People

A month after earning her diploma, Eagle River High School graduate Elle Adkins packed her bags and headed south to represent her hometown on a national stage.

Mardis graduates basic with honors

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Branden Mardis recently graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. Mardis — who earned distinction as an honor graduate — completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate degree in applied science through the Community College of the Air Force.

A Talkeetna nonprofit is warming up thanks to 15-year-old Eagle River Boy Scout Keith Sellers.

After hundreds of hours of fundraising and manual labor, Sellers recently put the finishing touches on a new shelter at the Sled Dog Sanctuary, which rescues former sled dogs and provides animal therapy to Alaskans with special needs. The shelter, handicap accessible and warmed with a wood stove, provides a cozy gathering space for sanctuary visitors.

Hundreds of children with visions of candy and prizes stormed the field at Eagle River Lions Park Sunday, snatching up more than 10,000 Easter eggs in a matter of minutes at the annual Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt.

“It goes fast,” said event organizer Sonia Vance of the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions.

On Thursday evenings, hours after the last classes let out for the day, the band room at Mirror Lake Middle School again fills with music and voices.

This time, middle schoolers are just one part of the group. The other musicians are retirees and high-schoolers, college students, working adults and everyone in between. The Chugiak-Eagle River Community Band welcomes all comers.

Nine members of Community Covenant Church returned April 1 from a short-term mission trip to Tepic, Mexico, where they helped meet the needs of developing churches and a children’s home.

Located in west-central Mexico, Tepic is the capital of the state of Nayarit and the home of La Fuente Ministries, which includes more than 20 church plants and Nana’s House children’s home among its many ministries.

From her home on the hillside above Eagle River, Dr. Katie Ringsmuth looks out over Cook Inlet and thinks about Russian trading posts and Dena’ina bidarkas and the rich, abundant history of the land known as the Last Frontier.

While others see it as the end of the road, Ringsmuth sees Alaska as a leader at the crossroads – a cultural, economic and environmental bridge that has connected the globe for centuries. But so much of Alaska’s history remains unexplored. As an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska, Ringsmuth sees that firsthand.

It happened six months ago with hardly any warning at all.

Joshua Brooks, a sixth-grader at Mirror Lake Middle School, complained of a slight headache in the morning, his family said. By the middle of the day, doctors were poring over the results of his CAT scan and rushing him into surgery. By 3:15 p.m., he was gone. A fatal aneurysm, doctors said. He was 11 years old.

Now his sister, a sophomore at Chugiak High School, is organizing a blood drive in his memory.

Josh Saylor is an excellent student at Mirror Lake Middle School — but that doesn’t mean he’s not just a regular kid. When asked his favorite part about participating in the 2017 Alaska State Spelling Bee, Saylor had an answer any sixth-grader could relate to.

“One thing I like is I get to miss school for an entire day,” Saylor said during an interview at the school earlier this week.

An Eagle River 12-year-old is the latest inductee into the Odor-Eaters’ Hall of Fumes.

Connor Slocombe claimed first prize in the company’s national 2017 Rotten Sneaker Contest, outstinking a half-dozen other elementary school students at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Times Square on Tuesday, according to statement sent on behalf of the New York tourist attraction.

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