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.

A 31-year-old man Wasilla man accused of repeatedly raping a young Eagle River girl over the course of more than two years has been arrested on child sex abuse charges.

Before thousands of Alaskans and visitors flooded Palmer for the opening day of the Alaska State Fair Thursday, Eagle River quilter Jo Ann Gruber spent two full days helping 27 volunteers hang 274 quilts from the rafters and walls of the Irwin exhibit hall.

“It couldn’t be done without the volunteers,” Gruber said. “I think it speaks well of our community.”

Chugiak fell victim to a late touchdown pass from Rebecca Syrup to Elizabeth Johnson in a 12-7 Cook Inlet Conference flag football loss to West Thursday, Aug. 31 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium in Chugiak.

The Mustangs took a 7-6 lead in the third quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Eva Palmer to Taylor Rukes and Palmer’s subsequent conversion run. But the Eagles answered on their next possession to get the go-ahead score.

Palmer also had an interception for the Mustangs, who next play Wednesday, Sept. 6 at home against Service at 7:30 p.m.

Even after more than 260 hours of volunteer work, 13-year-old Eagle River resident Avery White isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon.

“My favorite part is probably at the Boys and Girls Club, where you play around with the younger kids,” said White, who volunteers at the local youth center several times per week. “I like mentoring.”

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 office.


On a recent August afternoon, while members of the Chugiak High School Swim and Dive Team ran through dryland training exercises on the pool deck, another section of deck remained cordoned off behind yellow caution tape, covered with a thick black mat and an orange safety cone. Under the mat, the deck bulged and split. Strips of duct tape secured separating tiles.

Despite two recent renovations totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, the CHS pool deck is broken again and headed for another closure and repair.

Members of the Alaska National Guard are on their way to Texas on a humanitarian mission to help that state recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The guard’s 176th Wing left Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Monday, Aug. 28 bound for Moffett Air Field in California, according to a press release issued Monday. After arriving in Texas, the guard members will assist in any way they can.

Chugiak slips past Eagle River in tennis

Chugiak got a dominant performance on the girls side to eke out a 5-4 high school tennis win Tuesday over Eagle River at Chugiak High.

The Mustangs got straight-sets wins from Emilee Groth and Bethany Kesler in girls singles to key the win.

Eagle River won four of seven contested matches, but Chugiak picked up forfeits in both girls doubles matches to earn two points.

Swamped by wind and waves nearly a mile from shore, four kayakers spent more than 40 minutes in the glacier-fed waters of Eklutna Lake before rescuers pulled them to shore the evening of Aug. 26, according to witnesses and first responders.


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