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A few weeks ago, John Suter received a children’s book in the mail titled “Flying Poodles A Christmas Story.” Along with the book was a note from author Karen Morss explaining that the Chugiak musher was the inspiration behind the story.

Suter, who gained national attention for running the Iditarod with a team of standard poodles four times from 1988 to 1991, was stunned.

Suter said his first reaction was, “Oh wow.”

“It was quite a pleasant surprise. Shocking actually,” Suter said. “I had no knowledge it existed before then.”

You’ve got to be pretty interesting to keep a classroom full of middle schoolers quiet for 45 minutes. Willy Topkok leaves ‘em speechless.

Well, mostly.

“This guy’s cool!” whispered one of Lisa Andersen’s science students to a friend during a recent presentation by Topkok at Gruening Middle School.

A log cabin on Eagle River Road caught fire Tuesday afternoon, but two people inside at the time were able to escape without injury.

The blaze was confined to an upstairs area and a section of the roof, according to AFD Station 11 Chief Steve Kostlin.

Neighbors in a passing car spotted the fire and called the fire department, which arrived within five minutes. Witness Jake Heitstuman said he and his mother were driving by when they noticed flames coming from the roof of the cabin, located at 22833 Eagle River Road.

The Eklutna River Bridge remains open with weight restrictions.

On Monday, Dec. 5, Municipal Manager George Vakalis’ office said he was still assessing the situation and that Vakalis would have an update on the bridge’s potential closure as early as today (Dec. 8) or Friday, Dec. 9.

Municipal Traffic Engineer Stephanie Mormilo and Public Works Director Ron Thompson are working with Vakalis on the issue.

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Facing a world he figures will be better without him in it, George Bailey decides it’s time to end his life.

A “Pineapple Express” weather system that pushed warm, windy conditions into the Anchorage area last week played havoc on local roads, electrical grids and school activities.

Temperatures well above freezing and rain made streets across the area slick and hazardous, leading to more than 120 motor vehicle accidents over the weekend, according to Anchorage Police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker.

Parker said 22 accidents involved injuries, though none were life-threatening.

“It was mainly just bumps and bruises,” Parker said.

At a busy Anchorage intersection, vehicles roll to a stop as their traffic light turns red. But one, a pickup truck, decides to push his luck, speeding through the amber light. Midway through the intersection, it looks like it’s going to make it. Suddenly, another vehicle — the driver seems to have timed the green light perfectly — enters the intersection at a high rate of speed.

Wham!

What was a normal winter afternoon turns into a very bad day for the occupants of five or six vehicles, as the collision sends automobiles flying and skidding in all directions.

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