Matt Tunseth

A cordial municipal candidates forum Monday night featured few fireworks but did manage to highlight some differences between two of the four people running for the vacant Chugiak-Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly.

Candidates Fred Dyson and Gretchen Wehmhoff expressed similar views on several issues, with many of their differences coming down to style.

“I think Fred and I both care about the community,” Wehmhoff said to the dozen or so people who attended the forum, which was sponsored by the ECHO News and held at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

University of Alaska president Dr. Jim Johnsen will be the first to tell you he’s got a lot of work to do.

“We have some challenges,” Johnsen acknowledged during a speech to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, March 15 at the ER Ale House in Eagle River.

Among the myriad issues facing the university are declining enrollment, state funding cuts and the far-flung nature of a system that includes main campuses in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau and smaller campuses across the state.

Rod Perry needs to come up with nearly a quarter of a million dollars in less than a month.

He’s faced longer odds.

“If not me, who?” asked Perry, one of 22 men who ran the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1973.

Chugiak girls basketball coach Ryan Hales has built one of the state’s top basketball programs since arriving on Birchwood Loop in 2010. Now he’s got the hardware to prove it.

On Wednesday, Hales was named the Alaska Class 4A girls Coach of the Year by the Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches.

“It’s pretty cool to be recognized by your peers,” said Hales, whose Mustangs will play for a state title next week at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska state tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

Think your workout is tough? Think again.

Firefighters from the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department have been running up mountains and climbing stairs for months in anticipation of one of the most punishing charity fundraising races around.

With the prep basketball undercard now complete, Dimond girls coach Jim Young is ready for the main event.

“I tell my team there’s three seasons — the regular season and regions are the first two seasons,” said Dimond coach Jim Young after his team’s 72-51 runaway win over Chugiak Saturday in the finals of the Cook Inlet Conference tournament at West High. “Season three is state.”

Chugiak’s girls basketball team cleared its biggest hurdle to date Friday — and in the process, lept into the state tournament.

“We needed that one,” said Mustangs coach Ryan Hales moments after his squad’s scrappy 54-48 win over East in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament semifinals at West High.

Chugiak’s girls basketball team cleared its biggest hurdle to date Friday — and in the process, lept into the state tournament.

“We needed that one,” said Mustangs coach Ryan Hales moments after his squad’s scrappy 54-48 win over East in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament semifinals at West High.

“Gut wrenching.”

That pretty much sums it up.

Trailing for nearly all of Wednesday’s first-round Cook Inlet Conference clash with West, coach Joquis Sconiers’ Mustangs battled back from an eight point second-half deficit to take the lead with under a minute to go — only to watch their semifinal hopes die on a banked-in 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go.

“It’s the playoffs,” continued Sconiers, the third-year coach whose team’s season ended thanks to the Eagles’ improbable 51-50 victory in front of a stunned CHS crowd. “And they showed up.”

A promising season for the Eagle River girls ended at the hands of a merciless Chugiak team that never relented in a 72-16 first-round thrashing in the opener of a Cook Inlet Conference playoff doubleheader Wednesday night at Chugiak High.

Entering the tournament as a program-best No. 6 seed, the Wolves had more bite this year than in seasons past, and hoped to punctuate that against their rivals Wednesday.

“I don’t think we’re the doormat anymore,” said head coach Rashard Boston.

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