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Returning salmon and water to the Eklutna River will take more than simple addition, according to lawmakers and utility managers.

“We have what kind of boils down to a math problem: How much water do we need to accommodate as many groups as we can?” said East Anchorage assemblyman Forrest Dunbar. “We don’t have that information yet.”

When Anchorage School District students returned to class Monday morning, nearly 12 dozen of them tried something new: a hybrid college prep program known as the Alaska Middle College School.

“We’re proud that you took a chance on us,” said ASD Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop, addressing an atrium full of teenagers at the University of Alaska’s Chugiak-Eagle River campus Aug. 21. “Thanks for filling out the application.”

The program is a fast track to college and an entirely new approach for the Anchorage School District, according to administrators.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system, with details about individual events provided by the department’s Community Relations Unit. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

OUI

On Aug. 15 at around 4 a.m., an APD officer spotted a vehicle parked in the AIH parking lot on the Old Glenn Highway with its lights and turn signal on and an alleged passed-out driver behind the wheel. The officer arrested the driver, David A. Mullins, 39, of Eagle River for operating under the influence.

The week before classes began, Birchwood ABC Elementary teacher Holly Boothe sorted through the piles of books spread across the desks in her room, preparing for her ninth year teaching in the school she once attended as a student.

“It’s the start of a new cycle, the start of a new time; it’s kind of refreshing and renewing,” Boothe said. “I always enjoy the beginning of the school year.”

This school year is special, according to Birchwood parents and teachers. This year marks Birchwood ABC’s 50th anniversary.

For thousands of Chugiak-Eagle River families, the last full week of August marks a shift to school schedules filled with classes, sports and social events.

Public school students in grades 1-12 began classes Aug. 21. Kindergarten students are set to return to their classrooms Aug. 28. Weekends are packed with games and meets, and school calendars brim with important dates and deadlines. Here are a few key facts, phone numbers and other information to help you navigate the back-to-school rush at Chugiak-Eagle River’s 12 public schools:

As David Thomas’s scheduled trial date creeps closer, the Eagle River man accused of fatally strangling his teenage girlfriend is asking the Alaska Court of Appeals to intervene.

An Aug. 22 hearing in Anchorage District Court was the latest in a series of court dates that have stretched on for nearly three years.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has closed the Albert Loop Trail near the Eagle River Nature Center for the fall.

The annual fall closure has taken place since 1997. According to a DNR press release anouncing the closure, brown and black bears use the bridges and beavers dams to fish — making the trail a potentially treacherous place to be for humans.

Other trails near the center will remain open. The Albert Loop Trail will reopen after freeze-up.

Here’s the complete announement from DNR:

ENSTAR Natural Gas has tapped into the Chugiak-Eagle River area to find its first home-grown president.

Eagle River’s John Sims has been named to head up the company, which delivers gas to more than 143,000 customers in the Cook Inlet area from Homer north to Big Lake, according to the company’s website.

At a meeting of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Aug. 16, Sims (who is also the chamber president) said he’s the first “born-and-raised” Alaskan to be the company’s president.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said.

An Eagle River man accused of commiting a violent sexual attack on an Anchorage woman earlier this month appeared in court again Aug. 17, in custody and facing new charges of felony assault and kidnapping.

Preparing for a flood of future development, a local utility is laying the groundwork for new water and sewer lines in Birchwood.

The announcement triggered a wave of community concern at an Aug. 9 Birchwood Community Council meeting, where local homeowners talked about looming property assessments and population growth.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘if,’ I think it’s a matter of ‘when,’” said council president Kevin McNamara at the Wednesday evening meeting at the Beach Lake Chalet.

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