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Chugiak's Mike Suprenant has scratched from the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, according to a press release issued by race officials Wednesday, March 14.

According to the relase, Suprenanant made the decision in Unalakleet based on the well-being of his dog team.

Suprenant had nine dogs in his team when he made the decision. He was in 51st place out of 54 remaining mushers. The 47-year-old  finished the 2009 Iditarod in 49th place, also scratched in 2008 and 2010.

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Chugiak’s Jim Lanier has cashed in.

Lanier, 71, was the first Iditarod musher to reach the Cripple checkpoint on Thursday, March 8, claiming the GCI Dorothy Page Award and $3,000 in gold nuggets courtesy of the telecommunications company.

He arrived in the checkpoint with 13 dogs after making a 14 hour, 30 minute run from Ophir.

Twelve local educators received “Excellence in Education” awards at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce luncheon March 7 at Bear Mountain Grill.

Staff and Parent Teacher Associations at each of the Chugiak-Eagle River public schools selected an individual to receive the 2012 award.

At the luncheon, Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau handed out the awards and school board member Crystal Kennedy read comments from each school’s principal about each recipient.

Here’s a look at this year’s winners:

The Chugiak-Eagle River community knows about the great work done by Seth Kelley and Mark Lackey.

Now the rest of Alaska does, too.

Kelley and Lackey were recently named to the 2012 Alaska Journal of Commerce “Top 40 Under 40” list. They were joined by the 38 other honorees at a luncheon March 8 in Anchorage.

Here’s a look at each man:



Noorvik defeated Birchwood Christian School 58-38 in the boys Class 2A state basketball semifinals Tuesday at Sullivan Arena. The Warriors will take on Yakutat at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday in the third-place game.

Mike Rud paced BCS with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Dylan Keiffer, who scored eight points, was named player of the game for the Warriors.

Isaac Foreman added seven points, Chase Patterson chipped in three and Caleb Duplessis scored two for Birchwood.

Danny Wells led the Bears with 26 points, including four 3-pointers.

Birchwood Christian School’s boys pulled ahead in the final 20 seconds to take a dramatic 34-33 win over Bristol Bay in the opening round of the Class 2A state basketball tournament Monday at Sullivan Arena. The Warriors will take on Noorvik on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. with a championship berth on the line.

Dylan Keiffer gave Birchwood its first lead of the game when he hit the eventual game-winning jumper with 19.5 seconds left in regulation.

The Angels nearly won as Bristol Bay’s Brandon Rush had a shot rim out as the buzzer sounded.

Chugiak's Jim Lanier has cashed in.

Lanier, 71, was the first Iditarod musher to reach the Cripple checkpoint on Thursday, March 8, claiming $3,000 in gold nuggets courtesy of GCI.

He arrived in the checkpoint after making a 14 hour, 30 minute run from Ophir. Although Lanier was the first musher to reach the halfway mark, his lead didn't last for long. Lanier still had to declare his 24-hour layover, and he did so in Cripple. By Friday morning, 29 mushers had passed Lanier as he and his team of 13 dogs waited out their mandatory rest period.

Webelos Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 293 recently received their Arrow of Light awards.

The Arrow of Light is the highest award in Cub Scouting. To earn this award the Scouts worked on outdoor skills, physical fitness and learned about citizenship and working with others.

Pictured (from left to right) are Grant Epple, Trent Mittal, Perry Lundgren, Austin Pritchett, and Michael Farthing. At back is Webelos Den Leader John Farthing.

The Scouts received their awards at the Pack 293 annual Blue and Gold Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Gruening Middle School.

For Mike Suprenant and Jim Lanier, the 2011 Iditarod was a race to forget.

Although the Chugiak residents hoped to run the race, both saw their plans derailed by medical issues as Lanier had his hip replaced and Suprenant injured himself in a four-wheeler accident.

On March 4, Suprenant and Lanier were among 66 mushers to hit the trail to Nome. And they couldn’t be happier — or healthier.

“I feel terrific,” Lanier, 71, said on Willow Lake shortly before pulling his snow hook as the second musher to leave the starting chute. “A new man.”

Although the Eagle River Lions are famous for their summertime fireworks show, the club played host to pyrotechnics of a political sort when candidates for the upcoming municipal election showed up on March 2.

A forum featuring five school board candidates and four mayoral candidates featured some lively debate among the political hopefuls who turned out to try to sway Chugiak-Eagle River voters in advance of the April 3 election.