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Chugiak's Jim Lanier joined the Iditarod's most exclusive club when he passed beneath the burled arch in Nome at 5:58 p.m. Thursday, March 15 to complete his 15th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Lanier, who first ran the race in 1979 and has never scratched has now finished the race in five different decades. Only Rick Swenson and Sonny Lindner, of Two Rivers, have accomplished that feat. Willow's Bob Chlupach can also join the club if he makes it to Nome this year.

Anchorage police said today that they have arrested the owner of an Anchorage construction company in connection with the disappearance of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig.

Police released a statement Thursday, March 15, saying Israel Keyes, 34, had been arrested Tuesday in Lufkin, Texas.

Koenig's wherabouts remain unknown, and details of the charges against Keyes have not been released. APD is calling him a "person of interest."

Heavy snow caused a roof collapse in Peters Creek on Wednesday, March 14.

According to Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Jeff Hartley, the collapse occurred around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening at the corner of Tundra Rose Avenue and Four Wheel Drive. Hartley said the house was up for sale and unoccupied at the time.

“The owner had moved out several months ago,” Hartley said.

The entire southern half of the home was destroyed in the collapse. 


Birchwood Christian School finished its season with a 43-33 win over Yakutat in the boys Class 2A state basketball tournament third-place game Wednesday at Sullivan Arena.

“We really wanted to end the season with a win,” said Isaac Foreman, who was named player of the game for BCS.

The Warriors came out on fire and built a 27-13 lead by halftime. The Eagles cut the deficit to six after the third quarter, but BCS outscored Yakutat 13-9 in the final eight minutes.

Five Eagle River Boys & Girls Club members were honored with Youth of the Year awards Friday, March 9 at the Eagle River Ale House. This year, the kids voted for each winner, said branch manager Tracey Hupe.

Most of the winners emerged with the slimmest of margins, Hupe said.

“It was real close with all of the votes,” she said.

Here’s a look at the 2012 Youth of the Year award winners:


Ryan Smith: Boys junior youth of the year

Smith, 11, mentors the younger club members, Hupe said.

How many people does it take to make 150 sandwiches in 45 minutes?

Nine kids and two adults.

Chugiak Elementary Camp Fire USA second-through-fifth-graders feverishly made bologna and cheese sandwiches March 7 to donate to Bean’s Café, which provides food and shelter to Anchorage’s homeless population.

Each student had a job on the assembly line that started with placing two pieces of bread on a plate and ended with sealing and stacking the finished product in a box.

Anyone driving past Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department Station 35 recently may have noticed the red steel building no longer looks much like a working firehouse.

It’s not.

Formerly known as the Bill Lowe station, the facility was officially shuttered by the Municipality on Feb. 8 after an engineering firm’s structural evaluation in late January found the building to be in “poor condition.”

“It was evident the building was no longer safe to occupy due to some damage to the roof and the heavy snow load,” said CVFD Chief Tom Reinbolt.

Chugiak's Mike Suprenant has scratched from the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, according to a press release issued by race officials Wednesday, March 14.

According to the relase, Suprenanant made the decision in Unalakleet based on the well-being of his dog team.

Suprenant had nine dogs in his team when he made the decision. He was in 51st place out of 54 remaining mushers. The 47-year-old  finished the 2009 Iditarod in 49th place, also scratched in 2008 and 2010.

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Chugiak’s Jim Lanier has cashed in.

Lanier, 71, was the first Iditarod musher to reach the Cripple checkpoint on Thursday, March 8, claiming the GCI Dorothy Page Award and $3,000 in gold nuggets courtesy of the telecommunications company.

He arrived in the checkpoint with 13 dogs after making a 14 hour, 30 minute run from Ophir.