Matt Tunseth

UPDATE (9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2): The body of missing hiker Neil Guggenmos was found by searchers at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night, accoring to an update provided by the Alaska State Troopers. He died of an apparent suicide.

Original story:

It’s easy to see why the FOCUS 5K is gaining a reputation as one of the happiest footraces around. Just look for the smiles.

“It’s a great event, great atmosphere — they even brought the sun out,” said Eagle River runner Ryan Bish after the third annual race in downtown Eagle River.

Three local Girl Scouts were presented with the group’s highest honor during the Girls Scouts of Alaska’s annual Leadership Luncheon April 18 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage.

Earning Gold Awards were Eagle River’s Kayla Reifel and Allyson Brokaw, along with JBER’s Carolyn Pope. The three were joined by Anchorage’s Quinn White and Petersburg’s Avery Herrman-Sakamoto in receiving the awards.

In order to earn a Gold Award, Girl Scouts must work on a project that addresses a community need.

There’s never a bad time to brush up on fire safety basics — not even during a snowstorm.

That was the message Alaska Fire and Life Safety Public Education Coordinator Virginia Lauer-McMichael delivered to a snow-smallened crowd at the Matanuska Ale House April 17 as wet, heavy chunks of spring snow fell outside.

“You’d be surprised how many people don’t know about fire education,” said McMichael, who previously worked as an assistant chief at the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and was honored as the 2017 Bear Paw Parade grand marshall.

A fiery pile-up on the Glenn Highway caused only minor injuries thanks in part to the quick action of good Samaritans who helped pull crash victims from the burning wreckage.

According to Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim, six vehicles were involved in the crash, which happened at around 8 a.m. near the Eagle River exit at Artillery Road.

Spring cleaning was never so much fun.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Anchorage Chamber for a citywide cleanup celebration Saturday, April 27 in Town Square Park in Eagle River.

The event will feature a cleanup followed by a volunteer barbecue and beer garden sponsored by Jalapeno’s restaurant.

People can pick up orange trash bags at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union between 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday — the more bags collected, the more tickets people can get for a prize raffle at the free barbecue, which starts at 6 p.m.

A little snow — ok, a lot of snow — couldn’t slow down local track and field athletes Wednesday at the first outdoor meet of the season.

Chugiak and Eagle River joined Dimond and West for the afternoon quad meet at Dimond Alumni Field. When the snow finally settled, several locals had first-places finishes to show for their chilly efforts.

Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan used to refer to Chugiak-Eagle River as “the breakaway republic,” and for decades residents of the northern reaches of the municipality have seen their dreams of independence remain unfulfilled.

Enter Eaglexit.

“We have put together a group of people who are seriously contemplating a detachment of Assembly District 2,” said Michael Tavoliero, chair of the newly formed nonprofit whose name is a nod to the “Brexit” movement to separate Great Britain from the European Union.

There’s a broken-down bus in Texas, and it’s got some stories to tell.

A proposal that would lock up 1,380 acres of municipal parkland from future development in exchange for cash is one step closer to reality after the Chugiak-Eagle River Parks and Recreation Department agreed to a memorandum of understanding with an Oklahoma nonprofit funded by the U.S. Army.

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