Top Stories

Three young Chugiak-Eagle River musicians will take the stage at the Sydney Laurence Theatre Saturday night, guest soloists performing with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra.

Winners of the orchestra’s most recent concerto competition, the high school musicians are part of a quartet playing Vivaldi’s Concerto in B Minor – a popular selection the young violinists catapulted to a new level of performance.

“I don’t think it’s ever been done by kids that age here in Anchorage before,” said orchestra director Philip Munger, a prolific Alaskan composer and maestro.

The State of Alaska is closing the Eagle River Job Center due to state budget cuts.

The closure, which will take place Friday, May 19, was annouced in a Wednesday press release from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In the release, commissioner Heidi Drygas said her department’s budget has been cut by 33 percent since 2015 and warned the closure could be a sign of things to come as legislators grapple with how to solve the state’s growing budget deficit.

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


Michael Kocher’s death at the hands of police near Denver, Colorado earlier this month was the final chapter in a story that had become increasingly tragic as Kocher descended into a world of drugs and psychological problems.

A cordial municipal candidates forum Monday night featured few fireworks but did manage to highlight some differences between two of the four people running for the vacant Chugiak-Eagle River seat on the Anchorage Assembly.

Candidates Fred Dyson and Gretchen Wehmhoff expressed similar views on several issues, with many of their differences coming down to style.

“I think Fred and I both care about the community,” Wehmhoff said to the dozen or so people who attended the forum, which was sponsored by the ECHO News and held at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

A new mill levy rate recently approved by local road supervisors means Chugiak-Eagle River homeowners will see a slight change to their next property tax bill – a bump of approximately $21 for a $300,000 home, according to municipal officials.

The increased rate of 1.9 mills comes in response to vanishing state maintenance funds and a 2016 administrative error that set an artificially low mill levy rate last year, prompting the Municipality of Anchorage to dip into a reserve account to pay for road services.

Eagle River’s Powder Ridge neighborhood is about to expand, with local developers looking to build on a wooded 5.97-acre lot situated between the Glenn Highway and Konrad Drive.

Residents of the 144-home subdivision heard about the tentative plans during a March 9 Eagle River Community Council meeting.

“The idea is to keep new construction in Powder Ridge,” said Andre Spinelli, vice president of design and development at Spinell Homes.

University of Alaska president Dr. Jim Johnsen will be the first to tell you he’s got a lot of work to do.

“We have some challenges,” Johnsen acknowledged during a speech to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, March 15 at the ER Ale House in Eagle River.

Among the myriad issues facing the university are declining enrollment, state funding cuts and the far-flung nature of a system that includes main campuses in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau and smaller campuses across the state.

For months, Chugiak-Eagle River residents have taken to community council meetings and legislative town halls and neighborhood watch Facebook pages to voice concerns about property crime and theft.

This week, locals will have a chance to bring those issues directly to the Anchorage Police Department.

Police officers plan to meet area residents at two public events in Chugiak-Eagle River. Following a Wednesday “Coffee With a Cop” at Jitters, the department will host a Thursday town hall meeting at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

Chugiak-Eagle River businesswomen are finding strength in numbers.

On the evening of International Women’s Day, a group of them gathered in a sunny Chugiak salon to network and socialize. The women work in construction, skincare and finance, for companies large and small, but they share a common affiliation – membership in Chugiak-Eagle River Women in Business (CERWIB).

A tight-knit part of the local business community, the group represents a cross-section of female entrepreneurs from around Chugiak-Eagle River.