Matt Tunseth

Sometimes when Michael Wright is practicing on the new organ at Eagle River Presbyterian Church, members of an Alcohol Anonymous group that shares the building will wander into the church to listen.

“It’s a really awesome experience,” Wright said during a recent interview at the downtown Eagle River church.

When Wright plays the new organ, the entire building resonates with heavenly chords that echo outside its walls into the streets beyond.

“You can hear it out in the parking lot,” said church administrative assistant Allison Denton.

A handful of area athletes have finalized their plans for the fall.

National Letter of Intent signings were held at Chugiak and Eagle River High Schools recently, with representatives from a cross-section of local sports.

At Chugiak High, senior Liam Baez-Terry was the guest of honor at a ceremony April 26 in the CHS library. Baez-Terry will run cross-country at Montana State University-Northern, an NAIA school in Havre, Montana.

Originally from Bethel, Baez-Terry said the small-town feel of the campus drew him in.

There wasn’t much sun, but there was plenty of fun at the second annual FOCUS Inc. 5-kilometer run in Eagle River.

“This is awesome,” said Eagle River’s Karen Kirk, who turned in the winning time in the women’s division on a cloudy but rain-free Saturday morning that featured plenty of awesomeness for everybody.

The event packed free coffee, a bouncy house, a DJ, free massage, rescue dogs, a fun run and a visit from the governor into a short section of Regency Drive in downtown Eagle River.

Ice fishing tents dotted the infield at Service High School, where athletes and coaches battled to keep from freezing in the always challenging springtime track and field conditions.

“I’d love to say we’re Alaskans and we need to be tough, but you worry about quads, you worry about hamstrings,” said Chugiak head coach Melissa Hall.

Along with the portable pop-up tents, athletes bundled inside winter parkas and sleeping bags to ward off the cold. Coaches like Hall said they continually stress the importance of keeping warm during early season outdoor meets.

On Earth Day at the Eagle River Nature Center, life was emerging from nearly every nook and cranny: Big, lazy mosquitos hovered, skittish butterflies fluttered and in the shallow ponds near the center trails, salmon fry fought over a few fledgling flies.

Sometime soon, even the bears will be about.

“We have not run into any bear sightings, but it’s definitely that time of year,” said ERNC operations manager Laura Krueger on Sunday, April 22.

One man’s journey toward autism awareness is helping raise the profile of an Eagle River organization whose mission isn’t always clearly understood.

“They’ve really helped walk me through the process in general of understanding what autism was,” said Michael Harlow, whose two children are on the autism spectrum.

Harlow’s wife first noticed their children having difficulty keeping up with their peers when it came to verbal communication. However, he was initially resistant to the diagnosis.

UPDATE: According to online records, Sala was released from custody on April 30. He is currently under the supervision of pre-trial services while he awaits trial.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A man wanted for robbing a woman at gunpoint in an Eagle River park during a drug deal gone bad has been captured.

A man wanted in connection with an Anchorage pepper-spraying incident was captured Thursday, April 26 in Eagle River.

According to Anchorage Police, Bret Maness was taken into custody at around 11:27 a.m.

Police said Maness allegedly attacked a group of people gathered at the Church of Love in Spenard last week.

Read more at Anchorage Daily News.

One Eagle River institution is leaving another.

Eagle River High principal Marty Lang — who has worked at the school since it opened — is leaving to take a job as deputy director of secondary education for the Anchorage School District.

“I am excited, although it is with a certain amount of bittersweet,” Lang said Monday. “I have really loved living here, being a part of this school and this community.”

Some of the most visible students on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus are speaking out against sexual assault.

“We’re using our voices for a good cause,” said Sarissa Lammers, a senior Nordic skier and mechanical engineering major.

A 2014 Chugiak High grad, Lammers recently helped organize a public service campaign in which UAF athletes posed for photos in their uniforms while holding signs with slogans such as “It’s On Us” and “No More.”

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