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Affecting everyone from commuters to high school students, major upgrades along Eagle River’s Yosemite Drive are due to be completed by the beginning of the school year.

“That’s the goal, and that looks like it’s really doable,” said Jerry Hanson, a project manager with the Anchorage Public Works Department.

A loud bang inside the Eagle River Walmart triggered reports of gunfire, a store evacuation and a large police presence Friday night.

Following an “extensive” search, an Anchorage Police Department dispatch supervisor said no evidence of a gunshot was ever found.

While summer rainclouds and Bear Paw Festival crowds converged outside the Eagle River Town Center Thursday night, a half-dozen locals gathered inside for a drier purpose – the monthly meeting of the Eagle River Community Council.

The ERCC, one of six area community councils, is the only council to hold regular meetings throughout the summer months. Its July 13 meeting covered community issues ranging from public safety to parks.

Home following a marathon legislative season, a trio of local lawmakers gathered in Eagle River July 19 to give constituents a bleak brief on capitol affairs.

“It’s a messy business with 60 people, all with different ideas,” said Sen. Shelley Hughes, a District F Republican, at a weekly meeting of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce. “The state is at a serious crossroads.”

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from 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.

An Eagle River man was killed after a violent confrontation Friday night in Levelock, a small village on the Kvichak River near Bristol Bay.

According to Alaska State Troopers, Ellis Lee Kaloke, 37, was dead when they arrived at a home in the village at around 9:10 p.m. Friday, July 14 for a report of a stabbing. According to an online dispatch, an investigation found there had been a dispute “betweeen the homeowner and a visitor which escalated into a physical confrontation resulting in the death of one of the persons involved.”

(Note: 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. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.)

A vehicle fire briefly closed the southbound lanes of the Glenn Highway at the North Peters Creek exit on Saturday.

The Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department doused the fire, which happened just past the exit on the far righthand side of the busy highway. Traffic was stopped at around 7:30 p.m., according to broadcast alerts issued by the Anchorage Police Department and Alaska Department of Transportation.

Bears were spotted getting into trash in a neighborhood not far from the Bear Paw Festival grounds Saturday, July 15.

Laura Simkins lives on Echo Street, which is about a half-mile from downtown Eagle River. She recorded video of a black bear in a neighbor’s yard at around 3 p.m. Saturday, and said she hopes people will be wary of bears during the ongoing festival. Simkins said several bears had been spotted Saturday getting into bird feed and garbage cans.

(Updated Tuesday, July 18)

Financial problems persist at the Harry J. McDonald Center, which will need a municipal loan to continue summer operations.

Without a cash infusion, facility manager Reid McDonald said the center might not be able to pay its employees.

“I’m not sure if we’ll make our next payroll,” McDonald told the Chugiak-Eagle River Parks Board of Supervisors at its July 10 meeting.

McDonald said municipal funding seemed to be the only short-term option for shoring up the center’s finances.

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