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A massive swath of land at the confluence of the Knik and Matanuska Rivers has been set aside for conservation thanks to a $1.95 million land deal signed Friday, Nov. 4 by Eklutna, Inc. Board President Michael Curry.

The deal, which was announced earlier in the week, will set aside approximately 4,800 acres of land as a conservation easement.

“It’s a glorious day for us to set that aside,” said Eklutna CEO Curtis McQueen.

The Alaska Baseball League team formerly known as the AIA Fire will be christned anew Thursday, Nov. 10 at an organizational meeting for the team at the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and include discussions on committees and the team's structure. Athletes In Action, a faith-based athletic organization based in Ohio, announced last fall that it would move its ABL team to Loretta French Park for the 2012 season.

Here's the APD press release on the Nov. 1 accident:

 (Left to right) Tiger Harkless as Mr. Drysdale, Trevor Spackman as Jed Clampett, Matea Williams as Elly May, Isabelle Garcia as Granny (in rocker), Jesse Peters as Jethro and Hayden Laver as Mrs. Drysdale pose for a picture in costume during a rehersal for the upcoming stage adaptation of “The Beverly Hillibillies,” which will be presented Nov. 17, 18 and 19 at the Steve Primis Auditorium at Chugiak High. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for children under 12.

 Eagle Academy Charter School third-grader Addison Strzempka looks skyward during a balloon release at the school timed to coincide with Red Ribbon Week, which was Oct. 22-30. Students at the school wrote pledges to stay free of drugs, then released the pledges inside red balloons.

Kenny Ray is stepping down as head coach of Eagle River High’s football program after three seasons.

Ray, 61, said the decision to resign from his coaching post is something he’s mulled over while simultaneously considering retiring from his position as financial data control clerk at ERHS.

“I’m getting ready to retire,” Ray said. “I’ve got a life-changing decision to make.”

Ray said he hasn’t decided whether or not this will be his final year as an ERHS employee.

Ray said serving as football coach is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year job.

A total of 16 Chugiak High and two Eagle River High swimmers qualified for state. Chugiak’s Kaitlin Friedli was the lone local diver to qualify for state. With a score of 354.30 in the Cook Inlet Conference meet, Friedli enters state as the top diver.

Bartlett will host the state meet. Swimming preliminaries begin Friday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. Girls diving preliminaries start at 3:30 p.m. followed by boys diving.

Girls diving semifinals start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 followed by the boys. Swimming and diving finals start at 1 p.m.

Talk about a three-fer.

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