Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Knight has worked all around the world — from Colorado Springs to Afghanistan, Germany to Korea — but he told the Chugiak-Eagle River community that there’s something special about the bond between Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the surrounding communities.

“I think the Anchorage Bowl is the gold standard,” Knight told the chamber during speech on Dec. 7 at the Bear Mountain Grill in Eagle River.

A few weeks ago, John Suter received a children’s book in the mail titled “Flying Poodles A Christmas Story.” Along with the book was a note from author Karen Morss explaining that the Chugiak musher was the inspiration behind the story.

Suter, who gained national attention for running the Iditarod with a team of standard poodles four times from 1988 to 1991, was stunned.

Suter said his first reaction was, “Oh wow.”

“It was quite a pleasant surprise. Shocking actually,” Suter said. “I had no knowledge it existed before then.”

You’ve got to be pretty interesting to keep a classroom full of middle schoolers quiet for 45 minutes. Willy Topkok leaves ‘em speechless.

Well, mostly.

“This guy’s cool!” whispered one of Lisa Andersen’s science students to a friend during a recent presentation by Topkok at Gruening Middle School.

CER Star December 15,2011 Issue 50, Volume XL

A log cabin on Eagle River Road caught fire Tuesday afternoon, but two people inside at the time were able to escape without injury.

The blaze was confined to an upstairs area and a section of the roof, according to AFD Station 11 Chief Steve Kostlin.

Neighbors in a passing car spotted the fire and called the fire department, which arrived within five minutes. Witness Jake Heitstuman said he and his mother were driving by when they noticed flames coming from the roof of the cabin, located at 22833 Eagle River Road.

Chugiak senior Isaac Lammers had only his own shadow to fear on Saturday, Dec. 10 on Day 2 of the season-opening Lynx Loppet Nordic ski races at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.

Starting first after winning the Day 1 classic race, Lammers said he didn't know where any of his pursuers were behind him. But at one point midway through the race, he said he thought he must have dislodged a tree branch with a ski pole near the course — causing him to hear a noise directly behind him.

"It spooked me so bad," Lammers said.

For the fourth straight year, Chugiak High sent more band students to the All State Music Festival than any other high school in Alaska.

This year, Chugiak sent 11 band members, four orchestra members and one choir member to the gala concert at West Anchorage High on Nov. 19. Eagle River had four students go to the festival.  

Four Chugiak students earned first-chair honors. Here’s a look at each student:


Mark Landon

Last year, a number of Eagle River area residents reported run-ins with strangely aggressive wolves.

But wolves acting bold around humans — especially humans with dogs — is not as shocking as it may seem.

If humans are with a dog or dogs, it’s not unusual for wolves to approach when they are in a pack's territory, according to wolf expert L. David Mech, who answered a few questions about what constitutes “normal” wolf behavior via e-mail.

Robyn Burton has made University of Alaska Anchorage history.

Burton, a 2010 Chugiak High graduate, was the first Seawolves volleyball player named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II Volleyball All-American Third Team by sports information directors on Dec. 1.

Three days prior to her Daktronics selection, Burton earned second-team All-American honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Eagle River’s Destinie Rainer rolled a 222 regular game on Dec. 1 at Jewel Lake Bowl to post the top girls’ individual score of the week and helping the Wolves to a 26-4 win over Service.

Eagle River’s boys team also posted a big win with a 20-10 victory over South.

Through Week 4 of the season, both the Eagle River boys and girls teams remained in second place in the Anchorage Scholastic Bowling League behind Dimond.

Kelly Cobb still has something to shoot for.

After putting together a record-breaking season as a freshman for the Duke University women’s soccer team, Cobb came up one win short of her ultimate goal when the Blue Devils fell 1-0 to Stanford in the NCAA Division I national title game on Sunday, Dec. 4 in Kennesaw, Ga.

Cathryn “Cat” Papasodora tagged along with her dad to the shooting range twice in sixth grade. She didn’t pick up a gun again until the start of the 2011 riflery season.

Less than three months later, the Eagle River freshman ended the season as the fifth best shooter in the Cook Inlet Conference after firing an aggregate score of 383 at the CIC riflery championships at West Anchorage High on Dec. 3.


Eagle River High freshman Cathryn “Cat” Papasodora finished the season as the fifth-best shooter in the conference after firing an aggregate score of 383 at the Cook Inlet Conference riflery championships Saturday, Dec. 3 at West Anchorage.

“She is awesome,” Wolves head coach Jeff Parker said.

For the second consecutive year, Eagle River finished third behind second-place Dimond and conference champion West. Chugiak, led by senior Devon Clark’s 287, finished fifth. Dimond’s Reniel Aljibe was the top individual with a 387 aggregate score.

In their first meeting of the season, East skated circles around Chugiak, humiliating the Mustangs with a 7-0 thrashing.

Not this time around.

Chugiak scored three power play goals and Joey Lindquist came up with 31 saves as the Mustangs avenged their previous loss with a tense 3-2 win at the McDonald Center in Eagle River on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

“Lot better than last time,” said Chugiak coach Rod Wild.

Wild credited his defense with doing a better job of helping Lindquist out and limiting second-chance opportunities.

Nearly 300 Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, boarded a Boeing 737 at the Joint Mobility Center en route to Afghanistan Nov. 28.

The departure marked the first step in the 4-25th’s latest 12-month deployment.

More than 3,500 Soldiers are expected to depart from JBER between Nov. 28 and Dec. 14.


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