Matt Tunseth

A Chugiak artist and dog musher is helping preserve a crumbling piece of Alaska history.

Iditarod Hall of Fame member Jon Van Zyle is well known for his official Iditarod prints, which have been a staple of the annual sled dog race to Nome since 1977. Now he’s turning his keen eye on a long-forgotten bit of Iditarod Trail lore.

“We basically believe in the fact that history should be saved and not just discarded,” said Van Zyle, who finished the race in 1976 and 1979 before becoming the race’s official artist.

College scholarships and Bear Paw bragging rights are on the line Thursday, July 12, at the Steve Primis Auditorium, where 19 young women will be joined by two young men on the stage for the 29th edition of the Bear Paw Pageant.

The pageant — which began in 1989 — is back again this year after taking a one-year hiatus in 2016. Last year’s Miss Bear Paw Queen was Shannon O’Hare, with Michal Treder named Bear Paw King. Other honorees were prince Jon Streff, princess Casey McCormick and ambassador Danielle Stam.

Air Force Col. Patricia Csank is about to make Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson history.

On Friday, Csank will become the base’s first female commander when she takes over command of the Air Force’s 673rd Air Base Wing during a 10 a.m. ceremony on the base. The 673rd Air Base Wing is responsible for installation management on the joint base, which was formed in 2005 when Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson Army Garrison combined into a single entity. According to JBER, the 673rd maintains an $11.4 billion infrastructure encompassing 79,000 acres north of Anchorage.

Chugiak won the battle of the Bradens Wednesday at Oberg Field.

Post 33’s Braden Shackelford outdueled fellow southpaw Brayden Olmstead in rainy Peters Creek, striking out six batters in 5 1/3 innings to key the Mustangs’ 3-0 Alaska American Legion Baseball victory over Eagle River.

Shackelford gave up three hits before giving way to reliever Sam Hall, who didn’t allow a baserunner and needed just 12 pitches to close out the final 1 2/3 innings.

It’s time to grin and Bear Paw it.

Eagle River’s annual summertime festival returns for its 33rd year this week, with a full slate of family fun set to take over the fairgrounds at Town Square Park and elsewhere across Chugiak-Eagle River.

“It’s been going really great,” said Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce executive director Debbie Rinckey.

Bear traps have been reset and a popular trailhead closed in the South Fork Eagle River Valley after at least two more close-range encounters between humans and brown bears near where a man was killed by a bear and another was mauled last month.

A Chugiak family of three had their lives turned upside down during a weekend road trip to Seward.

Before Tina Willis left rainy Resurrection Bay, she slipped off the second step of the family camper and broke her leg. When she returned to her home Sunday night with her husband, young son and their four dogs, things got even worse.

Much worse.

Willis’ husband was looking for a way to bring her into the house on Sarah Circle with her injury, so he went to grab a wheelbarrow from the garage.

Residents of one of Eagle River’s oldest neighborhoods are growling over a proposal to add an off-leash dog park to a small municipal park alongside Eagle River Road.

“I’m not against a dog park, I’m a dog owner,” said Zach Seabolt, who lives on Seabolt Lane across from the proposed park. “I’m just against where this dog park is going.”

Chugiak-Eagle River racers showed up en masse for the 2018 Mount Marathon races in Seward. Among this year’s finishers in the men’s, women’s and junior races, 75 were from Eagle River, 18 from Chugiak and two from JBER.

Alaska kids are alright.

Chugiak’s Michael Connelly and Fairbanks’s Kendall Kramer etched their names in the 34-degree face of Mount Marathon on Wednesday when each won the junior race at the iconic Alaskan event for the first time.

“It’s a dream,” said Connelly, a 16-year-old who attends Chugiak High School. “I’ve always dreamed of this.”

Kramer’s win was also the fulfillment of a dream the West Valley High 16-year-old has had since hearing tales of her dad Mike’s back-to-back top-10 finishes in 2006-07.

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