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Gruening Middle School had three eighth-grade girls in the top 10 at the Anchorage School District middle school cross-country running championships on Thursday, Oct. 6 at Kincaid Park. Gruening finished fourth as a team, just 10 points behind first-place Mears, which also won the sixth-grade/seventh-grade team title.

Emmie Jennings led the Colts with a time of 12 minutes, 24 seconds on the nearly 2-mile-long course to finish fifth. Julia Geskey placed eighth, followed by Dreanna Ownes in ninth.

With his ripped jeans, messy hair, earring and tennis shoes, author Anthony Pate is the first to admit he’s kind of a punk.

“I guess I don’t look like a writer,” said Pate, a sophomore at Chugiak High.

But looking like an author and being one are two different things, and Pate already has the former down cold.

Middle school isn’t easy for anyone — even pro athletes.

When professional basketball player Kelsey Griffin roamed the halls of Gruening Middle School, she wore plain clothes, went without make-up and stood taller than most of the boys in her class.

“Middle school was really hard for me,” Griffin told a couple hundred Gruening Colts on Sept. 30 in the school’s gym.

Chugiak High activities principal Kevin Theonnes has been moved and demoted for his role in an eligibility snafu that cost the school’s football team three wins and a spot in the state playoffs.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau said Tuesday that disciplinary action to reassign Theonnes to another school and give him a new job title was taken following Chugiak’s use of an ineligible football player this season, which led to forfeitures of three of the team’s wins.

A fight between a trio of soldiers on an early October camping trip up the South Fork Eagle River Valley ended with one in jail and another wandering, injured and alone in miserable weather, with a massive search underway.

The victim eventually emerged early the next afternoon, dazed and suffering from head injuries and mild hypothermia, searchers said. An Alaska State Troopers helicopter lifted him to safety.

The Homestead Lounge is an unassuming bar attached to a family-friendly bowling alley.

Yet in the last few months, the Homestead has been the scene of several police calls involving rowdy and sometimes-combative patrons, culminating in a Sept. 11 confrontation between a boisterous crowd and Anchorage police officers conducting a standard bar check around 10 p.m.

More local youngsters can be seen roaming the halls this school year, however, fewer students will be donning a cap and gown come May 2012.

Enrollment in Chugiak-Eagle River elementary and middle schools increased from last year, while numbers dropped at the two high schools.

Excluding Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson schools, the seven area elementary schools (Alpenglow, Birchwood ABC, Chugiak, Eagle River, Homestead, Fire Lake and Ravenwood) had a combined increase of 19 students from Sept. 30, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011.

Chugiak High activities principal Kevin Theonnes has been moved and demoted for his role in an eligibility snafu that cost the school’s football team a spot in the playoffs.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau said Tuesday that disciplinary action to reassign Theonnes to another school and job title was taken following Chugiak’s use of an ineligible football player this season, which led to forfeitures of three of its wins.

Andrew Smith’s acting career has come full circle — almost.

The 17-year-old from Wasilla got his start at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy in Eagle River as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland in his early teens. Starting on Friday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m., Smith is leaving the role of talking animal to several other willing thespians.

Instead of a mischievous grinning feline, Smith will portray a human who can communicate with animals as the lead role in The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle.

Craig Lowe’s high school football career lasted only six games — perhaps just long enough for him to become a legend. 

Duncan Shackelford didn’t know what to make of the skinny little kid with the big, shy smile and confident brown eyes. But the Chugiak High head football coach was intrigued when Craig Lowe first introduced himself with a brash proclamation last November.

“He comes up to me and goes, ‘Hey coach, I just want to let you know I’m going to be your new kicker next year,’” Shackelford recalled.

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