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Eagle River is more than 2,000 miles away from Hollywood, but for a week or so this summer, the two places felt much closer.

In the middle of August, the movies came to town. Led by Alaskan writer and director Charles Baird, a small crew of actors and filmmakers recently shot two feature films in Eagle River, recording scenes in the parking lot of the Eagle River Shopping Center, a private home on a lake and other places throughout the community.

Concerned with the decrease of pollinators and amphibians, The National Garden Clubs reached out to their regions in a special two-year, (2017-19) presidential campaign called “Service in Action.” This project focuses on increasing awareness of the seriousness of the demise of pollinators and amphibians, in an attempt to encourage conservation and protection of these garden partners. We are asked to consider how, “the first bio indicators, amphibians and pollinators, by their presence, abundance or lack of, reveal the health of the surrounding ecosystems.”

Area residents flocked to lakes and mountains as a relatively rainy summer got a rare sunny break the weekend of Aug. 4-6. While summertime temperatures in the low 70s might not seem like anything special, the nice weather was considered so noteworthy this year the National Weather Service issued a special bulletin alerting people in advance of the blue-sky break.

Following months of construction closures, inspection issues and cancelled events, the Mirror Lake Park pavilions reopened to the public on the last day of July.

“I’m so excited to let everyone in,” said Karen Richards, Eagle River Parks and Recreation manager.

The opening is months overdue. Closed for improvements in August of 2016, the pavilions were originally scheduled to be completed and reopened by November, but there were “deficiencies” with a newly poured concrete slab, the park manager said.

“Within 30 days it was heaving,” Richards said.

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.

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

BURGLARY

On July 27 at around 9 p.m., police took a report that someone stole three sets of moose antlers bolted to a pole outside a residence on Aurora Borealis Road while the homeowner was at work.

BURGLARY

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

BURGLARY

On July 15 at around 5:45 a.m., police took a report from a woman who said she returned to her apartment on Hunters Drive to find the inside ransacked. Police said medications may have been stolen, but nothing else appeared to missing.

BURGLARY

The president of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want to be pessimistic — but thing’s aren’t looking good.

“I’m saying right now, our future is not that bright,” Curtis Thayer said at an August 2 meeting of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce at the Eagle River Ale House. “We have high unemployment, we have negative growth in the state of Alaska, we have people leaving Alaska, we have an industry in decline.”

A former Eagle River soldier charged with the 2013 death of her infant daughter has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter.

Ashley Ard, 28, accepted the plea deal during a brief afternoon hearing in a nearly empty Anchorage courtroom July 31. Anchorage District Court Judge Kevin Saxby scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 5. Afterwards, still in handcuffs, Ard was ushered out a side door by uniformed Alaska State Trooper, and a small group of family members sitting quietly near the back of the courtroom filed out into the lobby.

The Municipality of Anchorage is hoping to develop a chunk of Chugiak hillside, seeking to sell a 19.4-acre parcel near Loretta French Park.

The land – wooded property located off Jasmine Road – is owned by the Heritage Land Bank, a municipal agency tasked with managing public lands around Anchorage. The land bank plans to offer the parcel for competitive bid sale, paving the way for residential development, according to HLB land managers; the sale is contingent upon approval by the Anchorage Assembly.

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