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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.

As a beauty pageant contestant, Brandy Wendler is used to being in the spotlight.

But the Eagle River resident isn’t only interested in winning crowns. Wendler’s main purpose is spreading awareness about her disorder, Celiac Disease.

Along with interfering with the absorption of nutrients from food, Celiac Disease also causes gluten intolerance, Wendler said.

Anchorage police have announced they've arrested a fellow airman in the case of missing airman Clinton Reeves.

James Thomas, 24, has been charged with six counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence, with bail set for $25,000 cash.

Here's APD's press release on the arrest:

The Anchorage Police Department said today that a body found the day before near Golden Eagle Drive in Eagle River is that of missing airman Clinton Reeves, 24.

The senior airman was last seen April 19 leaving work at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

A fellow airman, James Thomas, 24, was arraigned on Wednesday in connection with Reeves' death and charged with six counts of evidence tampering. No murder charges have been filed against anyone, and police have not released how they believe Reeves was murdered.

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.

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