A year ago, the family of Linda Anne-Martz Bower thought it might finally be nearing closure in the case of the 19-year-old woman’s 2014 murder.

But the wheels of justice grind painfully slowly — a process that’s tearing up those who want to see justice for the man who has admitted killing his former girlfriend.

You can’t drive to Juneau, but area lawmakers still want a road map for the upcoming legislative session.

Alaska State House representatives Dan Saddler (R-Eagle River/JBER), Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) and Cathy Tilton (R-Chugiak/Butte/Knik) attended a Town Hall meeting Saturday, Jan. 6 in order to learn what their constituents would like addressed in the Capitol.

“Our purpose is not to talk at you, our goal is to listen,” Saddler said at the outset.

The Chugiak girls basketball team clamped down on defense to turn a close game into a runaway Tuesday on opening night of the 2018 Cook Inlet Conference basketball season.

After building a narrow 22-20 lead into halftime against West, the Mustangs allowed just two third-quarter points to run away with a 48-33 win over the Eagles.

Chasity Horn scored 17 points to lead Chugiak (1-0 Cook Inlet Conference), which got 13 from Eva Palmer and 12 from Patricia Houser.

Chugiak held West to just three field goals in the second half.

Eagle River stormed back from a two-goal deficit to earn a dramatic 4-3 Cook Inlet Conference hockey win Tuesday over East at the McDonald Center in Eagle River.

Ty McEnanay scored the game-winner with 1:16 left off an assist from Michael Maddox to lift the Wolves to victory in their first game back from the holiday break.

20 years ago this week in the Star…

Police get community beat

A new trend in policing was being touted as a way to help stem crime in Anchorage, according to a front-page story in the Jan. 8, 1998 edition of the Alaska Star.

“The police in Eagle River are switching roles — they are asking for the community’s help,” read the story by Star managing editor Stacy Simonet. “Making a move to a community-policing model, officers are asking for local groups and organizations to get in touch with them.”

Helen Wilson and Grace Gilliland are going back to Europe.

The local biathlon stars will represent the United States at the World Biathlon Championships in Otepaa, Estonia in February after stellar performances at the U.S. Youth/Junion Team Trials Dec. 28-29 in Coleraine, Minnesota.

Armed and angry, Chugiak-Eagle River residents say it’s time to get tough on crime.

“I feel safer in some Asian countries than I do in my own neighborhoods and my own community now, and that’s why we’ve decided to take a stand,” said Rep. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) during a community crime forum held Jan. 6 in Eagle River.

Reinbold called the meeting, which filled the community meeting room at the Eagle River Town Center building and drew a crowd roughly twice as large as the one at a legislative Town Hall meeting immediately before and also focused heavily on crime.

The Anchorage Police Department on Monday was seeking a pair of robbery suspects believed to be in Eagle River.

The department sent out a public bulletin at around 4 p.m. saying a black man and Native female had allegedly ditched a stolen white pick-up truck at the Shell station in Eagle River after robbing a coffee stand in Muldoon earlier in the day.

Editor’s note: This week’s special edition contains a recap of the Chugiak-Eagle River news and sports we covered in 2017. We hope you enjoy this chronological look at the year that was and wish our readers a Happy New Year in 2018.

The Star’s regular weekly features will return next week.

JANUARY

Birders eye the sky

(UPDATED 12 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5)

A man was shot in Eagle River early Thursday morning, and the Anchorage Police Department is looking for the person they say shot him.

Chugiak girls win one, lose one in Juneau

The Chugiak girls ran into a buzzsaw in the form of the East Thunderbirds Thursday, falling 65-43 in the Capital City Classic in Juneau.

Chugiak kept things close in the first half, trailing 30-25 at the intermission. But East pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Mustangs 35-18 down the stretch. Azaria Robinson had a game-high 27 points for East, which routed tourney host Juneau-Douglas 95-64 on Wednesday.

The passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” last week is only the first step in a larger Republican effort to cut funding for vital health care and basic assistance programs. The bill, which overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations, had the backing of Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Representative Young. Before the vote even occurred, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that the next task on the Republican agenda is to cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid. In a recent meeting I had with Representative Young, he echoed this priority.

A trio of area prep basketball teams tweeted as they took to the skies for holiday tournaments this week, with the Eagle River boys flying to Phoenix, the Eagle River girls catching a plane to Kodiak and the Chugiak girls soaring south to Juneau.

All three teams tweeted out farewell messages Dec. 26, with the Eagle River teams posing for in-airport team photos and the Mustangs firing off a final message as they headed out for the Capital City Classic in Juneau:

Sheri Boggs has been warming holiday hearts — and hands, feet and heads — since 2010.

And she’s not slowing down.

“Oh my gosh, it’s grown exponentially,” Boggs said the Saturday before Christmas during an interview at the Star offices in Eagle River.

Six people escaped a Christmas Day fire in Chugiak without injury, but their home was a total loss.

Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department chief Tim Benningfield said nine units from his department and a water tender from Anchorage Fire Department Station 11 responded to the blaze at the corner of Husky Street and James Way in a neighborhood between North Eagle River and South Birchwood.

“There were six residents at home, all of them escaped, they were already awake,” he said.

UPDATE: Anchorage Police have found the missing boy. According to an update posted by the department at around 12:53 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, he has been located safe and the public alert has been canceled.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Anchorage Police are looking for a 13-year-old last seen near the Peters Creek Chevron station at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26.

She’s got a hit show on Netflix, but Britney Young is just another kid from Eagle River when she comes home for Christmas.

“I’ll go to Walmart with my dad, and he gets recognized like crazy, not me,” said Young, a 2006 Chugiak High grad whose dad, Fred, is a longtime area basketball coach who used to be the head hoops coach at Eagle River High and now coaches football at East.

Three Chugiak-Eagle River area legislators will hold a Town Hall meeting Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Eagle River Town Center building (12001 Business Boulevard) in advance of the upcoming legislative session.

“We look forward to seeing you there and hearing what issues you are most concered about and what you would like to see us accomplish while we are in Juneau working for you,” reads a flyer sent out by Rep. Saddler’s office.

Dear friends,

Some of the most rewarding times in my life have come through seeing lives changed. As a chaplain for the Transformational Living Community (TLC), I have experienced many men who have surrendered their lives to Christ and have done the hard work of transformation.

The TLC moved to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River in May, 2018. Twenty-four TLC programmers and 11 TLC grads are currently enrolled in the 12-month programs. The goal is to eventually build up to 78 programmers in the TLC, graduate TLC, and Christian Education.

The latest installment in the Knik Lecture Series will be held Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 at 6 p.m. in the Steve Primis Auditorium on the Chugiak High School campus.

The February presentation is titled “Pacific Pathfinders: Retracing Kayak Sea Routes from 1871” with Sven Haakanson, PhD.

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