Cliff Cook’s one-man community watch program is no longer a solo effort.

In fact, the six-month-old Eagle River Community Patrol has already grown to a half-dozen members and has almost $1,000 in the bank.

“We are well on our way to becoming a nonprofit sooner than I thought,” Cook said during a meeting of the Eagle River Community Council on May 10 at the Eagle River Town Center building.

A long-dreamed-of plan to bring a veterans’ housing facility to the Chugiak-Eagle River area has received the endorsement of the Anchorage Assembly — with the caveat developers work in tandem with local residents.

Local girls hockey players have a team to call their own. Now all they need is a name.

The Mustang Hockey Association is re-branding its revived girls hockey program with something more in keeping with the times.

“We wanted these players to stand out and have a distinct logo,” said MHA girls hockey coordinator Angela Unruh.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

It’s graduation season for high school seniors at Eagle River Christian School, Birchwood Christian, Eagle River High School and Chugiak High School. ERCS held its graduation ceremony May 12, with Chugiak and Eagle River holding theirs May 15. The Birchwood Christian graduation is scheduled for May 18 at the school.

Digging in the dirt is usually a dog’s job, but on Saturday in Chugiak a handful of human volunteers took tools into their own paws to help out their canine friends.

“I like to get dirty,” volunteer Melissa Rigas said, a dirt-covered pickaxe resting at her side.

Rigas and a half-dozen others were drawn to the nonprofit’s 2.5-acre property off Birchwood Loop for a simple reason.

“It’s all for the dogs,” she said.

A soggy afternoon produced plenty of fireworks Monday as the Chugiak and Eagle River high school soccer teams squared off for the final crosstown grudge match of the season.

In the opener, a scrappy Eagle River girls side dug out of an early hole to forge a 1-1 Cook Inlet Conference draw, while in the nightcap the Chugiak boys kept their sinking state playoff hopes afloat with a waterlogged 2-1 win.

“We needed that tonight to keep our hope alive,” said Chugiak coach Matt Miller, whose team finished the regular season .500 in the CIC.

Chugiak’s Brooklynn Gould swept the hurdles events Saturday to give the Mustangs a pair of individual victories at the Palmer Invite at a windy Machetanz Field in Palmer.

Eagle River lefthander Braden Olmstead pitched the first true no-hitter of the Cook Inlet Conference baseball season, a tidy, 70-pitch performance in a 1-0 victory over Dimond.

“He was clearly on his game,” said Wolves coach Harlie Bodine, whose team improved to 3-3 after dropping its first three games of the season.

The win was made possible by Brendan Miles’ walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium. The hit by Miles drove in Sterling Retzlaff, who ripped a leadoff triple.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Stolen vehicle recovered; rifle, other items missing

Keri Nutter rocks.

The 36-year-old geologist from Eagle River was recently honored by the Alaska Journal of Commerce as one of Alaska’s “Top Forty Under 40,” an annual compilation of some of the state’s top young achievers. (The Alaska Journal of Commerce is owned by the Binkley Company, which also owns the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.)

Nutter and the other honorees were recognized at a ceremony held April 27 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. She was presented the award by fellow Chugiak High alumnus John Sims, the event’s keynote speaker and a 2013 Top Forty honoree.

With summer upon us, hiking and camping opportunities abound in our vast back yard: Chugach State Park. With nearly one-half million acres, the park is one of Alaska’s premier recreation areas.

It is great to be back and writing again for the Star’s “In the Garden.” The column will continue to find answers to your questions about gardening and discuss topics that are of interest to our community. Current gardening events and opportunities will be listed for your information. I look forward to researching your questions and providing the latest practices that are available. Feel free to email me at [email protected] with your questions as well as gardening events that are happening around our community.

Like a rainbow arcing over Eagle River Road, students from Gruening Middle School brought a big splash of color to nearby Homestead Elementary last week.

On a sunny Wednesday morning, 19 members of Rachel Wall’s eighth-grade art class made the short walk between the schools to hand-deliver a batch of freshly painted chairs to Kim Madill’s kindergarten classroom. Sporting everything from abstract designs to colorful animals, the tiny chairs served as both the students’ final project and a way for the middle-schoolers to leave their mark.

Chugiak opened the Cook Inlet Conference baseball season with wins in three of its first four games, scoring three straight wins over Service, Eagle River and East after a season-opening loss to South.

Sam Hall gave up three hits in 5 1/3 innings on May 8 at Mulcahy Stadium to pace the Mustangs’ 12-0 win over East. Justin Nevells went 3-for-5 with a trio of RBIs.

The Mustangs fell 7-2 to the Wolverines in the May 1 opener, then hammered Service 11-0 on May 3 behind a six inning one-hitter from Billy Smith.

The Chugiak boys and Eagle River girls track and field teams showed they’ve got plenty of rising stars Friday and Saturday at the annual Frosh/Soph meet at Dimond High.

The Mustang boys won the meet by 30 points over second-place Dimond, while the ERHS girls were second only to South in the eight-team meet.

Freshman phenom Emily Walsh won three events for the Eagle River girls, pacing the field in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meter events.

The Harry J. McDonald Center in Eagle River was burglarized on May 5 for the second time this spring.

According to Anchorage Police, someone broke into the building by breaking the front window of the facility. Once inside, the miscreants broke a clock and poured juice from a fridge onto the floor.

Federal prosecutors have filed felony wire fraud charges against an Eagle River woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a local youth hockey association.

Jennifer Suchan, 33, was charged Monday with three counts of wire fraud for allegedly embezzling $157,079 from the Mustang Hockey Association while she served as volunteer treasurer from 2014-17.

On May 5 at around 11:30 p.m., Anchorage Police Department officers were called to Garcia’s Restaurant in Eagle River for a report of a disturbance involving a man threatening to shoot someone during the bar’s annual Cinco de Mayo party.

According to police, witnesses told them Landon C. Tims, 28, of Eagle River got into an argument with another restaurant patron. Police said the fight started to get physical, at which point Tims’ friends stepped in to pull him away. As he left the building, Tims reportedly threatened to shoot the person he’d been arguing with.

UPDATE (May 8, 2018) After this story was posted online, another report of a broken window was reported at the McDonald Center. According to Anchorage Police, facility was burglarized on May 5, when someone broke into the building by breaking the front window. Once inside, the miscreants broke a clock and poured juice from a fridge onto the floor. The center also had a window broken in mid-April.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Reports of vandalism aren’t on the rise in Chugiak-Eagle River, but statistics won’t un-break any of the windows at Fire Lake Elementary School.

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