A year after a routine municipal audit revealed more than half a dozen administrative and accounting issues at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center, local park supervisors are still searching for answers to lingering financial questions at the popular Eagle River rec center.

When Mary Turner woke with a start early on the morning of Sept. 5, she thought the sound she heard came from an earthquake, she said.

Then she saw the flames outside her window. A window imploded. She knew she had to get out, she said.

Homestead students’ rap gains national prize

A group of Homestead Elementary fifth-graders were celebrating after their rap placed in the top 10 in a national “We the People” essay contest.

According to a front-page story in the Sept. 10, 1987 edition of the Chugiak-Eagle River Star by reporter Sherri Spangler, the students decided to submit their entry as a rap when they noticed the essay contest put no rules on the format.

Staff reports via APD

Note: Items in the Police Beat are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


Chugiak’s flag footbal team had a homecoming to remember Friday, Sept. 15 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

The Mustangs got six touchdown passes from Eva Palmer — three to Chasity Horn — en route to a 51-0 thumping of rival Eagle River.

Palmer opened the scoring with a touchdown pass to Taylor Rukes, then the Mustangs broke things open with a pair of Palmer-to-Horn strikes in the second.

Horn, Taylor Rukes and Jenny Labonte caught touchdown passes in the second half for the Mustangs, who capped the scoring with an interception return for a touchdown by Carson Head.

Mac Center to host Seawolves

The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves will open their 2017-18 college season in the friendly confines of Eagle River’s Harry J. McDonald Center.

The Seawolves will face Simon Fraser University on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game at the Mac.

The game is hosted by the Mustang Hockey Association, with $10 general admission tickets available at the McDonald Center, Jitters, Eagle River Gun Cache and Odd Man Rush Brewing.

Beach Lake Jamboree set

Prep tennis teams from South Anchorage swept their northernmost rivals on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Dimond defeated Chugiak 6-3 at the Chugiak courts. The Mustangs got wins from Emilee Groth in girls singles and swept the girls doubles matches, with Becky LaRue/Tyanna Melak winning in a third-set tiebreaker and Madelyn Bistodeau/Megan Anshutz cruising 6-1, 6-0.

At the Alaska Club East, South High won eight contested matches and a forfeit in its 9-0 win over the Wolves.

Chugiak and Eagle River cross country teams will enter Saturday’s Region IV cross country running meet at Bartlett High with hopes of qualifying for state.

Both Chugiak coach Cody Priest and Eagle River coach Jacob Bera have said they hope to qualify both their boys’ and girls’ teams for the state meet, and this year’s results have shown the Wolves and Mustangs should likely have plenty of runners near the front of the pack.

The Chugiak High cross country running program was well represented at the Equinox Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 16 in Fairbanks.

Former Mustang standout Kenny Brewer, 25, finished the grueling marathon in second place, while current Chugiak head cross country running and skiing coach Cody Priest, a 29-year-old who lives in Anchorage, finished third.

Chugiak High held its homecoming celebration Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16, 2017.

A town hall meeting on proposed water and sewer improvements drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center Sept. 14.

“I know this is a big topic for a lot of our community,” assemblywoman Amy Demboski said to the people gathered in the senior center dining room Thursday night. “This is effectively our way of engaging the community, just to start to explain the process, what people are talking about, what they’re thinking about.”

Chugiak earned a pair of swimming/diving wins Tuesday, Sept. 19 over Eagle River at the Chugiak Pool.

The Mustang girls won 107-63, while the Chugiak boys edged the Wolves 90-81.

Izzy Powers won the 50 and 100 yard freestyle for the Chugiak girls, who also got a double win from Addison Morgan in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke. Jeremy Petrie won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke for the Chugiak boys, while Dam Horning (50 free, 100 free) was a double winner for the Eagle River boys.

Mustangs, Wolves make a big splash

Early every weekday morning, long before the first school bells ring, a fleet of buses shifts into gear in a spacious parking lot high on a Chugiak hillside. From there, dozens of drivers head out onto the Old Glenn Highway, bound for bus stops throughout Chugiak-Eagle River. School can’t start without them.

Despite administrative adjustments, shifting schools and classroom changes, some things stay the same.

“We hit the road every day,” said Warren Ulrich, assistant general manager at Reliant Transportation, a transportation contractor for the Anchorage School District.

Chugiak finished tied for third at the 20-team West Spiketacular volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16 at West High in Anchorage.

The Mustangs were one of two teams to go 8-0 in pool play to earn the top seed in Saturday’s Gold Bracket tournament. There, the Mustangs defeated West Valley 2-1 in the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion West 2-0 in the semis.

Eagle River’s loss on the gridiron Saturday afternoon was insignificant compared to the tragic loss the team suffered away from the field.

Just hours before the afternoon game against Palmer, the Wolves learned one of their teammates had died Friday night. Head coach Bob Adkins said he couldn’t give specifics about the teen’s death or name the player due to school district privacy rules, but said his team was grief-stricken by the news.

To report scores or game highlights from local sporting events, email editor@alaskastar.com.

Homecoming weekend had mixed results for two local high school football coach.

Both Eagle River’s Bob Adkins and Chugiak’s Roger Spackman brought their teams to their own hometowns Sept. 8, with Adkins taking the Wolves to his former stomping grounds in the Interior and Spackman leading the Mustangs south to his childhood home in northern Utah.

As new construction continues to spring up throughout the Eagle River Valley, a cluster of local residents are pushing back against a planned development off Hiland Road.

The proposed expansion within the Bernard Subdivision – a heavily wooded swath of land about a mile-and-a-half up the road – calls for several new homes and a cul-de-sac with sweeping valley views. But the new development would also cut off the public right-of-way along Bernard Drive. Neighbors are saying no.

As Chugiak lined up for its first offensive play in Friday night’s homecoming football game against Kenai Central, Mustangs assistant coach Wayde Snell had a premonition.

“Touchdown,” said Snell, a former standout CHS linebacker who coaches special teams for the Mustangs. “Touchdown.”

Hundreds of kids are expected to take to the trails Thursday, Sept. 28 for one of the biggest local running events of the fall.

Now in its 15th year, the Beach Lake Area Trails Cross Country Running Jamboree is a series of races for kids ages Kindergarten through sixth grade. Last year’s event attracted more than 700 runners to the trails at Birchwood ABC Elementary.

Oohs and ahhs — and a few raven caws — filled the gymnasium at Ravenwood Elementary Thursday as students got their first look at a new piece of artwork they created using a very special medium: Themselves.

The day before, about 500 Ravenwood students gathered outside the school, where they each crouched down inside a grid laid out in black, loamy peat on the grassy lawn. Perched high above in a bucket truck, a photographer captured a picture of the kids, who wore red, black or blue t-shirts.


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