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(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.)

Florida teenager Valerie Chapman watched in terror as her aunt ran toward her Saturday afternoon carrying the rotten carcass of a slimy, bloody pink salmon.

“It was disgusting,” said Chapman, whose aunt, Eagle River’s Laura Davidson, brought her up to Alaska this summer for a graduation present.

Taking part in the Slippery Salmon Olympics at the annual Bear Paw Festival in her aunt’s hometown, Chapman said, “seemed like a good idea at the time.”

It wasn’t.

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.

(Editor’s note: The Bear Paw Festival is taking place in downtown Eagle River July 12-16. We’ll update this blog periodically with photos and information from the festival. You can also find more about the festival at its webside, bearpawfestival.org, or on Facebook)

UPDATED Tuesday, July 18

AWARDS ANNOUNCED

Here are this year’s award winners for Bear Paw events:

Grand Parade Results

Mirror Lake Park is shifting gears: Besides the usual summer boaters, beachgoers and picnickers, the popular local green space now lures a steady trickle of mountain bikers, too.

Chugiak’s first dedicated mountain bike course, the Mirror Lake singletrack is making a name for itself among cyclists from surrounding neighborhoods and beyond.

Accused of stealing $180,000 from a local youth hockey league, 33-year-old Chugiak resident Jennifer Suchan made her first appearance in Anchorage District Court Friday morning.

Some scofflaw’s shoreside snacks sullied the Eagle River Sunday, evidence of an ill-advised — and illegal — Chugach State Park camping trip that could have resulted in penalties ranging from fines to flesh wounds for the unseen camper(s) hidden inside the red tent pitched in a too-late-to-be-shady spot beneath the Briggs Bridge.

UPDATE: The playground was reopened at around 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 14.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The Army picked the right morning to hold a big event.

“What a beautiful day,” said Gen. Robert Brown, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, who was in town to preside over a change of command ceremony for U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK).

Taking the unit colors under a dazzling blue sky Wednesday was Maj. Gen. Mark O’Neil, who has served as Brown’s chief of staff since May of 2016. O’Neil takes over for Maj. Gen. Bryan Owens, who is retiring from the Army after 34 years of service.

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