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UPDATE (Monday, Dec. 11, 2017):

Police on Monday identified the victim in an apparent fatal vehicle crash on the Glenn Highway as 23-year-old Matthew Tubin.

According to Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim, a number of questions remain about the crash, which was first reported at around 2:17 p.m. Saturday. Among them: Who was driving the vehicle and why the incident was not immediately reported to authorities.

Anchorage police charged six people during a recent sting operation to catch shoplifters at an Anchorage retail store.

According to Anchorage Police Department spokesman MJ Thim, nine officers from the department’s Investigative Support Unit worked a total of 72 hours on the “retail blitz” operation, which was conducted at the Fred Meyer store on Abbott Road in South Anchorage. Thim said the alleged thieves tried to make off with a total of $1,100 in stolen items from the store.

He said the department plans similar operations in the future.

Land use and crime are the hottest topics facing Chugiak-Eagle River residents this month, with several key meetings and issues on the docket at a flurry of meetings scheduled between now and the year-end holidays. Among the biggest are ongoing conflicts between the municipal officials keen on more development in Chugiak-Eagle River and residents who’d prefer things stay much the same in the semi-rural neighborhoods north of Anchorage.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key issues facing local community councils and boards this month:

I think everyone has read the classic Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Those words ring as true today as when they were written in 1897. Last Friday at the tree lighting ceremony at Town Square Park, I found out there is a Mrs. Santa as well.

UPDATE (Dec. 4, 2017): According to the Anchorage Police Department, Brandy Nolcini was arrested Oct. 30 by officers checking up on a suspicious vehicle parked on Gander Street off Lake Otis Boulevard in South Anchorage.

Items in the Police Briefs are taken from the Anchorage Police Department’s online crime mapping system. Details about individual events are provided by the department’s public information office. Defendants are presumed innocent unless convicted.

Though the lights have dimmed at the Alaska Fine Arts Academy, the Eagle River arts organization isn’t closing the curtains entirely.

Call it an intermission.

“We’re kind of taking a sabbatical as an organization,” said Lailani Cook, who recently stepped down as the group’s executive director.

AFAA vacated its longtime downtown Eagle River home at the end of October, and since then the group has been winding down its ongoing arts classes — most of which end this month.

Debbie Rinckey has had one heck of a year.

On Monday, the longtime Eagle River resident was recently named the new executive director of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, capping a year that began with a springtime house fire and included a milestone birthday.

“It’s been overwhelming, but it’s all good,” said Rinckey — who also celebrated her 50th birthday this year.

Hundreds of holiday revelers packed Eagle River Friday and Saturday for the annual Christmastime kick-off known as the Merry Merchant Munch and Winter Wonderland celebration.

The event got underway Friday morning as a trickle of shoppers checked out businesses participating in the Munch, and annual shop-and-dine event in which local retailers hand out holiday treats and decorate for the season. By afternoon, those numbers had turned into a flood as families went from business to business sampling goodies and checking out the downtown business district.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Dec. 5)

Police said a 28-year-old man was arrested after a drunken target practice session in Eagle River on Saturday, Dec. 2.

According to APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad, police were called to a location on Lazy Street at around 10:38 a.m. for a report of multiple shots being fired. When officers arrived, they found several neighbors standing outside, including one who said he may have heard a bullet go over his head. Police searched the area and located a man in the back of the home where the shots were coming from.

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