Soon after Kyle Frost was walking, he knew what his life’s passion was — aviation. On Saturday, Aug. 13, Frost took a major step toward turning that passion into a career by earning his private pilot’s license at age 17.

“I’ve known I’ve wanted to fly since before I was four years old,” said the Eagle River High junior. “Now that I’m old enough to do it, I just went out and did it.”

Few people Frost’s age get their pilot’s license, said Patrick O’Hare, who’s been an instructor since 1975.

“He should be proud of what he accomplished,” O’Hare said.

Palmer may be home to the Alaska State Fair, but the fun comes from Chugiak.

It’s been that way since 1967, when Paige Morton founded Golden Wheel Amusements after traveling to Anchorage from Washington state one winter to purchase a carnival ride. Morton’s daughter, Jacqueline Leavitt, said her mom bought the ride (“The Octopus”), but was persuaded by locals to stick around for the upcoming Fur Rendezvous.

“She thought they were crazy,” Leavitt said.

All Life Is Yoga owner and instructor Mary McCormick still remembers her first yoga class 15 years ago.

“It was 6 a.m. on a Tuesday. I loved it and I’ve never looked back,” she said last week standing inside of her studio’s new location in the rear of the Parkgate Building in Eagle River. Sharing the space will be the recently-created Eagle River Ballet.

McCormick and her husband, Bill, have spent the past six weeks renovating a former doctors office — which they acquired in June — into a yoga studio.

Out of bear necessity, the Eagle River Nature Center’s Albert Loop Trail has once again been closed for the duration of the fall.

Chugach Sate Parks chief ranger Matt Wedeking said rangers have made the decision to close the trail annually every year since the last person was attacked there in 1998.

“As soon as we start seeing the salmon make it that far up we pretty much close it down at that time,” he said.

It’s a tale of two turnouts in flag football, where Chugiak is awash in players while Eagle River doesn’t have enough to field three full teams.

Neither team’s coach has a good explanation for the phenomenon.

“Honestly, I have no idea,” said Chugiak’s Jon Schroeder, who had 88 girls come out for the girls-only sport.

Eagle River’s Matt Turner said he can’t explain why just 30 kids showed up at Eagle River, just a few miles down the road.

“I really don’t know,” he said.

Many of us have made countless trips to Lions Park in Eagle River to watch our kids play ball, attend the Fourth of July festivities or be a part of the Highland games. But have we ever stopped to consider who takes care of the park, or the clubhouse that sits unassumingly in the corner of the parking lot, or where the name of the park came from? The answer all comes back to the same group of people: LIONS.

Yawn.

For yet another year, Chugiak’s Sheryl Loan is riding at the front of the Alaska cycling pack.

Loan, 52, earned a record eighth Tour of Anchorage championship in nine tries on Aug. 14 following the fifth and final stage of the four-day racing series.

Three brothers from North Dakota recently set off on a 20,000-mile bike trip from Anchorage to the southern tip of Argentina — but not before pausing at a relative’s Eagle River home before the journey.

David, Nathan and Isaiah Berg began their 10-month journey last week after staying with their aunt and uncle, Nancy and Matt Wojnowski, for a couple days. The brothers hope to raise $60,000 to sponsor the building of a family home through Habitat for Humanity.

Three volleyball programs haven’t dominated the Cook Inlet Conference in recent years – they’ve owned it.

Dimond, South and Chugiak have been the CIC’s representatives to the state tournament in each of the past three seasons, and Mustangs coach Kelly Kavanaugh thinks his team has a great chance to make it back to the big dance again this season.

“I think we’re going to be right in there again,” Kavanaugh said.

Chugiak’s Duncan Shackelford knows what to expect when Eagle River comes calling.

“They’ve got some kids who can flat get it going,” Shackelford said after his team went to 1-0 in its season opener against South on Aug. 13.

Eagle River, too, will be prepared. Friday’s matchup at 7 p.m. at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium has been on the Wolves’ minds for months.

“It’s what we’ve been thinking about all summer,” wide receiver Danton Evilsizer said after Eagle River lost its season opener 41-16 to Soldotna.

Saturday’s Week 1 matchup between Soldotna and Eagle River was a tale of two halves — for both teams. After a slow start, the Stars scored 28 second-half points to defeat the Wolves 41-16 at Justin Maile Field in nonconference action.

Chugiak’s fall debut was a smashing success Saturday night as the new-look Mustangs fashioned a 21-18 Cook Inlet Conference football win over South at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

“This year we’ve got a few more weapons,” said Mustangs coach Duncan Shackelford, who rotated a half-dozen running backs into the game.

One of the military’s leading resilience experts spoke to an audience of Soldiers, Airmen and civilians at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Education Center lecture hall, Monday about how to build mentally stronger troops and families.

Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Rhonda Cornum, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness director, and former prisoner of war, was a captive of Iraqi forces for eight days in 1991, after the Black Hawk helicopter she served on as a flight surgeon was shot down.

Of the eight-person crew, five died in the crash.

Herding a few hundred middle school students onto about a dozen school buses isn’t easy — especially when it’s the first ride home many will ever take.

“A lot of our students have never ridden a bus before,” said Gruening Middle School principal Bobby Jeffs on Tuesday, Aug. 16, the first day of school for students in the Anchorage School District.

Christy Newlon and CJ Elliott will wed September 10, 2011 at Beach Lake Lodge in Chugiak.

Christy is the daughter of David and Becky Newlon of Wasilla. CJ is the son of April Moulds-Elliott and Carl Elliott of Whitehall, Mich.

The couple enjoyed an adventure-filled courtship of hiking, biking, boating and snowmachining after first meeting in 2008.

Carrieann Sawyer, of Hamilton, Ontario, will marry William “Tim” Hall of Waco, Texas on September 3, 2011 at Talkeetna Baptist Church. The couple lives in Palmer.

The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Christine Sawyer and the late Mr. William Sawyer. She graduated from McMaster University with a B.A. in Social Science and is a certified paralegal specializing in real estate. She enjoys fishing with her new family, working out with her new husband-to-be, riding motorcycles and competing in body figure compeitions in both Canada and the U.S.

Nicole Stefan, of Eagle River, married Donny Holtz of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, in a ceremony July 9, 2011 at St. Therese of Lisieux Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The bride is the daughter of Alissa and Scott Stefan of Eagle River. She is a 2003 graduate of Chugiak High School and a 2008 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education. She works for Kids Plus Pediatrics in Pittsburgh.

Brandy A. Jayne, of Eagle River, and a 2009 graduate of Eagle River High School, was promoted to Cadet Second Class and started her third year at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This significant milestone comes with a commitment to the Air Force and to her country.

Melissa L. Apodaca, of Chugiak, was named to the Dean’s List at Northern Michigan University for the Winter 2011 semester with a 4.0 grade point average.

With school just starting, I believe the subject of patience is quite timely. I feel eminently qualified to talk about patience, in that I spent mostof my life totally devoid of this human attribute. Sometimes I think that if I hada modicum of patience as a younger person, I could have done wondrous things. I might have learned how to swim, read music, overcome my mental block on algebra and chemistry, trained a dog to do something impressive, learned how to play golf and perhaps acquired enough skill to draw something more sophisticated than stick figures.

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