Among Chugiak-Eagle River’s claims to fame are high densities of bears and large numbers of hockey players, so it’s probably fitting the Kenai River Brown Bears Tier II junior hockey team has tapped the area for a chunk of its roster this season.

Four local residents are on the North American Hockey League team’s roster this season, including former Chugiak High standouts William Casey and Zach Krajnik, along with former Eagle River Wolves Sutton and Cam McDonald.

For the second year in a row, Chugiak’s Derryk Snell has been named Alaska’s top offensive football player.

The senior running back was named the Alaska Football Coaches Association Alaska Division I Offensive Player of the Year over the weekend after leading the Mustangs to a 9-1 season and a second straight Railbelt Conference title.

Chugiak head coach Roger Spackman was also recognized by the state’s coaches with Coach of the Year honors. West’s Javin Iloilo was the Division I Defensive Player of the Year, while Bartlett’s Thomas Sio won Lineman of the Year.

Chugiak earned four spots on the first-team All Cook Inlet Conference team, which was released following the conclusion of the regular season.

The third-place Mustangs — who lost in the CIC semifinals to eventual champion Dimond — landed quarterback Eva Palmer, wide receiver Chasity Horn, cornerback Briana Panter and cornerback Carson Head on the first team. Running back Corey Frazier and linebacker Sierra Love made the first team for Eagle River, which finished eighth and lost in the first round of the playoffs to CIC runner-up West.

Chugiak rolled undefeated through the Railbelt Conference, so it’s no surprise the Mustangs came out with plenty of postseason football honors.

Leading the way for the Mustangs — who went 9-1 and lost in the state Division I semifinals earlier this month — was senior Derryk Snell, who earned his second consecutive RBC Offensive Player of the Year award. Snell was named a first-team running back and linebacker for the Mustangs, who earned eight spots on the first team.

How does someone reach the peak of their sport? A million push-ups doesn’t hurt.

Former Eagle River resident Ron Mohr credited his fitness regimen with helping him go from talented amateur to a recent inductee into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame.

“I found out probably in my 30s, not many bowlers were doing that sort of thing,” Mohr said in an Oct. 18 press release announcing his induction.

Izzy Powers and Cheyenne Burke won twice for the Chugiak girls, while Dalton Lodzins was a double winner for the Mustang boys as Chugiak swept West in a Cook Inlet Conference swimming and diving meet Friday, Oct. 13 at West High.

Powers won the 200 yard freestyle and 100 backstroke and Burke won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly for the Chugiak girls, which earned a 106-70 win over the Eagles. Other individual winners included Lydia Ekstrom in diving and Shelby Thompson in the 500 free.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for a 44-year-old Chugiak man named Joshua Evans, according to an online Nixle alert issued Thursday evening by the Anchorage Police Department.

APD released two photos of Evans and said anyone who knows where he is should call (907) 276-4441. Both APD and the FBI said on Friday they had no other information to release about Evans or why he’s wanted.

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 public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


On Sept. 28 at around 8 p.m., police were called to the Birchwood Shooting Range for a report that a man tried to holster his gun and accidentally shot himself in the leg. The man was taken to a hospital with what police described as non life-threatening injuries.

Although the 2017 Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Convention is being held in Anchorage, the communities just north of town will be well represented Thursday when the annual gathering of Alaska Natives begins at the Dena’ina Center.

When the opening session begins Thursday morning, representatives from the Native Village of Eklutna and Eklutna Inc., will welcome between 4,000 and 5,000 delegates on behalf of the Dena’ina people.

Native Village of Eklutna president and chairman Lee Stephan said he was having a hard time containing his excitement at the honor.

A proposed water and sewer line expansion in Chugiak continues to generate strong opposition among neighborhood residents.

The Birchwood Community Council recently passed a resolution stating its “serious concerns” about the potential expansion, which municipal and Eklutna, Inc. officials say is needed to develop a proposed subdivision in the area.

An anti-bullying program last week at Birchwood ABC Elementary was a slam-dunk.


Much to the delight of the hundreds of screaming children packed inside the school’s gymnasium, Harlem Globetrotter Julian “Zeus” McClurkin provided the high-flying lesson as part of the world-famous basketball team’s community outreach program.

A young boy died after being struck and by a vehicle at a home in Eagle River.

According to the Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim, the 18-month-old was hit when his father moved a Ford Expedition from the driveway of a home on W. Parkview Terrace into the street.

“It happened very quickly,” Thim said.

The boy’s father didn’t realize what had happened until he got out of the vehicle, Thim said.

“It’s a heartbreaking situation,” he said.

At one point during a frantic Friday night at Anchorage Football Stadium, steam rising from the turf at Anchorage Football hung over the players like a fog.

Even the field was breathing heavy.

In a First National Bowl Division I semifinal thriller, Bartlett used an unstoppable running game to outlast Chugiak 75-62 and reach the state title game — ending the Mustangs’ dream of a perfect season in the process.

The family of a 41-year-old Chugiak man shot and killed during a traffic stop in Seward is speaking out about an investigation they say has shed little light on what happened to Micah McComas in a Safeway parking lot in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 1.

“Right now we are just searching for the truth,” said Krista Smith, who appeared at a press conference with her husband, Scott Smith, on Thursday morning in Anchorage.

Chugiak’s hopes of a repeat Cook Inlet Conference flag football title were washed away on Thursday, Oct. 12 at a soggy Dimond Alumni Field.

The host Lynx (14-2) got touchdowns from Victoria Johansen, Megan Luther and Desjorney Tanuvasa to earn a berth in the CIC title game. Chugiak finished 9-7.

The game was close until late. No. 2 seed Dimond led 7-0 heading into the fourth quarter, and twice No. 3 seed Chugiak had chances inside the Dimond 10-yard-line.

Organizers expect to give out more than 21,000 pieces of candy Saturday during the annual scare-and-sweets event known as “Boo at the Beach.”

The Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation Department puts on the event, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 14 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Beach Lake Chalet, with the trick-or-treat trail opening at 5:30 p.m. and the haunted trail beginning at 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 to the trick-or-treat trail and $10 to the haunted trail.

Numerous complaints about a property off Hiland Road resulted in a bust police believe could be linked to numerous vehicle and other thefts.

Local swimmers make a splash

Eagle River’s John Heaphy won two individual events for the Eagle River boys, while Izzy Powers and Cheyenne Burke led a solid day for the Chugiak girls at the Chugiak/Bartlett Invitational Swimming and Diving Meet at Chugiak and Bartlett High.

Heaphy won the 200 yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke for the Wolves, who also got a second-place finish from Sam Horning in the 100 freestyle. Horning and Heaphy also joined Daniel Min and Kevin Fast to win the 200 freestyle relay.

The Eagle River High School riflery team recently received a grant for $3,586.62 from the Friends of the NRA Foundation. The grant money will be used for maintenance and repair of the team’s 0.177-caliber precision air rifles, targets, shooting backstop materials and replacement air cylinders.

The ERHS team consists of 18 athletes. High school riflery is a co-ed sport in which boys and girls compete alongside one another.

A man wanted in connection with an Anchorage murder was arrested after turning himself in at an Eagle River church Wednesday, Oct. 11.

According to an Anchorage Police Department public Nixle alert, police Dispatch received a tip that a man — later identified as 34-year-old Anthony Aumua — walked into the ACF Church on Brooks Loop and admitted to shooting and killing a man at an apartment in Midtown Anchorage earlier in the morning.


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