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By now, almost everyone’s got a smart phone. Even in Alaska, iPhones and Androids have become an indispensable part of life, helping us communicate, navigate, plan schedules, count calories, play games, and more. There is almost no aspect of life that smartphones don’t make easier and better.

So, as part of my work to make state government work better for Alaskans, I came up with a simple idea that will let us leverage modern technology to better enjoy the traditional Alaskan pleasures of hunting, fishing and trapping: digital licenses.

Sheri Boggs of Eagle River is thanking the community after another successful donation drive for Project Homeless Connect.

Boggs collects hats, gloves, socks and scarves to donate to Project Homeless Connect, an annual event in downtown Anchorage that puts homeless people in contact with social service agencies and donated goods.

Alaska’s 72,000 veterans will continue to receive care under a program that the state office of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs took pains to reconfigure over the past 18 months.

The Veterans Choice Program received an additional $2.1 billion in December, just weeks prior to the three-day government shutdown on Capital Hill.

Eagle River uses big third quarter to pull away from Soldotna

The Wolves outscored the Stars 21-4 in the third quarter to pull away for a nonconference basketball victory last Thursday night in Eagle River.

Although SoHi connected on 10 3-pointers, Eagle River held the Stars to just one made field goal in the third quarter, while getting 9 points from Jacob Thompson. Thompson finished with 21 points, while teammate Ryan Adkins hit five three-pointers to also score 21.

Chugiak center Daniel Casey won the opening faceoff and without taking a stride fired the puck at the Service net for the first shot game Monday night.

The puck bounced off Cougar goalie Kevin Taunton and skittered harmlessly away. That was as about good as it got for the Mustangs in the opening period of their first round of the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs.

Aaron Davis and Jacob Thompson led the Eagle River Wolves to a third-place finish at the Dean Cummings Tournament in Delta Junction last week.

Before losing to eventual tournament champion Valdez 55-48 in the semifinals on Friday, the Wolves blew out Galena 66-48 and then handled Nome 67-52 after a huge third quarter in the consolation game.

Thompson averaged 16.6 points per game over the three-day tourney, with 21 against Galena and 17 in the third-place game versus Nome.

The Chugiak Community Council met on Jan. 18 to discuss numerous issues impacting Chugiak and to hold elections for council seats and officers. Tiffany Briggs from the Municipality of Anchorage’s Real Estate Department and Officer Robin Nave of the Anchorage Police Department informed attendees about pressing local issues.

Rezoning for Chugiak Senior Center

Star staff report

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The Chugiak Mustangs toppled conference rival and powerhouse Anchorage East High 58-46 on Monday night in front of an electrified home crowd.

It was the first time in four years for the Mustangs to defeat East, which has a student population double the size of Chugiak’s. The Mustangs now sit at 9-3 overall and 2-1 for the Cook Inlet Conference.

Despite playing 10 games in the last 12 days, the Mustangs drove the pace throughout the night and challenged East’s defense with stellar passing and teamwork.

Lundgren makes Eagle Scout

Eagle River’s Perry Lundgren celebrated making Eagle Scout with members of his Boy Scout Troop 219 Dec. 21, 2017, at Joy Lutheran Church in Eagle River.

Lundgren’s Eagle Project was to refurbish the back deck at the Eagle River Nature Center.

Lundgren is the son of Carl and Chris Lundgren and a junior at Eagle River High.

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Pandres makes the grade

Covered in bandages like a mummy, Kolton Hala just couldn’t help himself when a server at Garcia’s Mexican restaurant in Eagle River delivered the customary hot-plate warning before serving him and his friends last year.

“I said, ‘It’s okay, I’ve been burned before,’” recalled the Chugiak teen, who suffered third-degree burns to his upper body and face in the fall of 2016.

Hala lost a lot that October night — he spent a month in ICU, left school and missed out on starting a new job — but his sense of humor has remained fully intact.

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