Eagle River opened the high school cross country running season by introducing some of its new recruits Friday, getting wins from transfer student Jacob Bradley and freshman Emily Walsh in a season-opening “Battle of the Bridge” dual meet against Chugiak at the Beach Lake Trails.

The Wolves took the top eight spots in the boys race, while Walsh held off a trio of Mustangs and teammate Claire Nelson in the girls’ top five spots.

Reigning Alaska Large Schools Offensive Player of the Year Derryk Snell picked up right were he left off Friday night, scoring a touchdown on his first touch of the season and finding the end zone twice more to lead Chugiak to a 20-6 nonconference high school football win over East at East High.

After forcing East to punt on its first possession, the Mustangs needed just six plays to cover 46 yards on their opening drive, taking a 7-0 lead on Snell’s 12-yard burst to the outside.

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


Lessons can be learned both on and off the field. On a recent trip to the Kenai Peninsula, the Chugiak Mustangs got a chance to do both.

A scrimmage against the defending Medium Schools division champion Soldotna Stars provided the humbling lesson on the turf, while the bus trip to the Central Peninsula gave the team a chance to learn a bit more about each other.

“I think it was a great experience for our team bonding,” said senior Ian Stover, one of a large group of Chugiak players who have come up through the youth and high school ranks together.

As the demolition of an abandoned Eklutna River dam moves forward, local utilities, lawmakers and business leaders are talking about the next step in the process – potentially restoring water and salmon to the 22-mile channel.

“This is a long-term project,” said Curtis McQueen, CEO of Eklutna, Inc., one of the many stakeholders in the river’s future. “We believe in balance.”

Eagle River is more than 2,000 miles away from Hollywood, but for a week or so this summer, the two places felt much closer.

In the middle of August, the movies came to town. Led by Alaskan writer and director Charles Baird, a small crew of actors and filmmakers recently shot two feature films in Eagle River, recording scenes in the parking lot of the Eagle River Shopping Center, a private home on a lake and other places throughout the community.

Eagle River will open its season against the last team it beat when the Wolves host Ketchikan at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 12.

In last year’s clash at Ketchikan, the Wolves picked up their first road win in three years with a 47-28 triumph on Revillagigedo Island. This year’s game will be played in front of the home fans at the Wolves’ Den, where Eagle River went 1-3 last season.

Concerned with the decrease of pollinators and amphibians, The National Garden Clubs reached out to their regions in a special two-year, (2017-19) presidential campaign called “Service in Action.” This project focuses on increasing awareness of the seriousness of the demise of pollinators and amphibians, in an attempt to encourage conservation and protection of these garden partners. We are asked to consider how, “the first bio indicators, amphibians and pollinators, by their presence, abundance or lack of, reveal the health of the surrounding ecosystems.”

Area residents flocked to lakes and mountains as a relatively rainy summer got a rare sunny break the weekend of Aug. 4-6. While summertime temperatures in the low 70s might not seem like anything special, the nice weather was considered so noteworthy this year the National Weather Service issued a special bulletin alerting people in advance of the blue-sky break.

Eagle River football’s new pack leader hopes to bring new snarl to the Wolves’ program.

“What we’re trying to do is change the culture and get a winning mentality,” said Bob Adkins, who took over the program this season after spending two years as an assistant under Matt Turner.

Turner is now coaching special teams at Bartlett, and Adkins has brought in an almost entirely new crop of assistant coaches to help him take his shot at turning around a program that has now had five head coaches but never a winning season since starting varsity play in 2006.

Chugiak isn’t exactly easing its way into the 2017 prep football season.

After scrimmaging 2016 Medium Schools champion Soldotna in an Aug. 5 tune-up, the Mustangs will open their season for real against East — which won the 2016 Large Schools title.

“It’ll definitely be a test,” said Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman.

It’s one Chugiak’s players are ready for. Just two years removed from the Large Schools title game and coming off a Railbelt Conference championship, the Mustangs feel they belong in the conversation as one of the state’s top teams.

Following months of construction closures, inspection issues and cancelled events, the Mirror Lake Park pavilions reopened to the public on the last day of July.

“I’m so excited to let everyone in,” said Karen Richards, Eagle River Parks and Recreation manager.

The opening is months overdue. Closed for improvements in August of 2016, the pavilions were originally scheduled to be completed and reopened by November, but there were “deficiencies” with a newly poured concrete slab, the park manager said.

“Within 30 days it was heaving,” Richards said.

While summer rainclouds and Bear Paw Festival crowds converged outside the Eagle River Town Center Thursday night, a half-dozen locals gathered inside for a drier purpose – the monthly meeting of the Eagle River Community Council.

The ERCC, one of six area community councils, is the only council to hold regular meetings throughout the summer months. Its July 13 meeting covered community issues ranging from public safety to parks.

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


On July 27 at around 9 p.m., police took a report that someone stole three sets of moose antlers bolted to a pole outside a residence on Aurora Borealis Road while the homeowner was at work.


Author’s note: This was my report to the Pacific Region Garden Clubs, (the eight western states) concerning Alaska’s Community Gardens of which I am a Chair. I choose to share this information and I hope that you are encouraged by it:

How wonderful it is to see the excitement for gardening and “growing your own.” In Alaska we are seeing an increased interest in the growing of vegetables, herbs and fruits within our communities, cities and in the Bush.

The Lilies are blooming and they are gorgeous! Asiatic hybrids, (Lilium) are hardy Zones 3-10, and easy to grow. Native to Asia, mature plants can reach 1-6 feet and have long glossy leaves. These beauties come in many bold colors. Unlike Oriental Lilies, they have no fragrance. These plants are low maintenance, a perennial, and suffer from few diseases. A definite must have for the Alaskan gardener.

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


On July 15 at around 5:45 a.m., police took a report from a woman who said she returned to her apartment on Hunters Drive to find the inside ransacked. Police said medications may have been stolen, but nothing else appeared to missing.


The president of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want to be pessimistic — but thing’s aren’t looking good.

“I’m saying right now, our future is not that bright,” Curtis Thayer said at an August 2 meeting of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce at the Eagle River Ale House. “We have high unemployment, we have negative growth in the state of Alaska, we have people leaving Alaska, we have an industry in decline.”

A spirited crowd sent the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks to a warm send-off Monday at Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak.

With the field’s namesake on hand to help sing “Take me Out to the Ballgame” and players sticking around afterward to sign autographs for any kid who wanted one, it was easy to forget the 4-0 defeat the hometown nine suffered in its final game of a 17-27 Alaska Baseball League campaign.

A former Eagle River soldier charged with the 2013 death of her infant daughter has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter.

Ashley Ard, 28, accepted the plea deal during a brief afternoon hearing in a nearly empty Anchorage courtroom July 31. Anchorage District Court Judge Kevin Saxby scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 5. Afterwards, still in handcuffs, Ard was ushered out a side door by uniformed Alaska State Trooper, and a small group of family members sitting quietly near the back of the courtroom filed out into the lobby.


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