 Chugiak High graduate said. That moment was quickly superseded when Aramburo won a directing Emmy for “Ketchikan: Our Native Legacy.”
Hypochondriacs among us can rest a little easier today because of a service provided by the 673d Aerospace Medicine Squadron. The 673d AMDS is the only official government organization in Alaska that traps mosquitoes in order to have them tested for viruses and disease. From May through the latter part of September, Airmen set miniature light traps at various locations throughout Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Robin Hopper, a music teacher at Homestead Elementary, has been named one of 217 quarterfinalists for a Grammy Music Educator Award, the Foundation announced in May. “This came out of the blue for me,” Hopper said during an interview with the Star last month.
The Annie Oakley of Eagle River’s Bear Paw Festival arms herself not with six-shooters but a to-do list longer than a snake’s shadow at sundown. “I have a yellow legal pad of four pages of things I need to follow up on,” Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber Special Events Director Merry Braham said recently from the chamber’s Eagle River office, which is currently a tornado of Paw-related activity.
Dozens of bloody bodies were scattered across the rocky ground on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Fire engulfed a plane in the background. Smoke swept over some victims, so thick they were nearly camouflaged.
Despite a big victory in the most recent session of the Alaska Legislature, members of the Chugiak-Eagle River delegation say threats to Alaska’s financial future remain. “Folks, we have a budget that we just can’t sustain,” said Sen. Anna Fairclough, an Eagle River Republican whose move from the House to the Senate in 2012 helped win passage of a controversial bill to reduce taxes on oil and gas producers.