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Anchorage Police said a man's body was found on Golden Eagle Drive in Eagle River at around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8. Identification is pending notification of the man's next of kin.

"All we're releasing at this time is it's a male," said APD spokesman Lt. Dave Parker.

Parker said the man's body was discovered by three women walking on the road. Golden Eagle Drive is near the end of Skyline Drive.

Parker said more details will likely be released Wednesday.

"There will be more coming," he said.

The U.S. Army said Tuesday that a 30-year-old soldier stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson died on Sunday, May 6 when the vehicle he was commanding was struck by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Kent Fogarty, of Alameda, Calif. was killed in the attack that left three others wounded in the attack in the city of Ahmad-Kheyl, Afghanistan. The four were assigned to the 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Bridgade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division.

An early-morning fire off South Birchwood Loop on Sunday, May 6, completely destroyed the home of longtime Chugiak residents Jim and Lindsay Vermillion. 

“It’s just a smoking hole in the ground,” said Jim Vermillion on Monday, May 7.

He and his wife were in the process of remodeling the home at 19022 Baidarka, which Jim said was originally built in the 1950s. At the time of the blaze, they were staying in their large shop next door, which houses Concrete Polishing and Artistic Staining of Alaska.

The Municipality of Anchorage announced on April 27 that the Eklutna River Bridge will close to all traffic beginning May 15.

According to a press release sent out by the Public Works Department, the bridge will re-open is early June to pedestrian traffic.

After spending nearly five decades as Chugiak’s most curious curio shop, the treasure trove known as Fuji Gifts is being liquidated.

“The building will be totally cleaned out,” said Chugiak’s Donna Henegar, who runs Alaska Auction Queens with her partner, Jessica Jansen.

Josh Otto is terrified of heights.

But that hasn’t stopped the Gruening Middle School seventh grader from facing his fear.

On Tuesday, April 24, Otto and a couple dozen Gruening and Central Middle School of Science students took a day off from class and spent it scaling Bartlett High’s cringe-inducing ropes course.

“I’m trying to break my fear,” Otto said after climbing higher than he ever had before. “It’s best to try, then to forget the fear.”

After a lunch break, Otto said he was determined to reach the top.

To see her splashing energetically in the springtime mud outside her parents’ Chugiak home, you’d never guess that the ball of energy and mischief called Madisyn Brittain was once a frail infant whose survival was very much in doubt.

“She was basically dying,” said Madisyn’s mom, Heidi.

Dad Clint Brittain said his first child struggled to flourish in the first months after he and his wife brought Madisyn home from the hospital.

“At 3 months she was three ounces lighter than when she was born,” he said.

On the morning of April 25, Chugiak High students streamed out of their classrooms to witness a nightmare.

In the school’s parking lot sat two wrecked vehicles — one of which had a lifeless human sticking out from its front windshield. As hundreds of students watched in silence, the screams of their injured classmates could be heard coming from the two cars.

Fortunately for all involved, the grisly scene wasn’t real, but a presentation of the “Every 15 Minutes” program, which gives high school students a realistic look at the aftermath of a drunk driving accident.

Note: I think I’ve covered pet fitness before in this column, but with summer approaching, it doesn’t hurt to revisit the subject…

Prudent travelers make a concerted effort to match fitness and skill levels among members of a group on backcountry excursions. It’s common sense, promotes safety and adds to everyone’s enjoyment. But do we use the same amount of discretion with our pets? On an early summer climb in the Chugach Mountains several years ago, I severely miscalculated the endurance of my dog — a two-year-old standard poodle — and put us both in jeopardy.

From nearly $30 million to fix Eagle River Road to $5,000 to replace the kiln at Fire Lake Elementary, the 2013 capital budget has something for almost everyone. Here’s a run-down of local projects approved for state funding:

Eagle River Road rehab MP 5.3-12.6 $29.8 million

Eklutna Bridge replacement $14 million

CVFD replacement fire house $6.15 million

Traffic mitigation, Artillery Road interchange $6 million

Tablelands drainage $3 million

CBERRSA residential pavement rehab $2.5 million

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