Andrew Smith’s acting career has come full circle — almost.

The 17-year-old from Wasilla got his start at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in Eagle River as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland in his early teens. Starting on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m., Smith is leaving the role of talking animal to several other willing thespians.

Instead of a mischievous grinning feline, Smith will portray a human who can communicate with animals as the lead role in The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle.

Craig Lowe’s high school football career lasted only six games — perhaps just long enough for him to become a legend. 

Duncan Shackelford didn’t know what to make of the skinny little kid with the big, shy smile and confident brown eyes. But the Chugiak High head football coach was intrigued when Craig Lowe first introduced himself with a brash proclamation last November.

“He comes up to me and goes, ‘Hey coach, I just want to let you know I’m going to be your new kicker next year,’” Shackelford recalled.

The Alaska School Activities Association board of directors voted Monday to uphold an earlier decision by executive director Gary Matthews to make Chugiak’s football team forfeit three victories this season — with a catch.

The board said that even though the original ruling that Chugiak must forfeit games in which an ineligible player was used should stand, ultimately it’s up to Region IV (which encompasses the Anchorage School District) to decide which teams it sends to the state playoffs.

Eagle River never could get anything going Saturday, falling 42-0 to South in their Cook Inlet Conference football season finale.

"We just came out flat," said senior running back Malcolm Bell.

South scored 23 points in the first quarter to quickly quash any hopes of a season-ending upset.

The Wolves will lose 13 seniors from this season's team, which finished 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the CIC. Eagle River's lone win this season came when Chugiak had to forfeit its victory (a 35-14 win on Aug. 19) due to the use of an ineligible player.

Eagle River's Hannah Stevens used a late surge to pass Dimond’s Sarah Friestone just before the finish line to claim ninth place at the 2011 ASAA/Alaska state cross country running championships at Bartlett High School.
Stevens finished the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 24 seconds to help the Wolves to a fifth place team finish in their first appearance at the state meet.
Evy Hail was 15th for the Wolves, Nikki Boggs was 26th, Sierra Richardson finished 49th and Chris Bottini was 64th.
Chugiak’s Sam Hartke, the lone entrant for the Mustangs, finished 30th.

Chugiak senior Isaac Lammers finished the 5-kilometer course at Bartlett High in 16 minutes, 47 seconds to place 11th and lead all local finishers at the 2011 ASAA/Alaska Class 4A state cross country running championships on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Chugiak finished seventh out of 11 4A teams in the event.

West Valley’s Kuba Grzeda won in 16:01, beating Service’s Max Romey by three seconds. Romey earned some consolation by leading the Cougars to the overall team title.

Sophomore David McPhetres finished 13th for Chugiak in 16:55.

UPDATE (10/6/2011): Chugiak's appeal of its three forfeitures was upheld by the Alaska School Activities Association board of directors on Monday. The Mustangs will not go to the playoffs, and the team's final 2011 record is 2-6 overall and 2-5 in the Cook Inlet Conference.

Chugiak's football season ended with a 24-7 Cook Inlet Conference win over East on Saturday at Anchorage Football Stadium.


4 cups meat in bite sized cubes

2 cups each cut in bite sized cubes: celery, onion, potatoes, turnips

2 cups each frozen peas, canned tomatoes

The Chacon, a 100 ton wooden boat owned by Thillman Wallace of Chugiak, has been sitting along the Old Glenn Highway between the Birchwood exits since 1984. Wallace first spotted the grounded vessel while on a fishing trip out of Homer. An adventurer at heart, Wallace fell in love with the old, waterlogged fishing boat that was half tipped over and grounded on a beach. He paid the owner $5,000, and rescued it with the intention of restoring it for a trip around the world.

North Eagle River exit in home stretch

The state Department of Transportation said the North Eagle River interchange was nearly complete, with only the final paving work left to complete before winter.

“I’ve been watching the mountains and the project daily, and it looks like we’re winning,” said project engineer Harold Henderson.


Mail bomb investigation continues

Investigators were combing over evidence in the mail bombing that killed Thunderbird Falls resident David Kerr and seriously injured his wife, Michelle.

In three decades in the bail bond industry in New Mexico, Sheila Baker saw the same faces again and again. A lack of resources for those incarcerated left inmates without a lot of options to find employment once released, she said.

“I watched that revolving door spin out of control,” Baker said.

Head butts would seem to hurt, right? That’s clearly the point of them, but it would seem to be just as painful to be the butter as the buttee.

In “Killer Elite,” this is probably the most primal method of attack on display, but even the noisy intensity and frequency of the skull bashings — and pistol whippings and gut punches — don’t register as anything beyond generic action-picture violence. The fact that director and co-writer Gary McKendry has shot all these brawls with the usual shaky cam and cut them in quick, choppy fashion only adds to how forgettable the film is.

Chugiak football coach Duncan Shackelford had to inform his team last week that the Mustangs varsity would have to forfeit all three of its wins from earlier this season due to the use of an ineligible player.

Coach Shack said he told the team about the situation before practice on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“Toughest 10 minutes of my life,” Shackelford said.

Counting Saturday’s win over West, the Mustangs are now officially 1-6 overall and 1-5 in the Cook Inlet Conference and are no longer in the playoff race.

On June 16th, 29 American youth, myself included, Wyoming State 4-H specialists and five adult chaperones embarked on a long trip to Mongolia for a leadership program with the Mongolian 4-H Youth Organization. Youth were selected through an application and interview process from the 13 western states of the land-grant universities Cooperative Extension Service. The finalists selected were from Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Majestic mountain vistas, rivers filled with wild salmon, and bald eagles soaring above; Eagle River, Alaska is the land of plenty. When the Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions Club embarked upon International Lions President Tam’s request for Lions worldwide to plant trees, we chose to deviate from the typical Alaskan Spruce and Birch, and diversify the landscape with fruit trees.

I was listening to a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) radio programrecently that featured some geneticists who were engaged in a lively discussion about how human beings are influencing natural selection as it pertains to the human body.

These scientists seemed to agree, for the most part, that modern technology such as central heating, air conditioning, advanced medicine, and our general sedentary lifestyle, are slowing our natural evolutionary processes. For those who don’t like the term, ‘evolution,’ I’ll use the word “change.”

 Eagle River had no trouble with visiting Kenai Central, rolling to a 3-0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-21) victory.

Gabbi Lecates led Eagle River with 10 kills and six assists, and Morgen Wohrle led the team with eight digs.


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