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.

A 63-year-old Chugiak resident died following a collision with a moose on the Glenn Highway Sept. 13, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

The crash, first reported at 1:18 a.m., occured when Michael Rock was driving north near milepost 19, police said. When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered his green 1994 Lincoln sedan “heavily damaged” and covered with tufts of moose hair in a marsh at the bottom of an embankment, according to APD.

Piles of hunting waste abandoned in busy area parks are frustrating municipal crews and endangering park users and wildlife, according to Eagle River-Chugiak Parks and Recreation officials.

On Sept. 9, members of the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association discovered a pile of bloody animal bones while preparing for their first dryland event of the year at Beach Lake Park, said local parks manager Karen Richards. The next morning, park crews found more. Within three days, they’d removed six hunting waste dumpsites from around the popular Birchwood green space, Richards said.

Runners went head-over-heels Saturday, Sept. 9 for what were likely the most festive cross country races of the high school season.

From post-race interviews with race winners to blaring rock music to a hay bale jump, the annual Skinny Raven New Balance 3K at Russian Jack Golf Course in Anchorage was a marked change of pace from the traditional 5-kilometer trail races that are the staple of the sport.

Michael Connelly is a climbing machine.

The 15-year-old from Chugiak climbed Alyeska’s North Face Trail 12 times Sunday to win the 10th Annual Alyeska Climbathon, a unique test of endurance in which climbers see how many times they can make the 2,000-foot ascent in a 10-hour day. Connelly tied the course record and beat his previous personal best by one lap.

The Harry J. McDonald Center (13701 Harry McDonald Road) will host “an evening of tribute, remembrance and community celebration” on Monday, Sept. 11 featuring a variety of free family events both indoors and out.

When Dr. Kathy Burek first began working as a veterinary pathologist more than two decades ago, magazine reporters and reality TV weren’t part of the picture.

Fast forward to 2017. In January, Burek’s work was featured in a lengthy article in Outside magazine. A few months later, the story was reprinted in the Alaska Dispatch News. Then came the queries from reality television producers and Vice News.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system; details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information department. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

OUI

While Southern states grapple from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and recent deadly floods, Alaskan emergency planners focus on a different set of catastrophes: In Chugiak-Eagle River, the most likely natural disasters are earthquakes, wildfires and extreme winter weather events, according to the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management.

Preparation is key, said Andy Preis, emergency programs manager for education and outreach.

“If someone’s prepared for a high magnitude earthquake, they’re also going to be prepared for a flooding situation,” Preis said.

In place of its usual monthly meeting, the Birchwood Community Council plans to convene Sept. 14 for a special town hall gathering with local utility representatives.

The meeting is part of an ongoing community discussion about a proposed water and sewer line extension – utility upgrades that could levy steep future assessments on area properties.

Eagle River’s rugged terrain is a mountaineer’s paradise, so it’s perhaps no surprise some of Alaska’s top mountain runners hail from the community. However, even some of the winners in this year’s Alaska Mountain Runners Grand Prix series were a bit taken aback by their success.

“It was definitely more of a surprise,” said Eagle River’s Christopher Kirk, a 20-year-old personal trainer who won the men’s Grand Prix title this season.

The Anchorage Police Department is asking for public help locating a man wanted in connection with a series of 2016 crimes in Anchorage and Eagle River.

Zarin Freeman, 31, faces five felony counts of kidnapping, first-degree robbery, second-degree theft and third-degree assault, according to court records. The charges date back to Nov. 1, 2016, when a 19-year-old male victim reported he had been kidnapped from the Delaney Park Strip at knifepoint, police said.

An early morning fire destroyed a Chugiak home and displaced a longtime local resident Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to neighbors and the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.

The call came in around 4:30 a.m., when some Tulwar Drive residents reported seeing flames climbing the walls of a two-story home in the woods.

“My wife hollered at me that there was a fire,” said Steve Sandberg, who lives across the street from the blaze.

Pomp, circumstance and a little surprise highlighted homecoming Saturday, Sept. 2 at Eagle River High.

The annual homecoming festivities included floats, a performance from the cheer squad, and a royalty ceremony fit for a queen featuring the AFJROTC Sabre Team of cadets Glori Atti, Collin Dyches, Noah Iriarte, Mateo Medina, Tyler Jennings and team commander Dylan West.

“It was super exciting,” said Geena Graf, who was named homecoming queen along with fellow senior Grant Burningham.

There are several opinions on cleaning up your yard for fall or leaving the dying debris for the benefit nature providing a place for wildlife to hide and winter over. As we put our gardens to bed, we will look at both sides of the discussion and hopefully gleam the best from both trains of thought.

In Chugiak, Labor Day weekend went to the dogs – glossy Rottweilers, fluffy Bernese mountain dogs, towering Great Danes and sleek Siberian huskies.

Featuring approximately 100 competitors from Fairbanks to Kenai, the Working Group Dog Club of Alaska’s annual summer show temporarily transformed the lawn of the Chugiak Benefit Association into a miniature Westminster. Kennels and RVs crowd the parking lot. Handlers in suit jackets and numbered arm bands roamed the grounds. Dog-lovers of all ages milled around, catching up with old friends from Alaska’s dog show circuit

A pair of local runners nearly stole the show Saturday with an impressive 2-3 finish at the Palmer Invitational at Palmer High.

Chugiak’s Max Hartke completed the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 10.36 seconds, finishing less than five seconds behind winner Luke Jager of West Anchorage. Crossing the line in third was Eagle River’s Nick Carl, who won a sprint against some of the state’s top distance runners.

Chugiak football coach Roger Spackman is getting two homecomings this season.

Spackman — who grew up in Northern Utah — is rounding up his Mustangs and heading south to his old stomping grounds, where Chugiak will put its undefeated record up against the Green Canyon High, a first-year program in North Logan.

“It’s just going to be a good experience all around,” Spackman said after his team stomped Lathrop 61-13 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium to move to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Railbelt Conference.

Kenai Central played homecoming spoilers Saturday, handing Eagle River a 42-28 Northern Lights Conference football loss in front of a large, spirited crowd at the Wolves’ Den.

Kenai got a pair of touchdown passes from Connor Felchle to Zack Tuttle and capitalized on four Wolves’ turnovers to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Northern Lights Conference. Eagle River dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the NLC.

Tucked toward the end of Birchwood Spur Road, surrounded by forest, the Birchwood Airport is the tiniest in the Municipality of Anchorage, far smaller and more secluded then Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Merrill Field or Lake Hood Seaplane Base.

But the Chugiak airfield has its own bragging rights: One of the busiest small airports in the state, the Birchwood Airport is also home to the largest aviation manufacturing company in Alaska.

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