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BY MATT TUNSETH
Chugiak-Eagle River Star

On Monday night, the world got to hear what folks in Chugiak have known for a long, long time.

Mike Christensen can really sing.

Christensen, a 2004 Chugiak High graduate, made his national television debut at 8 p.m. Monday night on NBC’s “The Sing Off,” an elimination-style reality show featuring some of the nation’s top vocal ensembles.

His mom couldn’t be more proud.

Chugiak's playoff hopes took a major hit Saturday night, after Dimond rallied from a 14-0 deficit to pull out a 21-14 Cook Inlet Conference win at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium.

"This one hurts," said Chugiak coach Duncan Shackelford, whose team fell to 2-3 in the CIC and 3-3 overall.

Eagle River fell 21-19 to East on Saturday at Eagle River High School.
Peter Kott threw touchdown passes to Kelechi Madubuko and Jeavonte Dunn, but the Wolves' final drive ended with an incompletion on fourth down with the Wolves driving in East territory with less than a minute to play.
Jordan Patin hit a 41-yard field goal for Eagle River, which fell to 0-6 overall and 0-5 in the Cook Inlet Conference. The Wolves also scored on a safety.
Brody Deloria had a pair of touchdown runs for East (4-2 overall, 3-2 CIC).

Lydia Gray will never forget Dec. 31, 2008.

No, the Eagle River resident didn’t attend the best New Year’s party of her life or celebrate a special anniversary. That was the day Gray received perhaps the most frightening news an expectant mother can get: doctors had detected a defect ­— heart disease ­— in her unborn baby.

Gray said she and her husband, David, were stunned.

“We were in a shocked state of mind,” Gray said. “You’re numb.”

Doctors performed open-heart surgery just 10 days after her baby boy was born. Today, young Qunilan is a normal 2-year-old.

Vandals and thieves have been using Eagle River’s parks as a criminal playground, racking up thousands of dollars in damages during a summer-long series of sometimes-brazen acts.

“So far it’s been well over $10,000 in damages,” Eagle River Parks and Recreation Manager Val Barkley said on Monday, Sept. 12.

The most recent incident occurred at Town Square Park, where thieves made off with seven brass animal figurines that were attached to fencing near the park’s flower beds.

Having to go dipnetting in a ponytail might have been the worst part of Scotty Sandback’s hair-raising adventure.

“I did not like that,” said Sandbeck, who said he normally wore his long, black hair parted to one side or — when it was windy — covered with a hat.

But during a dipnetting trip to the Kenai Peninsula, he had no choice but to pull the hair back in order to make sure it stayed out of his way as he scooped salmon.

Jim Reeves thinks he’s got the perfect name for the newest team in the Alaska Baseball League.

“How about the ‘WolfStangs?’” Reeves quipped last week, suggesting a combination of the area’s two high school mascots, the Wolves and Mustangs. “I think I’ll put that one in there.”

For the past 59 years, the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department has been serving the community. Today, the department has roughly 80 members — all state certified emergency medical technicians, paramedics and firefighters — and just two paid staff positions, according to spokesman Jeff Hartley, who’s been with CVFD since 1984.

Its fleet contains four tanker trucks, five pumpers, two heavy rescue trucks, three ambulances, four brush trucks and other miscellaneous vehicles such as snowmachines and command vehicles, Hartley said.

The U.S. Senate is asking the American people to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks together as one nation.

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for a Moment of Remembrance on Sunday — the 10th anniversary of the attacks — at 9 a.m. ADT.

According to figures available from the U.S. government, the nation’s bank accounts will run at a significant loss in 2011. How significant? $1,645,000,000,000.

With that much money, you could pave the Glenn Highway from Anchorage to Eagle River — both the inbound and outbound lanes — with $100 bills. And you could do it 320 times over.

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