Eagle River’s girls cross country running team may have arrived under the radar Saturday, but there’s no way the Wolves got off the trails near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson without someone taking notice.

Led by a fifth-place finish by freshman Emily Walsh, the Wolves took third in the girls’ team standings behind a pair of powers in dominant West Valley and runner-up Kenai Central.

“They did great,” said Wolves head coach Jacob Bera. “Overall it was just an amazing team effort.”

Returning salmon and water to the Eklutna River will take more than simple addition, according to lawmakers and utility managers.

“We have what kind of boils down to a math problem: How much water do we need to accommodate as many groups as we can?” said East Anchorage assemblyman Forrest Dunbar. “We don’t have that information yet.”

FAIRBANKS — It didn’t matter if the West Valley High School football team was on offense or defense, very little went the Wolfpack’s way when they hosted Railbelt Conference rival Chugiak in their home opener Friday night.

The visiting Mustangs torched West Valley on the ground. They torched them through the air, too. The Chugiak defense even got into the act, turning two West Valley fumbles into touchdowns during a lopsided 60-12 beatdown of the Wolfpack.

Opportunistic and unrelenting, the Eagle River Wolves worked as a pack to grind out a 13-12 nonconference prep football win over Dimond Saturday at Eagle River High.

The Wolves forced five turnovers in the game, including an 18-yard Justice Townsend fumble return that proved to be the game winner and a late JT Adams interception that proved to be the game clincher.

“He overthrew it and I had to stick my hands out and it just fell into my lap,” Adams said.

Dimond’s intended receivers tried to strip the ball, but Adams went to the ground to seal the victory.

When Anchorage School District students returned to class Monday morning, nearly 12 dozen of them tried something new: a hybrid college prep program known as the Alaska Middle College School.

“We’re proud that you took a chance on us,” said ASD Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop, addressing an atrium full of teenagers at the University of Alaska’s Chugiak-Eagle River campus Aug. 21. “Thanks for filling out the application.”

The program is a fast track to college and an entirely new approach for the Anchorage School District, according to administrators.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system, with details about individual events provided by the department’s Community Relations Unit. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

OUI

On Aug. 15 at around 4 a.m., an APD officer spotted a vehicle parked in the AIH parking lot on the Old Glenn Highway with its lights and turn signal on and an alleged passed-out driver behind the wheel. The officer arrested the driver, David A. Mullins, 39, of Eagle River for operating under the influence.

The week before classes began, Birchwood ABC Elementary teacher Holly Boothe sorted through the piles of books spread across the desks in her room, preparing for her ninth year teaching in the school she once attended as a student.

“It’s the start of a new cycle, the start of a new time; it’s kind of refreshing and renewing,” Boothe said. “I always enjoy the beginning of the school year.”

This school year is special, according to Birchwood parents and teachers. This year marks Birchwood ABC’s 50th anniversary.

Chugiak sophomore Adrianna Proffitt edged Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh to claim the top finish among Chugiak-Eagle River runners at the Tsalteshi Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna.

Proffitt finished the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 58 seconds, on of six runners to finish the hilly layout in under 20 minutes. Walsh was five seconds behind in seventh place.

For thousands of Chugiak-Eagle River families, the last full week of August marks a shift to school schedules filled with classes, sports and social events.

Public school students in grades 1-12 began classes Aug. 21. Kindergarten students are set to return to their classrooms Aug. 28. Weekends are packed with games and meets, and school calendars brim with important dates and deadlines. Here are a few key facts, phone numbers and other information to help you navigate the back-to-school rush at Chugiak-Eagle River’s 12 public schools:

As David Thomas’s scheduled trial date creeps closer, the Eagle River man accused of fatally strangling his teenage girlfriend is asking the Alaska Court of Appeals to intervene.

An Aug. 22 hearing in Anchorage District Court was the latest in a series of court dates that have stretched on for nearly three years.

To the editor,

Chasity Horn scored four touchdowns and threw two more to lead Chugiak to a 46-0 high school flag football win over Eagle River on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at Eagle River.

Horn, a sophomore quarterback who helped the Mustangs to a Cook Inlet Conference championship last year, ran for three scores and returned an interception for a touchdown for Chugiak, which improved to 1-1. Eva Palmer caught both of Horn’s touchdown passes, and Carson Head scored on an interception return for the Mustangs.

Chugiak’s next game is at East on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

CHUGIAK MUSTANGS

Last year, Chugiak’s flag football team snuck up on the Cook Inlet Conference to claim the conference championship. This time around, the Mustangs know they’ll have to work even harder for a shot at the title.

“We all have the same goals and we all want to work really hard to get them,” said Carson Head, a senior who helped Chugiak win the 2016 CIC title despite a fifth-place regular season.

Kam Williams ran for 128 yards on 13 carries but he and the Eagle River Wolves couldn’t find the end zone in a 30-0 nonconference prep football loss to Wasilla Friday, Aug. 18 at Veterans Memorial Field in Wasilla.

Grant Burningham added 48 yards on 13 carries for Eagle River, which racked up 205 yards on the ground but wasn’t able to complete a pass on a rainy night across Southcentral Alaska.

There was plenty of good, bad and ugly to go around Friday night at Chugiak High — just not necessarily in equal proportions.

The good news for the Mustangs was they escaped Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium with a 20-7 nonconfefence football win over South. The bad news was the team could never seem to get out of its own way, committing several costly turnovers and turning what should have been a walkaway win into a nerve-wracker.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has closed the Albert Loop Trail near the Eagle River Nature Center for the fall.

The annual fall closure has taken place since 1997. According to a DNR press release anouncing the closure, brown and black bears use the bridges and beavers dams to fish — making the trail a potentially treacherous place to be for humans.

Other trails near the center will remain open. The Albert Loop Trail will reopen after freeze-up.

Here’s the complete announement from DNR:

ENSTAR Natural Gas has tapped into the Chugiak-Eagle River area to find its first home-grown president.

Eagle River’s John Sims has been named to head up the company, which delivers gas to more than 143,000 customers in the Cook Inlet area from Homer north to Big Lake, according to the company’s website.

At a meeting of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Aug. 16, Sims (who is also the chamber president) said he’s the first “born-and-raised” Alaskan to be the company’s president.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said.

An Eagle River man accused of commiting a violent sexual attack on an Anchorage woman earlier this month appeared in court again Aug. 17, in custody and facing new charges of felony assault and kidnapping.

Preparing for a flood of future development, a local utility is laying the groundwork for new water and sewer lines in Birchwood.

The announcement triggered a wave of community concern at an Aug. 9 Birchwood Community Council meeting, where local homeowners talked about looming property assessments and population growth.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘if,’ I think it’s a matter of ‘when,’” said council president Kevin McNamara at the Wednesday evening meeting at the Beach Lake Chalet.

Matanuska Electric Association issued an urgent warning Tuesday, Aug. 15 about an ongoing phone scam targeting the cooperative’s members.

According to an email sent out by MEA public relations supervisor Cassi Campbell, the con artists have manipulated phone systems so their caller ID reads ‘MEA Outage Line.” Campbell said the callers are demanding immediate payment and threatening to cut off members’ electricity immediately.

“Please protect yourself!” she wrote. “Hang up immediately and call MEA (phone numbers) if your receive suspicious phone calls.”

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